2.6.2 Sync via Bluetooth

Photosmith for iPad is designed to be synced with Lightroom wirelessly through Wi-Fi.  However, we understand that there are some situations where Wi-Fi just isn’t an option for connectivity between your Mac or PC and your iPad.  While Bluetooth sync is possible, it isn’t recommended, except in very specific circumstances.

Bluetooth might be a good option for sync when:

  • You’re syncing metadata changes only, and not photos.
  • The distance between your Mac or PC and iPad is very close, ideally fewer than 10 feet.
  • Your Wi-Fi Access Point or router doesn’t allow connections between devices on the internal network (sometimes known as AP Isolation, discussed in Section 2.5.2) and you need to maintain an wireless connection to the Internet through Wi-Fi on your Mac or PC and/or your iPad - this precludes Ad-Hoc Wi-Fi as a viable option.
  • Pairing iPad with your Mac or PC doesn’t sound intimidating to you.  Don’t worry, we discuss this procedure a bit later in this section.

Again, we strongly urge you to consider Bluetooth for Photosmith-Lightroom sync only as a fallback when Wi-Fi isn’t possible. Wi-Fi usually offers a far better experience, and is preferred for sync because:

  • Wi-Fi offers faster data transfer (throughput) than Bluetooth.  We see transfer speeds of greater than 50mbit per second, whereas Bluetooth seems to top out at around 1.5mbit per second.
  • The distance allowed by Wi-Fi is far superior to Bluetooth.
  • Less setup is necessary for Wi-Fi sync.  In fact, for most users, Photosmith’s Wi-Fi sync with Lightroom is virtually zero configuration!

 Configuring Bluetooth in Mac OS X

The first thing you need to do is pair your iPad to your Mac computer via Bluetooth.  This guide was written using Mac Mountain Lion (10.8.4) and iOS 7.  Setup of other versions of OS X and iOS should be very similar.

In Mac OS X, make your Mac Bluetooth Discoverable by going into System Preferences -> Bluetooth:


 This will show your Bluetooth settings.

Make sure the On and Discoverable checkboxes are ticked:


Also, note the name of your Mac, as it will be advertised via Bluetooth, denoted above the On and Discoverable checkboxes.

Connecting iPad to a Mac or PC via Bluetooth

Go into the Settings app on your iPad:


Tap on Bluetooth in the left-hand column and ensure Bluetooth is turned On.

You will see the name of your Mac computer listed under devices - tap on it to initiate a pairing request:


A pairing confirmation will be displayed on both your iPad and and Mac or PC. Confirm pairing on both sides in a timely manner.

Now, you should see your Mac and iPad as being paired through Bluetooth.  No additional configuration is necessary to Sync Photosmith with Lightroom.

Note: Unless you want your Mac to continue to advertise its presence on Bluetooth, it’s a good idea to uncheck the Discoverable checkbox in your Bluetooth Settings.

Continued Bluetooth connectivity between your iPad and Mac/PC won’t be automatic every time your devices become proximate.  To initiate a Bluetooth connection, do so on your iPad via Settings -> Bluetooth and then tap on your Mac’s name.  The Bluetooth connection will occur without any additional confirmation prompts, because Bluetooth pairing previously occurred.