Bluetooth connection between iPhone and Macs are not meant to be paired manually

This is a summary following an Apple Support call on 09-27-22. iPhone 14 Pro Max & MacBook Air M2.
Apple uses Bluetooth for many seamless transfers between Macs and iPhones including AirDrop. However, Apple Support has said that iPhones and Macs are not designed to pair via Mac System Preferences/Bluetooth or iPhone Settings/Bluetooth. The iPhone can see the Mac under “other devices.” The Mac will show the iPhone below the line and offer a “connect” button. By initiating the “connect” from the Mac a pairing request is sent to the iPhone with pairing number. There may be a momentary pairing and then disconnect, shown as “not connected” on both the iPhone and Mac. Apple Support says that these “devices” are not designed to be manually paired, even though both devices initiate the pairing process. Apple Support says that Sharing preferences for Bluetooth for Mac must be enabled, Mac AirDrop must be enabled with both devices signed into same Apple ID. Apple Support said that the iPhone and Mac actually use both WiFi and Bluetooth for AirDrop, AirPlay, and many other Continuity features. Apple Support said that Bluetooth connectivity is for “accessories” not devices, such as an iPhone or Mac. If WiFi and Bluetooth are enabled on iPhone and Mac then AirDrop works. If I turn WiFi off, AirDrop will not work. If all this is accurate, then why even allow pairing between “devices” to occur and why not offer an explanation of this peculiar circumstance. Have others experienced this? Can someone explain this more clearly. This seems unusually confusing to a generally informed user.

Thank you for relaying the advice you received from Apple Support. The requirement that the Mac and iPhone need to be signed into the same AppleID makes sense for security purposes.
A related issue is that, for me, Airdrop doesn’t seem to work if my Macbook is hotspotted to the iPhone 8. I have to disable Hotspot on the iPhone if I want to use Airdrop (mainly to send photos to the Mac).

Thanks for your reply. I have read elsewhere that using your phone’s hotspot may interrupt AirDrop and AirPlay, perhaps competing for bandwidth or the possibility that only one function can run at a time. I am uncertain as to the reason.

I don’t know if it’s true, but it makes sense to me.

Wi-Fi devices run as either an access point (e.g. a base station, to which clients connect) or as a client device.

When your phone is acting as a hotspot, then its Wi-Fi hardware is acting as an access point. On the other hand, things like AirPlay expect the phone to be acting as a client (connecting to a Wi-Fi access point on the same LAN where the receiver is connected).

The phone can’t act as both an access point and as a client at the same time, hence the reason why hotspot operation could block other Wi-Fi features from working.

On the other hand, an iPhone has two Wi-Fi radios (one at 2.4 GHz and one at 5 GHz). I suppose it may be possible for one radio to run as an access point while the other is a client, but I don’t know if Apple’s Wi-Fi chipset can support that kind of behavior.

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