Learn How To Build A BLE App In 5 Easy Steps

Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is a type of wireless communication optimized for short-range communication. Just as Wi-Fi allows devices to interact with one another, BLE also does the same. BLE is designed for circumstances where battery life is more important than high data transfer speeds.

Related Read: Getting Started With BLE – A Complete Guide

For instance, if you need to promote a freshly released headphone by the means of a marketing campaign, as the quantity of data you need to send to a visitor’s smartphone is modest, Bluetooth BLE-compliant beacons can do the task fast and without exhausting the battery. BLE uses the same basic pairing modules, authentication methods, encryption, and link security that conventional Bluetooth does.

As a result, BLE devices are just as simple to set up and use as Bluetooth devices. Most smartphones and tablets now support Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), allowing them to communicate with Bluetooth-enabled wireless headphones, digital signs, car stereos, fitness trackers, smartwatches, and hardware devices. 

How Does Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Works?

BLE employs different channels than normal Bluetooth and operates in the same 2.4 GHz industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) spectrum as standard Bluetooth. The complete Bluetooth BLE communication structure consists of 40 frequency channels separated by 2MHz to save energy and deliver faster data transfer speeds. Three of these channels are principal advertisement channels, with the remaining 37 being secondary data channels.

Bluetooth communication begins with the three principal advertisement channels before shifting to the subsidiary channels. Standard Bluetooth technologies send radio signals using the frequency-hopping spread spectrum (FHSS) approach, which creates significant interference as compared to BLE.

The Generic Attribute Profile, or GATT as it is commonly known, is the foundation of Bluetooth BLE. This profile specifies a method for peripherals to disclose data to other devices in a structured manner. Peripheral data is arranged as a set of Services that explain the device’s logical functions. A separate service would be created for each sensor or feature. To communicate discrete data values between devices, each Service includes a set of Characteristics.

The data flow over Bluetooth Low Energy is mainly one-way communication. Consider BLE beacons attempting to interact with a nearby smartphone: a Bluetooth beacon device broadcasts data packets at regular intervals. Apps or pre-installed services on neighboring smartphones detect these data packets. This Bluetooth communication can be used to send a message or promote an app.

How To Create A Bluetooth Low Energy Compatible App?

More and more people are trying to jump on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) bandwagon for Android apps because of its ability to consume very little power while providing a connection to communicate with small devices. The Generic Attribute Profile is the foundation for all current BLE application profiles (GATT). When an Android device communicates with a BLE device, the server provides information and the client gets it. Developer APIs for BLE are included in Android, including APIs for interacting with GATT servers and clients. Implement the Android Bluetooth HCI Requirements to fully utilize the BLE APIs.

An Android device can function as a peripheral device, a central device, or both when using BLE. Devices in peripheral mode can transmit advertisement packets. Devices can scan for adverts in central mode. While in peripheral mode, an Android device functioning as both a peripheral and a central device can communicate with other BLE peripheral devices and transmit advertisements. BLE can only be used in central mode on devices that support Bluetooth 4.1 or older.

BLE peripheral mode may not be supported by older device chipsets. Bluetooth Low-Energy (BLE) Beacons are flooding the market, allowing businesses, amateurs, and non-technical consumers to benefit from the Internet of Things. They have the clout of two rivaling behemoths, Apple and Google, to propel technology ahead.

Beyond this, the future looks bright, thanks to the brand-new Web Bluetooth API, which allows browsers to interface with Bluetooth devices. Beacons are no longer restricted to mobile apps; they can now be sensed in the browser, making them devise and operating system independent.

Web Bluetooth will allow developers to create a single solution that works across all platforms, including mobile and desktop, resulting in decreased development costs, more open-source control interfaces for varied physical items, and increased innovation. This also means that developers for both web & mobile app development will soon be able to program for both Android and iOS, as Web Bluetooth now allows Javascript to be used with beacons.

At close ranges, Bluetooth Low Energy is superior to alternatives since it is frequently faster and less expensive. Connecting directly with a neighboring device (peer-to-peer) is faster than establishing other connections that require a server and more expensive equipment for sharing data. This is particularly true when using a Bluetooth Low Energy device and expecting a quick response.

Jayu Rewards Is A BLE Based Next Generation Digital Rewards System

How To Make A BLE App Work With BLE Beacon?

The client has some data; that is usually your sensor device and the Server containing data are the two parties engaged in Bluetooth LE links out of which both consume data. Depending on the work at hand, smartphones can fill either of these functions. A common arrangement for connecting BLE-enabled external devices to a host device like a smartphone is to use a BLE Device as the server and an iPhone/ Android as the client.

These are also known as Peripheral (Server) and Central in BLE documentation (Client). The following section of the article further highlights the 5 steps with which you can develop any app with BLE Beacon. 

App Development Steps With BLE Beacon

App Development Steps With BLE Beacon | Mindbowser

  • Design Specifications 

BLE application design, like every niche mobile app, has its quirks. What are some of the things you should think about when creating a BLE app? To top the list, you should onboard new users. A short video instruction would make a lot of sense because they need to link the software to an external device.

This is a great step to take because your clients as well as your support team will be grateful that you accomplished this. Because BLE-enabled apps rely heavily on connectivity, the user should always be able to see if an app is connected or not, whether it is currently attempting to connect, and whether any user action is required. 

  • Develop A Web Admin Portal 

Developing a web admin site for your BLE-enabled infrastructure is not a strict necessity, but it can help you improve it. Yes, you need a web app to construct a BLE app. This web application will help you update the firmware on all of your BLE devices at the same time. Just in case, firmware is a small operating system that runs on hardware and controls its functions.

We keep it up to date to keep BLE devices safe and up to date with new features (previously postponed for faster time to market). You can also use the web application to locate and monitor the equipment. Naturally, creating a web portal like this is advised if you need to manage a big fleet of Bluetooth LE devices.

  • Coding And Hardware Considerations 

This is the phase that will take the greatest time and effort to complete. Before you start writing a BLE app, you will need to figure out a few things. Make a decision regarding the hardware you will be using. Some of the most important parts of BLE app development are influenced by the hardware you choose, will the iPhone’s proximity-sensing capabilities be supported by the BLE app?

Or will you be able to connect over a long distance, for instance, some chips support up to 5000 feet? Moreover, given the hardware’s throughput, will you be able to transfer all of the essential data? These, and many other aspects of your BLE mobile solution, are entirely dependent on hardware. After the above-mentioned, you also need to comply with Bluetooth SIG’s security BLE guidelines.

  • Testing 

Testing a BLE application when a hardware chip is not available is one of the most difficult BLE app development chores. In this situation, a BLE dongle connected to a laptop or any simulator software should be used. You are stuck with manual testing until you construct a BLE app on Flutter, in which case there’s an open-source emulator called BLE emulator.

  • Deployment

If your BLE app is only for internal usage, you will have to employ Apple’s Ad Hoc or Enterprise distribution approach. That is, you will be able to decide which devices are allowed to use this BLE app. In the Android world, no antics are required: simply post your app on your website or email it to your staff.

Hire BLE App Developers!

Stay Updated With BLE Beacon

In terms of application and Bluetooth power, we may state that BLE is the friendliest form. which makes it easier for the mobility industry to connect to the world of applications. Beacons will be used in conjunction with a variety of technologies in the next few years, including QR codes and radio frequency identification (RFID). When attendees enter the venue details, placing Beacon within the selected value prompts them to join the conversation. They can now socialize with other attendees in the same session or join a discussion forum.

coma

Conclusion

We may be safer if we can automate our interactions with the digital world. Siri, Alexa, Nest, and, of course, BLE beacons are examples of technology that can make our lives easier by making information more accessible and actionable. We are on the verge of something big, but it might be a while before every house has a beacon on its front door listening for renters coming and going. 

In the previous sections, we discussed the main aspects and app development steps of Bluetooth Low Energy 5, which provide a significant improvement over Bluetooth Low Energy 4.2, in multiple terms. With these new enhancements and promises, Bluetooth Low Energy will become more and more integrated into our daily lives.

Content Team

This blog is from Mindbowser‘s content team – a group of individuals coming together to create pieces that you may like. If you have feedback, please drop us a message on contact@mindbowser.com

Get in touch for a detailed discussion.

Hear From Our 100+ Customers
coma

Mindbowser helped us build an awesome iOS app to bring balance to people’s lives.

author
ADDIE WOOTTEN
CEO, SMILINGMIND
coma

We had very close go live timeline and MindBowser team got us live a month before.

author
Shaz Khan
CEO, BuyNow WorldWide
coma

They were a very responsive team! Extremely easy to communicate and work with!

author
Kristen M.
Founder & CEO, TotTech
coma

We’ve had very little-to-no hiccups at all—it’s been a really pleasurable experience.

author
Chacko Thomas
Co-Founder, TEAM8s
coma

Mindbowser is one of the reasons that our app is successful. These guys have been a great team.

author
Dave Dubier
Founder & CEO, MangoMirror
coma

Mindbowser was very helpful with explaining the development process and started quickly on the project.

author
Hieu Le
Executive Director of Product Development, Innovation Lab
coma

The greatest benefit we got from Mindbowser is the expertise. Their team has developed apps in all different industries with all types of social proofs.

author
Alex Gobel
Co-Founder, Vesica
coma

Mindbowser is professional, efficient and thorough. 

author
MacKenzie R
Consultant at XPRIZE
coma

Very committed, they create beautiful apps and are very benevolent. They have brilliant Ideas.

author
Laurie Mastrogiani
Founder, S.T.A.R.S of Wellness
coma

MindBowser was great; they listened to us a lot and helped us hone in on the actual idea of the app.” “They had put together fantastic wireframes for us.

author
Bennet Gillogly
Co-Founder, Flat Earth
coma

They're very tech-savvy, yet humble.

author
Uma Nidmarty
CEO, GS Advisorate, Inc.
coma

Ayush was responsive and paired me with the best team member possible, to complete my complex vision and project. Could not be happier.

author
Katie Taylor
Founder, Child Life On Call
coma

As a founder of a budding start-up, it has been a great experience working with Mindbower Inc under Ayush's leadership for our online digital platform design and development activity.

author
Radhika Kotwal
Founder of Courtyardly
coma

The team from Mindbowser stayed on task, asked the right questions, and completed the required tasks in a timely fashion! Strong work team!

author
Michael Wright
Chief Executive Officer, SDOH2Health LLC
coma

They are focused, patient and; they are innovative. Please give them a shot if you are looking for someone to partner with, you can go along with Mindbowser.

author
David Cain
CEO, thirty2give
coma

We are a small non-profit on a budget and they were able to deliver their work at our prescribed budgets. Their team always met their objectives and I'm very happy with the end result. Thank you, Mindbowser team!!

author
Bart Mendel
Founder, Mindworks
coma

Mindbowser was easy to work with and hit the ground running, immediately feeling like part of our team.

author
George Hodulik
CEO, Stealth Startup, Ex-Google