Published on 23 juill. 2019 In: The LAB
How would the world of connected objects look like without web applications and interfaces? Being able to control connected objects via your smartphone has become an essential need, even in today´s industry. To help you selecting the appropriate application, our team has tested 5 Andoid and iOS apps for you!
There are many applications on the market to connect and configure Bluetooth Low Energy Tags herefore it is not always easy to choose the one you need. Which key features must an IoT application provide? To which extent can we proceed with the configuration of Bluetooth Tags? To help you out, our R&D team has reviewed the following 5 applications.
The "nRF connect" application is a great introduction to the Bluetooth environment. It allows you to perform operations such as scanning, discovering and debugging your Bluetooth Low Energy devices. It provides a wide range of functionalities both for developers and for curious users.
This application supports a large number of different Bluetooth SIG Profiles, and allows you to perform specific operations related to Nordic hardware (which is the developer this application). Its major strengths are the following:
It is a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to start discovering the BLE environment.
The "LightBlue" application provides numerous BLE technology related functionalities, such as in the previous one. It is a little less "User Friendly" and less complete, but remains essential for performing simple operations such as:
Another application to use your phone as a Bluetooth scanner. "Ble Scanner" is quite similar to the previous ones and allows to realize the features that everyone expects from this type of applications:
However, the user experience as well as the design are a little more accurate. As an extra feature, there is an integrated radar allowing you to play with the RSSI level, to find out if the specific tags are nearby.
"nRF Toolbox" is an application that changes from those previously presented. It works with a wide range of BLE accessories.
Packaged in the form of buttons, the main "apps" of tests mostly illustrate health-oriented BLE profiles such as: speed and pace of a cyclist, heart rate monitor, thermometer, glucometers ... (BLE Profiles: Cycling Speed ??and Cadence, Heal Rate Monitor, Health Thermometer, Glucose Monitor ...).
For Nordic chip users, it also allows you to use the Nordic Uart service. The interface then makes it possible to define commands for writing via the service and receiving data. Convenient for developers, it allows to automate commands when you are connected to your device.
Last but not least, the DFU profile (Device Firmware Update) is also included. It allows you to download the image of the application Over The Air (OTA). It is compatible with Nordic Semi-Conductor nRF5x chips on which SoftDevice and Boorloader DFU are installed.
Finally yet importantly, here is a little Windows 10 application. Only a few of them provides a good ergonomics, nevertheless "Bluetooth LEExplorer" is a fairly simple one, enabling you to discover your devices and navigate through the Services and Features. It includes basic functions to be carried out through its interface, such as:
All applications currently available on the market provide the same basic functionalities; the difference actually resides in the user experience and design.
In addition, it is important to notice that some of them such as the "nRF Toolbox" application have been designed especially for developers, while some others are quite simple in order to be used by people with no specific technical knowledge.
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