5 IoT applications for an optimized Bluetooth Tag connection

Published on 23 juill. 2019 In: The LAB

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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!

5 IoT applications for an optimized Bluetooth Tag connection

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.


nRF Connect – Android & iOS



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:


  • Ability to scan Low Energy Bluetooth devices
  • Supports parsing of Advertising data
  • Integrated Signal Strength Indicator (RSSI) and graphical monitoring
  • Discovery and parsing of the various services and features
  • Allows you to read and write characteristics
  • And many more...


It is a perfect starting point for anyone who wants to start discovering the BLE environment.


LightBlue – Andoid & iOS



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:


  • Scanning BLE devices
  • Discovering the various BLE technology services and features
  • Explore in depth BLE technology services and features related information
  • Display the BLE Device current RSSI


BLE Scanner - Android & iOS



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:


  • Scan BLE devices
  • Discovery of services and features of BLE
  • Access to services and features
  • View the current RSSI of Device BLE


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 - Android



"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.


Bluetooth LE Explorer – Windows 10



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:


  • Use the interface to connect to already paired devices
  • Listing of services and features
  • Reading and writing functionalities


To remember


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.