Book Image

Learning iBeacon

By : Craig Gilchrist
Book Image

Learning iBeacon

By: Craig Gilchrist

Overview of this book

Table of Contents (16 chapters)
Learning iBeacon
About the Author
About the Reviewers

The companion OS X application and website

In order to complete the tutorials in this book, you don't need to be in possession of any iBeacon hardware since there's a companion app that lets your Mac act as an iBeacon using its built-in Bluetooth adapter provided it has Bluetooth 4.0.

You can download the companion app from the companion website as well as all of the code tutorials from the app. You can download the companion app and code samples from:

If your machine doesn't have Bluetooth 4.0, there's no need to worry. You can pick up a Bluetooth 4.0 USB dongle for under $ 15 that will allow the companion app to work.

To see if your Mac is Bluetooth 4.0 enabled, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the Apple icon in the status bar.

  2. Select About This Mac.

  3. Click on the More Info button.

  4. Click on the System Report button.

  5. Select Bluetooth from the sidebar on the left, underneath Hardware.

  6. Scan down the list of information until you find LMP Version, as shown:

If your Mac is equipped with Bluetooth 4.0, LMP Version will say 0x6. Anything lower than that is an older version of Bluetooth and will need a USB dongle.

The Mac in the preceding screenshot needs a dongle.

The earlier screenshot shows a MacBook Pro fitted with Bluetooth 3.1 and will need a USB dongle.

The Mac in the preceding screenshot shows the same MacBook Pro with a USB dongle fitted.


While writing this book, I used a MacBook Pro from late 2011, which unfortunately is only fitted with Bluetooth 3.1. I picked up a pluggable USB-BT4LE Bluetooth 4.0 USB Adapter for $ 13, which enabled my MacBook for iBeacon transmissions.

Using the companion app

The companion app is used throughout the book and lets you use your Mac as an iBeacon. It can be downloaded from the download section of the Packt Publishing website and comes preconfigured with all of the beacons used throughout the book.

Using the companion app, you can simulate physical beacons in the real world using any Bluetooth-4.0-powered Mac running OS X Mavericks or Mountain Lion.

Companion app broadcasting an iBeacon signal

The companion OS X app has beacons configured already for every tutorial in this book. To start a beacon, simply select the beacon from the tutorial from the menu on the left, and then tap on the power button in the right panel.

The features of the companion app can be seen in the following table:



Add new iBeacon profiles to suit your own development needs using the add button

Remove iBeacon profiles using the minus button

If you lose some of the tutorial beacons, then reset the app iBeacon profiles using the reset button