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I am looking for a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) device that could send live sensor data from Arduino to iOS custom apps, not the app that is already in the app store. I would like to create my own apps to receive the sensor data. Or are there any other ways to achieve it?

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I would expect this to be pretty straight forward. Off hand, I can't think of anything that would be a major roadblock to creating your iOS apps. It seems like there are two problems you'll need to solve:

  1. Finding a BLE chip that is relatively easy to integrate with an Arduino, and
  2. Selecting the tools that you'll use on the iOS side to develop your app.

Since I haven't done this my self, I started off looking on the Arduino side – mostly because it seemed like the problems there would be larger. I searched on Google using the terms:

aruduino ble

I found quite a few candidates that look promising, here are some of the better ones:

  • Bluefruit LE - Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE 4.0) - nRF8001 Breakout - v1.0 – I put this one on the top of my list because the price is pretty reasonable (< $20 US) and Adafruit tends to do a good job of supporting their products with tutorials and at least a basic library that demonstrates the functionality of the device.

  • Redbear Labs - I don't know anything about Redbear, but they do well in Google searches and appear to have several products, including a BLE shield, that might do what you want.

  • BLEduino - this is a Kickstarter, and while it looks interesting, a very quick investigation didn't reveal a source where you can buy one.

The choice of devices will partly depend on what your ultimate goal is. Something like the BLEduino will give you an all-in-one package to build your project around. The downside of this is that you may be spending money on functionality that you don't need/want to duplicate. A breakout board like the Bluefruit LE gives you a smaller device and possibly more flexibility at the expense a bit more work to get up and running.

Next you'll need to select development tools. I started by searching with the terms:

ble swift ios

I got a number of promising results, including:

These first three look like good starting points for "getting your bearings," the following two are specific to actual boards.

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