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LightBlue Explorer - Bluetooth Low Energy

By Punch Through

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LightBlue Explorer can connect you to all of your devices that use Bluetooth 4.0 Low Energy (also known as Bluetooth Smart, or Bluetooth Light).

LightBlue Explorer has two modes, central and peripheral. In central mode, you can scan for and connect to all BLE devices around you. Once connected, you have a detailed view of all the device's profiles, from which you can read and write to characteristics and subscribe to notifications.

To use peripheral mode, tap the blue circle next to one of the profiles listed under "Virtual Peripherals." When the blue checkmark appears, your iOS device will begin advertising as that particular BLE peripheral. LightBlue Explorer allows you to customize the services and characteristics of any virtual peripheral profile. Tap the "+" in the top right corner of the home screen to add new virtual peripherals. You can also clone any peripheral you connect to in central mode and save that profile to your list of virtual peripherals.

Full support of read, write, and notify is included. You can view the signal strength (RSSI) to get an idea of how close you are to the peripheral.

The log feature allows you to keep track of all significant BLE events that occur while using the app (e.g., device discovery, connection, reading, writing).

Use LightBlue Explorer to test your new BLE Heart Rate Monitor, temperature sensor, TI CC2540 Keyfob, Nordic uBlue, Panasonic PAN1720, etc. LightBlue Explorer is also ideal for developers wanting to test the firmware of their own BLE peripherals.

Key Features:
- Scan for any peripherals
- Grab basic device info (UUID, RSSI )
- Browse Characteristics and Services
- Register for Notifications
- Read Characteristics
- Write to Characteristics in Hex, Oct, Bin, Decimal or Ascii
- Clone peripheral profiles
- Choose from an array of common preconfigured peripheral profiles
- Advertise as a peripheral using custom profiles
- Thoroughly log BLE events

This app will not work on iPhone4, iPhone3GS, iPhone3G or iPod Touches before the 5th generation, or any other iOS device without built-in Bluetooth Low Energy support.

What's New in Version 2.4.0

* Added new feature that allows the user to sort and filter discovered devices by signal strength.
* Fixed alignment of alert that occurs when Bluetooth is turned off.


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Customer Reviews


Well, I lost my Fitbit - knew I had it before I went into a Steinmart store the other day. Searched for what to do and found this app. Really didn't know how it worked, but when I entered the store, a "One" came up on the app. OK, so I lost a One - so maybe mine? Or it could have been someone else in the store wearing "One"? Anyway - moved to each dressing room I was in earlier - the "One" greyed out - asked if anyone found a Fitbit - no, nothing in lost and found. Near the cash register I was getting a stronger signal from the app, so I started my Fitbit app - and it synced! So I knew MY Fitbit was nearby - but where? Asked the cashiers to look around... Keep "pinging" the Fitbit - people thought I was playing Pokemon LOL! Narrowed the search to one cash register area - asked the cashier to look in a drawer - and there was my Fitbit! Amazing!

Useful for Developers, too!

LightBlue brags on their website that their app is the top-rated Bluetooth Low Energy (BLTE) test app on the market, with over 350,000 users. I am skeptical that there are even 350,000 BLTE developers on the market. And, indeed, looking at the reviews it seems most users have downloaded the app as a glorified Fitbit locator.

Now, I don't have a Fitbit that needs finding. I am, however, pleased to report that the app actually functions quite nicely according to its ostensible purpose as well. As a developer working with BLTE devices, it's a useful complement to my other developer tools, both in terms of being able to connect to any generic BLTE device, but also for being able to create a "virtual peripheral" for testing, in particular, advertising formats.

[LightBlue also uses it as a marketing vehicle for their consultancy and products, which is unobtrusive and a well-deserved compensation for contributing an otherwise free tool to the market.]

That all said, I think it's worth acknowledging that LightBlue has exposed a need in the market for a genetic BLTE ranging app. And, indeed, an entrepreneural app developer could probably make a healthy supplement to their income by making a purpose-built "FitBit Finder" for $0.99.

Helped find Fitbit

My wife couldn't find her Fitbit, but it was syncing when she was in the bedroom or the garage below. We had it narrowed to 2 big rooms. Unfortunately, in the garage we have our laundry as well, so we needed to narrow it down. It gave a few 'false' high signal readings in one place. When we went into the closet, it got significantly higher. We were able to narrow it down and she found it in the pocket of the pants she had been wearing when she 'lost' it. And yes, my first question was 'you didn't check your pockets?'
Anyway, app definitely helped locating it. I'd recommend it. Just go slow as it takes a second for the signal to update. It's not like a metal detector that you can wave around.

LightBlue Explorer - Bluetooth Low Energy
View in iTunes
This app is designed for both iPhone and iPad
  • Free
  • Category: Utilities
  • Updated:
  • Version: 2.4.0
  • Size: 17.4 MB
  • Language: English
  • Seller:

Compatibility: Requires iOS 8.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

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