If you’re new to Bluetooth® technology, and are looking for some help to learn how to develop smartphone applications or device firmware which involves Bluetooth Low Energy (LE), the Bluetooth LE Developer Study Guide is the best place to start. It’s available for download, and a new version is now available.

The Bluetooth LE Developer Study Guide provides an introduction to the basic theory of Bluetooth LE, as well as extensive, hands-on coding opportunities via a collection of coding projects (known as labs), based around the control of a simple electronic circuit which you will build. There are labs focused on developing a  Bluetooth LE peripheral which will interface with and control the electronic circuit, based on either a Raspberry Pi or, new in this release, a BBC micro:bit using the Zephyr open source RTOS. There are also labs focused on the development of a smartphone client application using Java for Android, Swift for iOS, or Apache Cordova for a platform-agnostic mobile application. Using the mobile application, you can then connect to and control the peripheral device with the aid of a GUI.

Figure 1 – Bluetooth LE Developer Study Guide with Zephyr on micro:bit 

Bluetooth LE Developer Study Guide Update

There are two changes in this release.

Zephyr

A new platform for peripheral development has been introduced which uses the Zephyr OS running on a micro:bit.

Zephyr is an open source operating system for constrained devices. Using the Zephyr SDK (software development kit), it’s possible to build binaries for a large selection of supported target boards of which, at this time, over 150 are supported. The APIs are comprehensive and there’s a large community of developers using and contributing to it. Amongst the boards supported is the BBC micro:bit, which is a small, affordable board which supports Bluetooth® LE 4.0. Note that the Bluetooth Mesh Developer Study Guide also uses Zephyr on micro:bits.

Arduino Deprecation

The Arduino 101 and Primo boards which were used in one of the peripheral labs can no longer be purchased, and a suitable alternative from Arduino is not yet available. The Arduino 101/Primo lab has therefore been deprecated. It’s still packaged with the study guide, but you’ll now find it in the legacy folder with various other blasts from the past like the BlackBerry 10 lab I wrote about 5 years ago! FYI, in the legacy folder, you’ll also find labs for Arduino Uno, Windows Phone, iOS using Objective-C, and Android using the old v4 APIs. We’ll continue to make these labs available for the foreseeable future for those of you with older equipment to hand, but they will no longer be maintained.

Over to You!

The Bluetooth® LE Developer Study Guide is a great way to get up to speed with the theory of Bluetooth LE and then reinforce your new knowledge with hands-on software development experience. It so happens it’s a lot of fun as well. Download the Bluetooth LE Developer Study Guide today and get coding with Bluetooth!

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