Turn Your Mac Into a Beacon? YES, You Can!

You can turn your Macintosh computer into a fully configurable Bluetooth LE beacon. With Radius Networks at it again, life just got a lot more pain-free for the rest of us with the launch of their MacBeacon app.

A few short weeks ago we were running around town looking for a Bluetooth LE dongle on the understanding that you couldn’t access the Bluetooth LE capabilities of your Mac. We picked up a tiny little adapter from IOGear and set up a virtual machine using the instructions at Radius. Everything worked fine and the beacon gave a nice sturdy signal strength and let us run rapid tests of beacon detection.

A handy little tutorial over on Blended Cocoa explored how to use the CBPeripheralManager class to turn your Mavericks Mac machine into a beacon – but we got too caught up in playing with all of our real beacons to do anything more than glance at the code.

Radius MacBeacon
Radius MacBeacon

Now, you can avoid all the running around that we had to do. Grab the kit from Radius and you’re good to go. You’ll be up-and-running in minutes and using your desktop as a test beacon for your iOS or Android apps.

Now, if only Apple would let you use the simulator in XCode as a beacon ‘receiver’ we’d be really getting somewhere. The inability to use the simulator to test across different devices and OS versions is a headache – a business that Radius increasingly seems to be in the business of curing.

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