A new bug in the Apple iBeacon stack is driving developers a bit, well, buggy – and leaving them wondering if it’s their code, the beacon or something else that’s causing problems in discovering beacons.
The bug causes iPhones to suddenly stop ranging for beacons.
Our team in the UK found a similar result this week – when a demo app suddenly stopped working for no apparent reason.
As David Young of Radius Networks reports:
We have received many reports at Radius Networks of phones stopping detecting iBeacons and requiring a reboot or turning Bluetooth off and back on again to resolve the situation. Folks have reported this on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5s, iPhone 5c and iPads.
I do not have any hard evidence that this is something that broke as of iOS 7.1, but the report frequency has gone way up since its release. The circumstantial evidence is therefore pretty strong.
When this phone gets into this state, the phone can still scan for bluetooth devices, and can still transmit as an iBeacon. It is therefore not a hardware problem with Bluetooth. Based on the available evidence, it is most likely a newly introduced bug in CoreLocation.
So if your app suddenly seems like it isn’t working with your beacons, give your phone a hard restart and see what happens.
This bug should be filed in the Mission Critical category over at Apple. With iBeacon deployment picking up steam on a nearly daily basis it’s bad news for everyone if consumers need to be told to hard restart their phones to get their apps to work.
And please share your insights or experiences in the comments below.
(And a hat tip to Ivan for first alerting us!)
Share Your Thoughts
Have you seen this bug since the release of iOS 7.1? What’s the frequency of losing ‘ranging’? Share your insights – at least we’ll all know that we haven’t gone crazy and that it’s not our code at fault, but Cupertino.