Apple approves a Bluetooth on/off toggle app for your home screen

Apple has approved an app called Bluetooth OnOff that simply allows you to turn your Bluetooth connection on and off from your home screen. Apple hasn’t previously permitted any apps that connect and interact to stock settings until now; so this is an interesting development.

Did it take too many steps just to turn on/off bluetooth? You can now turn on/off just by launching this app. Just in a second, you can activate or deactivate Bluetooth.

The app is extremely simple to use, once installed you have an icon on your home screen. If you click on it, a screen loads with a Bluetooth toggle switch, you can then turn Bluetooth on. If Bluetooth is already turned on then loading the app will give you the option to turn it off. The best way of using the app is to go into the apps settings and turn the OnOff switch to on. This enables you to now toggle Bluetooth On / Off from your home screen with one tap of the app icon.

Shortcuts similar to this were very popular when iOS 5 was initially launched. You could use Safari Bookmarklets to add various on/off settings to your home screen. This type of interaction was broken by Apple with the release of iOS 5.1.

It is very interesting that this app is now available but we don’t know if it is a mistake by Apple. It may be pulled at any minute or it could be a sign that Apple is prepared to allow apps that make its users life easier. Let’s be honest, turning systems settings on and off should not be anywhere near as tedious as it is now.

I hope that Apple finally addresses this problem with iOS 6. In the meantime let’s see if this app stays in the App Store. Maybe we will start to see more approved apps that allow us to toggle Wi-Fi and other system settings too.

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UK editor at iMore, mobile technology lover and air conditioning design engineer.

  • Charging money for that is offensive.
  • Why is that offensive? Someone has spent time and effort to write that. Do you do whatever you do for work and not get paid? What's the difference? A big problem in the AppStore has been the "race to the bottom" where everyone was trying to be cheaper than everyone else and then started to release apps for free. This has now lead to the situation where people expect to get everything for free. If it's an app that you can't see any use for, fine - don't buy it. If it's an app that solves a particular problem for you then why shouldn't you reward the developer by paying? Plus it's less than a dollar!
  • @Andy, I already made this app (my own version) Under my own development account - I didn't (wont) release it on the app store as I only made it for my own purposes. It took me about 20 lines of code and a spare hour to figure out how to do it.
    It's not worth a dollar. It's the same principal of paying for a 'Flashlight' app. Not worth it (unless the app does something other than turn on your phones LED)
  • Just in case I haven't posted right does the code for Bluetooth/Wifi etc work on an iphone 5 running 6.1.4 ? thanks................Dave.
  • I agree, it should be part of the OS.
  • That's a different argument to it being "offensive to have to pay for it".
  • And if there were ads in there there would be a complaint about that too. There's no such thing as a free lunch.
    In the end, hopefully iOS 6 uses setting widgets, maybe in Notification Center.
  • Then make your own application.
  • It's kind of like a widget.. Only it is shaped like an app.. It has only one function.. And it costs extra..
  • Cant believe they are charging money for it! Its too simple app ny one who has played with xcode for some time can make it.
  • So then make one and don't charge for it.
  • "They" is an app developer who put time and money into this to try to add functionality that Apple left out or simply refuses to give us. Don't hate the player, hate the game.
  • Off you go then - write one and release it for free. But don't forget that the developer would have had to pay for the equipment, their time, the Apple developer account, the electricity bills, etc.
  • Another proclamation from the entitled generation.
  • Agreed.
  • Baby Boomers? They're the ultimate entitlement generation.
  • Well Ahitagni and Ian, if you are so smart and think that you have a right to post such an opinion, then prove it !!. Have balls, not only to post that something is trivial and should be free ... which takes no courage at all. Go ahead, I challenge you, fire up XCode (that is if you really know what it is) and make a BT on/off switching app in no time flat, and then post it to the app store for FREE. If you can do so, then you have earned the right to post what you posted. If you don't do it, it means that you are simply one of those people that think everything should be free, and that everybody owes them.
  • Since I don't have the skill to make it myself, .99 is a very fair price. It's offensive to expect people to work for free.
  • Don't get me wrong...I love my iOS devices, but for god's sake, it's pathetic that we have to have apps/jailbreaks for this functionality. I'm sure that the next big iOS update will add quick toggle controls for wifi, bluetooth, etc.. However, this should have been done a while ago.
    When this feature is announced at a future Apple Event, everyone will be "oooohing" and "ahhhhing" and standing up and cheering like its the coolest thing ever. Sad thing is, I'll probably be one of them.
    Apple products are like crack.
  • I hear you. Though part of me feels that some of the applause is of the "FINALLY!!!!" nature.
  • Toggle doesn't exist until Apple invents it.
  • I don't get it. Why would I want to pay for this!
    2 more touches to do it from the settings app.
    If this were a NC toggle then maybe. Otherwise it doesn't do anything useful.
  • Although it's about time saved, not just touches, I almost agree with you since one STILL has to go to the home screen to use the feature. That's pretty damned close to just going to Settings.
  • Imagine those 2 extra touches while driving it took about 10 seconds for me to turn Bluetooth on and at 65 mph I traveled 960 feet with my eyes going from phone to road and back again, something as simple as this should be just that. SIMPLE
  • Turn on your Bluetooth before you start driving, problem solved
  • Its not that simple, Apple should have had a power control widget for a long time now.
    just like android has had for years now.
  • What's really interesting about this is the BluetoothManager framework is a private framework and so is actually against Apple's Developer Terms of Service so shouldn't ever be allowed in the store.... no matter how much I want to feature.
    I'd have written one myself in 10 seconds (it's really only a 3 line bit of code) if it was a public api.
  • money for this !!!
  • eh I never turn Bluetooth off anyway. should have been a wifi toggle!
  • You must have a battery cover or something similar. The reason why BT has to go on/off all the time is juice!
  • I have a feeling they allowed the app so they can monitor how many idiots....ehem... Sorry,....people actually purchase this and THEN implement into future iOS versions.
  • I bought it ASAP! Call me an idiot if you wa t but I am constantly having to turn Bluetooth o /off on my iPad to disconnect the keyboard. Saving me two touches at least 2 times a day for .99 is worth it to me. Having said that I also expect a refund once Apple realizes that they let this one out of the bag but I'll still have my app, at least until the next update that is.
  • 99 cents is nothing. But I bet Apple will implement this.
  • Well there have been jailbreak toggles for settings since long before OS 5, but apple didn't bother to add it in then. Why would they bother now?
  • Why can't this be included as part of SIRI - just speak to turn bluetooth or wifi off and on -
  • That would be nice but I would settle for the toggles provided by competing products.
  • They do have that but you have to jailbreak lol. It's called siritoggles
  • That would be just to complicated for the masses.
  • Weird. My Playbook has a button that does this right at the top of the screen...
  • Don't get me started. My Palm Pre would allow me to toggle wifi and Bluetooth, switches devices and networks, from each and every screen and from each and every app on the device.
    People wonder why we were just Palm loyalists. That's why. Or, that KIND of things why.
    In many ways, Palm was Apple Jr, but sometimes the kid would dunk on his dad.
    It sounds simple to some, but these types of ui elements make a much more enjoyable experience possible. Luckily, Apple's got a helluva lot of other awesome features to make up for their shortcomings.
  • Couldn't have said it better!
    By the way, why would I want to turn off Bluetooth, anyway?!
  • Co-sign what Michael M just said!
  • I'm gonna wait til ios 6, I just know apple is gonna address this.
  • Be careful what you ask for Apple might make you answer 3 security questions before you can change any settings.
  • Playbook? is that the revolutionary product that saved RIM and knocked iPad off it's perch??
    No? Are you sure?
  • Maybe Apple allowing this has something to do with the spotty Bluetooth functionality in iOS 5. The connection with my car's handsfree system was useless after upgrading to 5 and if you search Apple Support Communities, iOS 5.0 had similar problems with many bluetooth devices.
    5.1 improved things somewhat, but for it to be reliable, I still have to toggle bluetooth at least once per day. Apple has never publically acknowledged this problem, to the frustration of many. Perhaps this is Apple's way of letting people more easily get around the problem, which is why there is not a toggle for other things, such as wifi.
    Of course, Apple could just fix the bluetooth issues with iOS 5 ...
  • I know this will cause people to flame me.
    But this is something Android has hit the nail on the head with.
    They widgets for once touch control of phone settings
    and they have the stock power control bar widget.
    Its not like Apple couldnt do this too.
    Its just that they chose not to allow you do be able to have that.
    Hopefully this changes in the next iOS update.
  • I wonder sometimes if Apple purposely holds off on expanding core OS utilities in order to make money via app development and increase the app store numbers for publicity.
  • OMG it's so exhausting to click the Settings app and go to Bluetooth. Seriously, how f**king lazy have we become?! This app is saving you from making two "clicks" with your fat little sausage fingers.
  • Actually, 4 clicks. 1) Settings, 2)General, 3) Bluetooth 4) toggle switch. If you want or need to do this everyday, then it can become a PIA real quick. With the popularity of BT, Apple could at least moved the BT menu up to the same level as WiFi and it wouldn't be as bad. Of course, a whole new toggle system would be nice.
    And btw, if you configure the OnOff app correctly, then toggling BT on and off becomes a 1 click affair.
  • How did you configure the app for one touch on/off?
  • I believe JNGold is mistaken.
  • actually he was not mistaken. but a more specific statement would have been nice.
    one-tap functionality can be enabled in the settings app. scroll down to "OnOff" (not "Bluetooth," which is where I expected it to be, alphabetically, leading me to my incorrect conclusion above).
  • You all can stop complaining when Apple updates Siri to be able to control settings on the device directly. You will simply say "Siri, turn on Bluetooth." and it'll do it. That's how Apple will make this happen, not some bullcrap toggle app or widget. The idea of widgets is to get something done quickly and without you having to spend too much time looking at the device. Using Siri for such functions is the best way to do it. All they have to do is just give her the local resources on the device so that she doesn't need to connect to the network backend to be able to do these simpler tasks.
  • Thats not a solution because Siri involves an Internet connection. They just need to creat a settings widget in the notification center to control basic settings like wireless, Bluetooth, airplane mode, gps, etc. That doesn't mean Siri can't be involved too.
  • Oops I ignored your local resources part. Sorry. I'm still not sold on people talking to their phone to toggle on and off basic settings as the best solution. It would be best as a complimentary function.
  • I can just imagine it now...
    "Siri, turn on Bluetooth"
    "One moment...I'm thinking...I'm sorry I couldn't process your request, please try again later"
    I think I would would rather see toggles in notification center then Siri support
  • No way. Then I have to push a button and say four whole words. That's to much effort. I want to be able to just headbutt my phone and wha la.
  • This is cool. But I wouldn't really need it as I rarely use Bluetooth. Now if they make one for quickly toggling Wi-Fi on & off, I'll buy it without hesitation. 99¢ is no big deal...
    Another idea I just had (and I'm sure I'm not the first one to think of this): They should put these toggle switches on the notification shade (Android style) so you can just pull it down and get instant access to the switches (that was one thing I miss about my old Android device). I'm not counting on it, tho...
  • This exists on the jailbreak side.
  • I think what is hilarious are the people who are so "offended" by this are the same people who have spent 99 cents for an app that most people would think it's a complete waste, so who are you crappin?
    By the way, I bought it and it works fabiously! I'm a person that has bought garbage apps and this is by far not the worst 99 cents I have spent.
  • @Quintus - Go to Settings and scroll down to the app and left click on it. It will bring up a side screen with a on/off slide toggle. If you slide the toggle on, you'll be able to turn Bluetooth on and off with one touch....worth the 99 cents.
  • Does having Bluetooth on really drain that much of ur battery that u need to turn it on and off?? Just wondering cause I'm debating getting this app if it will help with battery life.
  • I can see using this to switch my bluetooth keyboard connection between my ipad and iphone. But, not needing yet another app to switch keyboard connections would be more ideal. *sigh
  • Its such as you learn my mind! You seem to understand so much about this, like you wrote the ebook in it or something. I think that you simply could do with a few p.c. to power the message house a bit, but other than that, that is fantastic blog. An excellent read. I will definitely be back.
  • ...and it's gone.
  • I just bought the app from the app store. 2pm CST. and It just keeps searching for iphones, pods and other. Does not turn my bluetooth on or off. Did the app get pulled and I got stuck buying a non existant app?
  • Late to the Party, but I have an Origami Case with a BT keyboard on my desk at work. Often I work right until I have to go to a meeting, pick up the ipad and wander down the hallway. If I am in range of the keyboard, I have to go in, interrupt my workflow and manually toggle the setting off just to unbind the keyboard and get the iPad to allow me to enter text. Then when I get back to the desk, I get to do it again.
    This is probably the case 3-4 times a day and it's frustrating.
    If apple really wants to push iPad into content creation (and signs are pointing towards this) then they need to fix this like nuts.