gbk gbk - 1 year ago 61
Objective-C Question

BLE background reconnect

I want to reconnect to BLE device after device is moved out/terminated by user or system/reboted in background mode.

I know that it's possible : - see this question with description

Question - How can i setup

centralManager
for automatically reconnect to peripheral in background mode if app was terminated? Can someone describe step-by-step how it can be done?

Few word about current implementation:

I create centralManager with options like:

self.centralManager = [[CBCentralManager alloc] initWithDelegate:self queue:nil options:@{
CBCentralManagerOptionRestoreIdentifierKey: @"myCentralManagerIdentifier",
CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanServicesKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanOptionsKey : @YES
}];


After that i start to scan for BLE device

[self.centralManager scanForPeripheralsWithServices:[self discoverableCharacteristics] options:nil];


in
- (void)centralManager:(CBCentralManager *)central didDiscoverPeripheral:(CBPeripheral *)peripheral advertisementData:(NSDictionary *)advertisementData RSSI:(NSNumber *)RSSI
i connect to peripheral:

NSString *localName = [advertisementData objectForKey:CBAdvertisementDataLocalNameKey];
[self.centralManager stopScan];
peripheral.delegate = self;
[self.centralManager connectPeripheral:peripheral options: @{
CBConnectPeripheralOptionNotifyOnNotificationKey : @YES
}];


After that i can discover services and characteristics - all looks like ok. When i discover characteristic and read/write data i
cancelPeripheralConnection


in didDisconnect i reconnect to device

- (void)centralManager:(CBCentralManager *)central didDisconnectPeripheral:(CBPeripheral *)peripheral error:(nullable NSError *)error
{
[central connectPeripheral:peripheral options:nil];
}


i also implement
centralManager:willRestoreState:
like:

NSArray *peripherals = dict[CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey];
for (CBPeripheral *peripheral in peripherals) {
[central connectPeripheral:peripheral options:nil];
peripheral.delegate = nil;
}


In plist. added required key
App communicates using CoreBluetooth
.

Currently if i connected to device and terminate it - it relaunch automatically and connect to device - all it's ok, but if it's terminated again - nothing is happening.

Also if i moved out from peripheral and that come back - nothing happened.




Update

regarding point 5 - my fall - should use this key with
connectPeripheral


in
WillRestoreState:


NSArray *peripherals = dict[CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey];
if (!peripherals.count) {
peripherals = [central retrievePeripheralsWithIdentifiers:[self discoverableCharacteristics]];
}

if (peripherals.count) {
for (CBPeripheral *peripheral in peripherals) {
[central connectPeripheral:peripheral options:@{
CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanServicesKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanOptionsKey : @YES
}];
}
} else {
[self startScanning];
}


Current result - app will relaunched if it not swiped out from tray. I use my mac as a peripheral, so some times when i not launch app that make role of peripheral central can connect to mac itself not to required service.

Another question - are it's good option to reconnect to peripheral while lost connection for keeping connection like:

- (void)centralManager:(CBCentralManager *)central didDisconnectPeripheral:(CBPeripheral *)peripheral error:(nullable NSError *)error
{
[central connectPeripheral:peripheral options:@{
CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanServicesKey : @YES,
CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanOptionsKey : @YES
}];
}


Also try to change notify characteristic on peripheral and read it on device. If all done in foreground - all works perfect, but in case connection was done in background some times
didUpdateValueForCharacteristic
not called at all, but
didUpdateNotificationStateForCharacteristic
is called with no error - this mean (i think) that something was done wrong by my side. Maybe u can advice where problem can be

And one more question - is there is some restriction in writing data to characteristics? because in apple sample it's setuped to 20 bytes.

Answer Source

First off I wanna start by saying that I have been working with CoreBluetooth for about two years now and from what I have noticed CoreBluetooth State Preservation and Restoration does not work reliably at all. You can get it working sort of "ok", but you will never get it to reconnect reliably unless Apple fixes it some day.

Having said that, I want to note a few things on your setup.

1) In centralManager:willRestoreState: you can only retrieve peripherals that has done any communication while the app was terminated. This means that you should also implement centralManagerDidUpdateState: and if the state is CBCentralManagerStatePoweredOn then you can use the retrievePeripheralsWithIdentifiers: method to retrieve the other peripheral and reset their delegate as well. This of course means that you have to stor the peripheral identifiers somewhere in your app somewhere. Also remember to reset pending connections here as well.

2) You set the delegate to nil in centralManager:willRestoreState:! So even if it does connect then you will not know about it i:P

3) Your app will only get relaunched if the app was terminated by the system. It will not get relaunched if you manually swipe-kill it from the application list. Neither will it get relaunched if the device is rebooted, unfortunately.

4) The CBConnectPeripheralOptionNotifyOnConnectionKey is not necessary when using the bluetooth-central background mode and is just annoying for a user so I would not use it.

5) CBCentralManagerRestoredStatePeripheralsKey, CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanServicesKey, CBCentralManagerRestoredStateScanOptionsKey are not valid initialisation options so I don’t get why you are using those..

5) If the bluetooth switches state while the app is terminated then all pending connections will be lost and you will not be relaunched to know about it. This on its own effectively means that State Restoration is rather useless.

Anyhow, I am sad to say it, but if you are developing an app that must rely on the peripheral being reconnected in the background then I wold not recommend doing it. You will be frustrated. I could probably write an essay about all the bugs in Core Bluetooth that Apple does not want to fix. Even more frightening is that you can pretty easily ruin the bluetooth connectivity globally on the device from one single app so that no app can use bluetooth until the device is rebooted. This is pretty bad since it goes against Apples own Sandboxing principle.

If you need any more help, just let me know!

/A

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