Now that iOS 13 is in the hands of users around the globe, many people are starting to see new messages notifying them that apps are using Bluetooth. Users are then given the option of blocking or allowing that access.
But it might not be immediately obvious why some apps are asking for Bluetooth access in the first place.
While apps like Fitbit obviously need Bluetooth to connect to your fitness tracker apps like Macys and such, don’t. So why are they asking for it?
Apple added the new Bluetooth prompts for these exact situations. Some apps have been using Bluetooth to track users’ locations for years and we haven’t known about it. And now we do. In some cases apps from stores may be using Bluetooth to track your location in-store using some kind of beacons, allowing them to track footfall in specific areas of their stores. The same goes for malls and such, too.
In some cases though, there are apps like ESPN which happen to support Google’s Chromecast streaming platform. It tends to use the Bluetooth to locate nearby Chromecast-enabled devices to cater for the guest mode it offers.
It’s also important to note that apps don’t need to ask for permission to use Bluetooth when you’re using headphones – that’s all handled by iOS. If your music app is asking for access to Bluetooth it may be in relation to things like Chromecast, but if an app’s developer has done their job, the request will fully explain why they want access. If they don’t, think twice about whether you grant it or not. You can always change the setting again later by heading into the Settings app and finding the entry for the app in question.
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