[iOS/iPadOS 13] “App would like to use Bluetooth” – What is this, and what should you do?
I just thought I’d make a quick post about this given that iOS 13 will be released tomorrow, and this question will come up a lot.
The first time you open an app after a fresh install, or update an app, you will be met with a pop up that looks like [this](https://imgur.com/a/fq1hNTp).
The reason that apps are now asking for permission, is because Apple is giving users more control of what apps get access to. IIRC, the last time Apple implemented something like this was for Apple Music (basically, allowing apps to allow your Apple Music songs, data). The latest moves are Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.
Bluetooth, however, it’s something that a lot of apps use, for almost anything. It goes from setting up and managing accessories, discovering Chromecast devices, knowing whether you are connected to a car or not. It doesn’t affect the audio, so if you disable Bluetooth access for say, Spotify, audio will play just fine on your Bluetooth device but some app features will be disabled (more below)
The problem now, is that apps are just asking you to give access to Bluetooth, but aren’t explaining why exactly. Until apps get updated to provide information, I’d thought I’d make a general list of apps that will ask for Bluetooth access and why they want it.
Just a note, for Chromecast-enabled apps: In order for a guest to find your Chromecast device, they need Bluetooth enabled for the app to find it. This info is all laid out on [Google’s Developer page](https://developers.google.com/cast/docs/ios_sender/ios13_changes)
Here is the list:
Category (or individual apps) | Why?
Navigation Apps| Used to track your car’s location and tell you where you parked; Used to enable car-view (applicable in some apps)
Spotify | Used to enable [Car-View](https://www.theverge.com/2019/1/16/18185644/spotify-car-view-now-testing-android-simple-controls)
Video Apps | Used for Chromecast casting
Facebook | Used for Chromecast
Google app | Used for Chromecast
Amazon | Used to setup [Dash Wand](https://www.amazon.com/gp/help/customer/display.html?nodeId=202084170)
Tile, Fitbit | Used to connect to accessories
Google Home, other smart home apps | Used to connect to accessories
Snapchat | Spectacles
Hopefully you get the idea on why some apps request Bluetooth. In the case of [iBeacons](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBeacon), in order for an app to get access to your location via beacons, the app needs location (GPS) permissions, not Bluetooth so this won’t be affected by you deciding to deny Bluetooth permissions to an app.
Are some apps requesting for tracking? Could be. We don’t know. There is no evidence. Could be happening though, or not. Up to you to think about it. Though, [Apple is emailing developers to let them know that they need to tell you why they want Bluetooth](https://blog.estimote.com/post/186160021855/get-ready-for-ios-13-bluetooth-and-location), so hopefully you will be able to tell when an app is lying about why they need BT and you figure out whether they are tracking you, or not.