Help for using BroodMinders with Android
The wide variety of Android variations presents a special problem for anybody developing Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices. The fact is, while the majority of devices work OK, some work poorly no matter how many tricks and work-arounds we try.
Here are some suggestions for things that may (or may not) help. They are listed in order. After the suggestions we will explain further for the interested student.
Thanks for all you do for your honeybees. Every hive counts.
For the interested student, here is more explanation of what we are finding and how we are trying to cope with it. We are open to any suggestions; we have spent weeks and weeks (and weeks) on this and have had some good help, but we are still frustrated.
We use CR2032 batteries because they fit in bee space and have long life. However, to get over a year out of them, we have to set our BLE advertising rate to 5 seconds. This seems like a good trade-off since changing batteries is somewhat involved.
Although 5 second advertising is within BLE specs, Apple recommends 1 second. However, every iOS device we test, works consistently and well. Android is all over the place.
Since each BLE driver is specific to the chip set and the phone manufacturer, there is little consistency. As with all implementations, some are more true to the specifications, and some are very buggy. We have seen great improvement over the last three years. Newer phones in general work much better.
Unfortunately, BLE can't be tested using the remote 1000 device test sites that are available. We have to test here at BroodMinder Global Headquarters. We test on the following: