There’s a new article at Bluetooth.com that explains how to capture Bluetooth packets on iOS. The PacketLogger can decode all protocols defined by the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and Apple, perform filtering, automatically highlight problems and search and export data.
This will work for both Core Location and Core Bluetooth. Core Location is using the iBeacon APIs while the lower level Core Bluetooth allows scanning and connection to any Bluetooth LE devices, not just beacons. It’s best to use the Core Location APIs and only use Core Bluetooth for more involved scenarios not supported by Core Location.
Note that Core Bluetooth, even though it’s lower level, can’t scan the iBeacon UUD, major and minor. Apple hides these values to force you to use Core Location.
iOS 13 has introduced changes to Location and Bluetooth permissions. Estimote has an excellent new post summarising the changes and their affect on apps using beacons.
The article differentiates between Core Location and Core Bluetooth. Core Location implies using the iBeacon APIs while Core Bluetooth is lower level and allows scanning and connection to any Bluetooth LE devices, not just beacons (but perversely can’t scan the iBeacon UUD, major and minor). If, as we recommend, you use the Apple Core Location APIs directly, only the Core Location permission changes will affect you.
There was time, during the release of iOS 10 when Core Location beacon detection was faulty. At that time, Estimote decided to create an alternative beacon detection API based on Core Bluetooth to circumvent the problems. This means that if you use their SDK, users of your apps will get both Location and Bluetooth prompts and both permissions are required for the Proximity SDK to function. The iOS 10 triggering problems have since been fixed.