Troubleshooting iBeacon Background Triggering

We wrote last November on how iBeacon triggering on iOS 10 was unreliable on some phones. As of now, with iOS 10.2.1, iBeacon background triggering still isn’t reliable on all iOS 10 phones. Strangely it works on all iOS 9 phones. However, here are some things we have found that have helped:

  • Many beacons set the advertising period higher than Apple recommends to conserve battery. Try setting it to 100ms to see if it solves your problem. If so, gradually increase the advertising period to determine the ‘best’ value. We also have an article on Choosing an Advertising Interval.
  • We have found some phones don’t detect iBeacons at all, not even in foreground when the app is running. While it’s drastic, a reset of phone settings usually gets these phones working. ‘Reset All Settings’ will reset the phone and app settings but will keep your documents and apps. Go to Settings… General and select ‘Reset’. Select ‘Reset All Settings’. The phone will reboot. You will need to set up things like WiFi again as well as, importantly, Settings … Privacy … Location. Uninstall the beacon app that was misbehaving and re-install. ‘Ok’ all the permission prompts again.
  • iOS can only do so much when in background. If a lot of apps are also looking for beacons (regions) or your app has lots of regions, there might not be enough hardware acceleration slots to detect your beacon. To test this, uninstall other apps that might have registered beacon regions and/or reduce the number of regions being detected in your app.

UPDATE for iOS 11: This problem seems to have been fixed with iOS 11.0.3