Can a bluetooth device, like a panic button, launch an app when pressed and have the app call a pre-programmed number or does the app have to be running for it to be accessed by the device?

2 Answers 2


iOS apps are allowed to monitor for specific Bluetooth LE(Low Energy)/4.0 device services in the background. But not regular (non-LE/4.x) Bluetooth devices.

However, iOS apps are not allowed to start a cellular phone call without specific user interaction (for obvious security reasons).


I do not know of a third-party device (besides Apple-approved accessories) to be able to control the iPhone, least to launch an app on the iPhone. Moreover, Apple has reserved Bluetooth for limited data transfer (over AirDrop and with other iOS devices only) or accessory access.

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