Ask LH: Is There An Easier Way To Manage Bluetooth On The iPhone?

Ask LH: Is There An Easier Way To Manage Bluetooth On The iPhone?

Hey Lifehacker, I recently purchased a car that has Bluetooth connectivity, so I switched on Bluetooth in my iPhone 4. However, I am concerned about leaving Bluetooth on for security and battery life reasons. I want to be able to do that easily by pressing a button on the front screen, rather than the four steps it currently takes. Is that possible? Thanks, Bluetooth Blues

Dear BB,

What version of the iPhone’s operating system are you running? If you have iOS 7, you can access Bluetooth by simply swiping your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen. This will bring up an Android-style Control Center, where you can switch Bluetooth on or off with the press of a button. (Okay, so this technically involves two separate steps, but we’re talking about a couple of seconds here. Plus, you’ll be instantly returned to the home screen once you’re done.)

The iPhone 4 is compatible with iOS 7.1.2 without the need to jailbreak your phone. If you haven’t upgraded to the new OS already, you can get the download directly from iTunes, or by heading into the Settings menu on your phone and selecting General > Software Update. Just be mindful that iOS 7 is known to be a bit flakey and lethargic on older iDevices. The Bluetooth shortcut might not be worth the drop in speed.

On newer iPhones it’s possible to control Bluetooth through Siri. You may be able to get similar results by installing a third-party “personal assistant” app such as Nuance’s Dragon Go!. With one of these apps enabled, you can make various spoken commands to your phone, just like with Siri. Alternatively, you could jailbreak your phone and install the real thing: this video shows how it’s done.

On a final note, we also recommend using the IFTTT recipe Battery Saver — this will send you a notification reminding you to disable WiFi and/or Bluetooth whenever you leave a specific location. While this won’t speed up the process, at least you won’t forget to switch it off!

If any iPhone 4 owners have worked out an alternative Bluetooth hack, let BB know in the comments section below.


Got your own question you want to put to Lifehacker? Send it using our [contact text=”contact form”].


Log in to comment on this story!