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.

Cheers Lifehacker

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    Great article, minor correction: "you can access Bluetooth by simply swiping your finger upwards from the bottom of the screen ... you’ll be instantly returned to the home screen once you’re done.)"

    You'll actually be returned to whatever app you were in before you were before you up-swiped ... because you never really left it ...

      Well yes, but the OP specifically wanted a home screen shortcut, so I stuck with that as the example.

    There's an app called OnOff that is specifically for this function. Not sure if it is still on the App Store, but I use it on my iPhone 4 for disabling Bluetooth

    Why is this question being asked?
    iOS is "intuitive", apparently...

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