aBubbl 2.1.0 iOS SDK Developer Guide

The aBubbl SDK enables apps to create real-time connections between people in proximity. Broadcast to all or some people nearby, discover who is here and use the digital handshake to automatically exchange information across two or more devices.


What is aBubbl?

Add Beacon functionality to your iOS app to allow people to interact with each other in close proximity. Blow bubbles of multiple radii to discover and connect people nearby. Share content to all or selected people within a bubble. aBubbl SDK uses iBeacon technology and an introduction to this is available at develop.apple.com.

Who is around me?

Discover and connect people nearby. Devices are users with a name or an attachment data in the form of a JSON object.


How big is my bubble?

Blow bubbles of multiple radii where a device is the center of a bubble. Blow the radius of a bubble larger to discover people further away. Pop a bubble at any time.

Blow bubbles of the following radii:

  • Close-ish ~ 1.0 m
  • Near-ish ~ 5.0 m
  • Far-ish ~ 50 m


What happens when people enter?

A bubble can change whenever people enter or leave. Notify the owner of the bubble when people enter. People may leave bubbles by stepping outside a bubble or by choosing not to advertise their presence.


What do I want to share?

Create content from a JSON string or a foundation object. Content that is inserted into bubbles are not shared directly to anyone. Make content visible explicitly to all or to selected people to share.


Project Setup


  • Requires iOS 8 SDK and Xcode 6. For the latest versions, visit Apple’s iOS Dev Center
  • Supports iOS 8.0 and later, and is available for the architectures (armv7/7s, arm64).


Follow these simple steps to integrate the SDK into an Xcode project:

  1. Add SDK to an Xcode Project

    Go to Targets Settings (General tab) to add the aBubbl.framework as an Embedded Binary. Click the (+) sign to select Add Other and locate the framework. Leave options as is.


  2. Configure the .plist for an Xcode Project

    • Create key called aBubblAPIKey with a string value. Add the API key.
    • Create array key called aBubbl App Ids with two sub-items that contain string values. Add the two App Ids.
    • Create key called NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription with a string value. Provide a reason for using Location Services. Read more here

    Use Location Services to detect the proximity of people. Prompt people by adding NSLocationWhenInUseUsageDescription to the Info.plist.

    The .plist should look like this:


  3. Swift User: Add a Bridging Header

    aBubbl SDK is written in Objective-C but it works just fine with Swift projects. All you need to do is to add a bridging header.

    • Create a header file File > New > File > Source > Header File.
    • Add #import <aBubbl/aBubbl.h> to the created header file.
    • In Build Settings, in Swift Compiler – Code Generation, make sure the Objective-C Bridging Header build setting has a path to the bridging header file.
  4. Import documentation (Optional)

    Access the aBubbl Documentation via the Organizer and Quick Help in Xcode. Copy the aBubbl.docset from the aBubbl Documentation Folder into ~/Library/Developer/Shared/Documentation/DocSets. Restart Xcode.

The configuration of aBubbl is complete

Click ‘Set up Active Users’ below to start to code. Alternatively skip straight to ‘Discover Background Users’ – note that you need an active user to communicate with background users, so we recommend to ‘Set up Active Users’ first.

Set up Active Users

Discover Background Users

See Also


aBubblMonster Reference App

Refer to the aBubblMonster Reference app distributed with the aBubbl SDK for an in-depth demonstration.


aBubbl Photo Sharing Showcase App

Download aBubbl from the App Store to try the technology.

aBubbl Reference

For more detailed documentation, please refer to the aBubbl® Reference, which is distributed with the aBubbl® SDK.

Out now for Early Access Partners

Request to become an Early Access Partner below. We will respond within 24 hours with a link to the aBubbl ® Beacon SDK and additional integration guidelines to help you integrate the aBubbl® Beacon SDK. Get started for free for non-commercial use without any hidden costs.