Mobile Apps for micro:bit

The micro:bit mobile app lets you send code to your micro:bit using Bluetooth wireless technology. No connecting leads needed! Just make sure that your micro:bit is powered up and within easy reach of the phone or tablet running the app.

What can I do with the mobile app?

The micro:bit app allows you to connect to your micro:bit from your phone, then create code and send it straight to your micro:bit!

The app has four buttons:

  • Connections is where you go to pair/connect your phone/tablet (device) to your micro:bit
  • Flash is where you go to send a code file (.HEX) from your device (phone/tablet) to your micro:bit
  • Create Code takes you to the website where you can choose an editor, write some code or go back to some code that you’ve already created
  • Discover takes you to the website where you can get ideas and examples from other people

Getting Started

Getting the app

Start by downloading the official micro:bit app for Android or iOS:

Pairing your micro:bit

The next step is to connect your micro:bit to your phone or tablet for the first time - this is called pairing. This involves the app searching for a signal from the micro:bit and then sending a secret code that only they can see. From that point on your device and your micro:bit are paired and can communicate when connected.

To pair your micro:bit to your phone or tablet:

  • Select ‘Connections’
  • Select ‘Pair a new micro:bit’
  • On your micro:bit: hold the A and B buttons, then PRESS and release RESET while still holding buttons A and B
  • The micro:bit will tell you that it is in 'PAIRING' mode and a pattern will appear
  • Copy the pattern from your micro:bit onto the grid in the app (Here's a tip! Fill in the topmost lit square of each column to fill in all squares underneath it at once)
  • Select Next or Pair; when asked for a code or PIN, press button A on your micro:bit
  • Enter the code or PIN from your micro:bit into your phone. The numbers will loop for 30 seconds, so don't worry if you don't get it first time. If you're finding it tricky, ask a friend to help. One of you can read the numbers on the micro:bit while the other types them into the app
  • When you see the success message press the RESET button on the back of your micro:bit and you’re done.

If at any stage you reprogram your micro:bit using a USB cable (which will delete the secret code) or if you want to work with a different micro:bit, you need to repeat this process.

Writing Code

Next you need to write some code. To create a new piece of code select ‘Create Code’ from the app's homepage, choose an editor and write your code. To edit something you’ve already started select ‘Flash’ from the homepage and then ‘My Scripts’.

When your program is ready, the code editor has to compile the code to make a hex file, which is a very compact form of your program that the micro:bit can read. In the editor select ‘Compile’ and when the hex file is ready, open it in the micro:bit app.

Sending code to the micro:bit

To flash your code to your micro:bit:

  • Go to the ‘Flash’ page
  • Select a script to transfer, then select ‘Flash’

Watch your ideas come to life!

Frequently asked questions

What does ‘Pair’ mean?

Pairing is when you set up a connection between your micro:bit and your device. This involves the app searching for a signal from the micro:bit and then sending a secret code that only they can see. From that point on your device and your micro:bit are ‘Paired’ and can communicate when connected.

If you want to delete a previous ‘Pairing’ from your phone:

  • Go to Bluetooth settings
  • Select the micro:bit and then choose ‘Forget this device’

If you want to delete a ‘pairing’, from your micro:bit:

  • Connect your micro:bit to a desktop computer
  • Flash any hex file over a USB cable

Do I have to ‘Connect’ as well as ‘Pair’?

If you’re flashing a file from your phone or tablet to your last used micro:bit you don’t have to ‘connect’, the app will connect your devices for you once you confirm that this is the micro:bit you want to flash to.

What does ‘Flash’ mean?

Flashing is when you send a code file (.hex) from your computer, phone or tablet to a micro:bit. From a computer you’ll usually flash a file by connecting your micro:bit to your computer with a USB cable. From a phone or tablet you can ‘flash’ a file over Bluetooth (without cables).

Will the app work on my phone/tablet?

As the micro:bit app updates and operating systems of devices change over time, the compatibility of devices will also change. We apologise for not being able to give a concrete list of compatible devices at this time.

However, an Android OS of 4.4 or higher or an iOS of 8.0 or higher is needed to run the micro:bit app.

What can I do if I’ve paired my micro:bit with somebody else’s device and now I want to get rid of that connection?

  • You need to create a new piece of micro:bit code on a computer
  • Now connect your micro:bit to the computer using a USB cable
  • Now drag and drop the hex file onto your micro:bit

This will remove all connections to phones and/or tablets from your micro:bit.

What can I do if I’ve paired my device to a micro:bit that I don’t want to use anymore so I want to get rid of that connection?

  • Go to your Bluetooth settings on your phone or tablet
  • Select the BBC micro:bit
  • Select ‘Forget this device’

This will remove the secret code connecting your device to the micro:bit.

Good stuff to know about Bluetooth

Switch it off if you’re not using it:

  • It’s using up your battery
  • It’s sending out a signal that means other apps using Bluetooth could contact you – you probably don’t want that!

Can I use the Mobile app offline?

The first time you use the app, you need an internet connection. But with a little preparation, you can use the app Offline

  • The My Scripts page and Code Editors are already designed to be used offline. When opened for the first time on a browser (on your PC or your mobile), it will store an offline version in your browser's memory, letting you go back to it at any time.
  • With your Mobile device connected to the internet, visit the micro:bit home page, go to My Scripts, and open the Code Editors that you'd like to use. This will then store that editor in your browser's memory.
  • Open the micro:bit mobile app. Click on the 'Flash' button, and then the yellow My Scripts button. This will take you directly to the My Scripts page rather than the website, accessible offline.
  • From here, open up the Code Editor you want to use and have fun!

Troubleshooting

I’m having problems pairing my micro:bit.

  • You may have an old version of software on your micro:bit – to get the latest software, go to the website, create a new piece of code and flash it to your micro:bit over a USB cable, this will pick up the latest software.
  • Go to the Bluetooth settings on your phone or tablet and select “forget this device”. Now close the app. When you reopen the app all previous pairing code will have gone and you should be able to start afresh

I've got the latest software, but I'm still having problems pairing my micro:bit.

  • Have you been using Python? - unfortunately, Python does not support Bluetooth at the moment. A micro:bit loaded with a script written in Python will not connect to Bluetooth. Try re-flashing using a script written in Code Kingdoms, Blocks or Touch Develop before trying a Bluetooth connection again.

I’m having problems flashing a file to my micro:bit.

  • Has the micro:bit got power? – is it plugged in to a computer or connected to a battery pack? If no, connect your micro:bit to a power source
  • Is your phone/tablet paired to a micro:bit? - If no, go to Connections and follow the on screen instructions to pair a micro:bit

I’m having problems getting to my code or the code editors on the website.

  • Is your phone or tablet connected to the internet either via wi-fi or your mobile provider? – If not, switch on wi-fi or check your contract details. Be careful about using the internet provided by your mobile provider, you could be being charged!

I’m trying to take a selfie with my Android phone but when I press the button on my micro:bit nothing happens...

  • Is your micro:bit connected to your phone or tablet – is the connection symbol on the Connections screen green? No? Tap the connection symbol on either the Connections screen or the Flash screen (it may take up to 5 seconds for the symbol to turn to green)

I’m trying to take a selfie with my iPhone or iPad but when I press the button on my micro:bit nothing happens...

Unfortunately the ‘Devices’ code isn’t supported on iPhones or iPads

I’ve paired my micro:bit but now it’s not working!

This can happen sometimes if you have paired your micro:bit with too many different phones and/or tablets.

  • You need to create a new piece of micro:bit code on a computer
  • Connect your micro:bit to the computer using a USB cable
  • Drag and drop the code file or .HEX onto your micro:bit

This will remove all connections to phones and/or tablets from your micro:bit.

I’ve paired my micro:bit with my phone/tablet but it won’t connect...

Have you flashed a file from the website using a cable? This will have removed all connections. You will need to pair your micro:bit again.

My micro:bit is just showing a tick or a cross, what should I do?

Press the RESET button on the back, this should return your micro:bit to normal.