Help - Smart phone activated garage door opener

I’m new to Arduino (have read a couple of books from the Maker series) but not made anything yet. I have lots of ideas for using this technology. The more I think about one of them, the more urgently I need to get started! As its my first project I’d really appreciate some help. To start with, some reassurance that I’m taking the best approach (I appreciate there are lots of ways to do this - and that ardunio allows solutions to be tailored to my requirements) but also probably some help along the way.

I have an electric garage door that can only be opened from the inside of the building. Although the mechanics work fine it is old. It looks as if there was once a switch on the outside of the building but its been removed at some point when the building changed hands.

I’d like to add an ardunio board (not sure which type) inside the casing of the switch inside the building, which would allow me to activate the garage door from outside the building, ideally via my smart phone. This sounds like a trivial matter - but it would make a huge difference to lives of everyone living there!

I’ve taken attached two photos, one of the external casing, and one of the wiring inside. I think I would just need to replicate the up arrow push to make button with the board - so temporarily connect the blue and red wires around the switch labelled 4 in the photo. Once the door has been open for a few moments, it automatically shuts so I’m not expecting to need to interfere with the other buttons.

Questions:
What is the best way of communicating between phone and board? I’m aware of bluetooth and Wi-Fi - are there any other options? As things stand bluetooth would be my preferred option as I would need a booster to get the house Wi-Fi to the garage (which I don’t really want unless necessary). Are there other options for doing this?

I’ve read some stuff on using eclipse to develop a control interface on an android phone. What are the options for an iphone? While me requirements are quite simple (a single on switch) I would like it to be encrypted if feasible.

I’m aware I may need to do a few more basic projects before I take on this one, but I’m hoping to get some direction from you guys.

Do you have to press and hold the UP button to open the door or is it a simple press & release and the door fully opens? If the former press and hold then does the door have a limit switch to ensure it cannot be over opened.

I think for an iThingy you will need to use bluetooth low energy (BLE) modules.

If it is a simple connect blue & red wires then a relay module is your best option. Apple supply free software for developing iThingy apps but I think you need to pay for a developers licence to be able to publish the apps Other will probable have a clearer idea on this.

Thanks for getting back to me. Yes, you have to hold down the button and it opens for as long as the button is held down. I'll have to check to see whether there is a limit switch.

So for my transmitter, something like this: http://www.adafruit.com/product/1697

I'll read up on relay modules tonight.

For the phone end - simpler is good for this one as its my first project. I don't know anything about developing apps - was hoping there would be a simple web based solution.

The door will really need a limit switch for this to safely work. I think the module will be okay but google 'Arduino BLE iPhone' to find some examples people have done of interfacing between them and the app development software they use.