I think there are some sample sketches available on github: https://github.com/michaelkroll/BLE-Shield
Moreover there are two projects I already created with the BLE-Shield which are discussed here:
BLE-Shield Thermometer: http://www.mkroll.mobi/?p=593
BLE-Shield RFID Reader: http://www.mkroll.mobi/?p=554
There you will find the necessary sketches as well.
On the other side you need to program an app of your own. You can use the BLE-Shield iOS Source code from the above mentioned github repository as well or use the BLExplr App I create from the app store in order to discover and navigate through the Shield: http://www.appstore.com/blexplr
The range is around 10 meter depending on obstacles between the peripheral and central.
The transmission power of a peripheral can be reduced in general, but the current firmware of the BLE-Shield does not support this.
Hope this helps,