Google Debuts 'Nearby' to Alerts Android Users to What's Close
Google today announced Nearby, a way for Android devices to show people relevant apps, web sites, and other information based on location. It takes the idea of the physical web, which displayed web sites of nearby businesses, a step further. For example, Android owners who walk into a CVS may be prompted to print their photos while in the store, or people visiting The Broad in Los Angeles may be prompted to download the audio tour. Nearby might also suggest users set up Google Cast or Android Wear devices when in range. In order to take advantage of Nearby, people will need to have location and Bluetooth enabled, as it relies on Bluetooth beacons. The suggestions will be delivered via push notifications that can be acted upon or ignored. Google said developers need to add Nearby to their beacons/locations before people will begin to see them.
Powermat Charging Stations May Soon Require App
Powermat today announced a new "mobile engagement platform" that will allow public charging station providers such as Starbucks to push marketing directly to phones via an app. Companies that choose to deploy the new platform will be able to require users to download and install the app before their phones will charge.
Chrome for Android Gains Eddystone Beacon Smarts
Google says the latest release of Chrome for Android supports Eddystone Bluetooth beacons and can surface what's known as "physical web" content to nearby devices. Google's Eddystone beacons can now broadcast web content, such as URLs, to Android devices within range.
Google Refreshes Nearby Connections API for P2P Interactions
Google today released the Nearby Connections 2.0 API to developers, which will eventually help Android devices find, connect to, and communicate with other nearby devices all on their own. The vision is to make it possible for Android handsets to automatically share information with internet-of-things-type devices, such as personal temperature preferences with thermostats, Netflix playlists with connected television sets, and so on.
Android Wear App Gains New Design
Google has updated the Android Wear app for smartphones ahead of the Android Wear system update for smartwatches. The smartphone Android Wear app has a brand new design that more closely matches Google's Material Design concepts.