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Google Refreshes Nearby Connections API for P2P Interactions

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Jul 31, 2017, 12:45 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

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. According to Google, the Nearby Connections API makes use of WiFi, Bluetooth LE, and standard Bluetooth to discover and talk to nearby devices. An internet or other network connection is not required. The API relies on the strengths of each connection type while sidestepping the weaknesses. This means it will always find the best way to connect and transfer bytes, files, and streams of data. The API supports two connection topologies: stars (with one central node) and clusters (mesh-like). Google has been testing the API with several partners, including Hopstar, which has created a way for people to share media files when their devices are offline, such as on airplanes. Developers can download the API from Google. It is supported on all devices running Google Play Services 11.

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