Introducing Nearby: A new way to discover the things around you

Courtesy of

The Play Store offers over one million apps – many of which are created to be used in specific locations or situations. The right app at the right moment lets you get more done. For example, at a store, you may want a barcode scanner to check prices and reviews for an item. Or when you’re at a museum, an audio tour would enhance the experience as you make your way around the exhibits.

But, getting the right apps at the right time can be tough if you don’t already know about them. So, we’re introducing a new Android feature called Nearby, which notifies you of of things that can be helpful near you.

For example:

Select Google devices, including Google Cast and Android Wear watches, will also let you set them up simply by tapping a notification when you’re near them.
Earlier this year, we started experimenting with surfacing websites relevant to a place in Chrome through the Physical Web project. In addition to displaying relevant apps, Nearby will surface these websites directly from Android. To deploy your own beacons that work with Nearby, check out our developer blog post.

To use Nearby, just turn on Bluetooth and Location, and we’ll show you a notification if a nearby app or website is available. Once you’ve opted-in, tapping on a notification takes you straight into the intended experience. If you’re not interested, just swipe it away to give us a clear signal.

Nearby has started rolling out to users as part of the upcoming Google Play Services release and will work on Android 4.4 (KitKat) and above.

Posted by Akshay Kannan, Product Manager, Nearby

Courtesy of

Nordic Semiconductor collaborates with Google to launch SDK for the newest Eddystone framework, an open beacon format from Google

Eddystone-EID is designed to protect user privacy and security in sensitive applications by preventing unauthorized access and guarding against various potential types of malicious attack

Today Google announced a new more secure version of its Eddystone™ beacon format – Eddystone-EID – and Nordic Semiconductor simultaneously announced that it has launched a full software development kit (SDK) and supporting tools to support it.

Like Eddystone, Eddystone-EID is capable of working across Android and iOS devices but is now designed to protect user privacy and security in sensitive applications by broadcasting secure beacon signals, including website address URLs, using what’s termed a ‘rotating ephemeral identifier’. This will allow Eddystone-EID beacon manufacturers to manage access to beacons to avoid unpermitted access, and guard against various potential types of malicious attack to which beacons can be prone including spoofing, malicious asset tracking, and replay attacks.

The Nordic Semiconductor ‘nRF5 SDK for Eddystone’ is available now and allows the immediate development of Eddystone-EID beacons to provide real-world context to users in a huge variety of proximity-based beacon applications. The Nordic nRF5 SDK for Eddystone also features a GATT configuration that allows Eddystone beacons to be configured from a smartphone.

The SDK is designed for Nordic’s latest nRF52832 / nRF52 Series Bluetooth® Smart Systems-on-Chips (SoCs). A future upgrade will also allow existing Nordic nRF51 Series or nRF52832-based Eddystone beacons to be updated to the latest Eddystone-EID secure capabilities via a straightforward over-the-air firmware update.

“Beacons are a core building block of the Internet of Things and the wider trend towards making everyday objects smart,” comments Nordic Semiconductor Technical Product Manager, Reidar Martin Svendsen. “Security and privacy has been a concern with today’s beacon formats. The new Eddystone-EID opens up new possibilities to use beacons in sensitive applications where the data obtained could be used maliciously.

“In addition, the new ability of the Eddystone beacon format to broadcast URLs opens up endless opportunities. A simple example would be giving advertising posters the ability to broadcast a relevant web address to smartphones nearby to make it very easy for anyone interested to find out more about the advertised product or service without having to download an app first.

“This kind of app-free, interaction-on-demand service would be applicable to almost any kind of device or ‘thing’ that would benefit from being made ‘smarter’ including vending machines, public information points, tourist attractions, toys, bus stops, and parking meters. In fact the potential application list is vast and will only grow over time.”