Android will use beacons to notify users about the presence of local apps


Android, is working on a new feature which will tip users about the presence of useful applications based on their current location. The new feature has been labeled as ‘Nearby’ and is an attempt by the folks at Android to allow easy pushing of local applications.

The feature is being touted as Android’s move to tackle Apple which offers similar applications in their iOS ecosystem. The Nearby feature will rely on the presence of beacons which would pick up the presence of an Android phone and then offer customized local content to the Android device.

Giving due consideration to the unhappiness of many customers, this feature would be an opt-in feature for which you would have to sign up from your device. By default, your phone would not be signed up for the ‘Nearby’ application service and if unsatisfied, the user will be provided with the ability to opt out of the service.

The Nearby application can be utilized for plenty of purposes. For instance, museums can develop their own application which would pop a push notification to the Android phone notifying the availability of an audio tour app for the museum. This application is being tested practically by The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. The museum is using this application to guide visitors around their exhibits. Similarly, the University of Notre Dame in Indiana is working on a similar application which not only showcases the campus but also highlights the important local sites of the campus. CVS, a prominent drugstore chain in the US is using this technology to enhance their customer services. United Airlines is also integrating the application in their business workings to make it easy for their customers.

With the Nearby application, users will get the notification about the availability of a local application based on their location. However, if the user is uninterested in the application, he can simply swipe it away just like other push notifications. The best part is the ability of the customer to opt out of the feature if it ever seems like a nuisance.

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