In October 2017, Chrome dropped support for the Physical Web, removing it from both Android and iOS, citing the much improved Nearby Notifications platform on Android as the preferred mechanism for beacon-based notifications. Because Nearby notifications are built into the Android OS through Google Play Services, this change had little impact on Android users. However, the Chrome announcement left iOS users without a way to access the Physical Web and experience beacon notifications.
Today, we’re excited to announce the launch of our new iOS app, NearBee, that brings the power of Nearby Notifications to iOS, while also supporting the Physical Web. With NearBee, iOS users can now seamlessly discover nearby content and services being broadcast by beacons around them.
1. Lock screen notifications
Unlike Chrome, which required you to add a Today widget and swipe down every time, NearBee discovers nearby bluetooth beacons without requiring any user action and can pop notifications on your lock screen.
2. Works with any Eddystone beacon
NearBee is not tied to specific beacon hardware – it supports all Eddystone beacons that can broadcast an Eddystone URL frame.
3. Lightweight and free
NearBee is one of the lightest iOS apps out there, at less than 5 MB! It is also completely free and always will be.
As businesses and locations of different kinds increasingly turn to beacons to engage visitors, NearBee can be used in places such as parks, events, local communities, etc., and pretty much anywhere that visitors are willing to download the app for an enhanced experience.
Eddystone scanner SDK for iOS
One of the components of NearBee is the Eddystone Scanner SDK for iOS. If you’re developing an iOS app with Eddystone beacons, you may find it useful. Check it out on GitHub – we’ve released it under the MIT license.
If you are looking to get started on a short pilot, head to our Beaconstac store page and invest in a set of beacons and our Basic subscription plan. You can have the campaigns up and running in less than 15 mins!