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Location-aware Google App for Handsets

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Google Nearby

An Android update is Nearby—that is, Nearby Google.

Google says "we're introducing a new Android feature called “Nearby,” which notifies you of things that can be helpful near you."

This is an update to Google Play Services and is compatible with Android 4.4 KitKat and newer.

This app turns every Android phone into a beacon transmitter and receiver.

When you are in a location for which there is an appropriate app or web site, a notification will pop up which you can either interact with or swipe away.

And it's not just location that can be used as triggers.

When you select “Google Devices” on your Android phone (including Google Cast and Android Wear watches), Nearby will also let you set them up simply by tapping a notification when you're near them.

Other possible scenarios suggested by Google include:

  • Print photos directly from your phone
  • Explore historical landmarks.
  • Download an audio tour
  • Skip the customs line at select airports with Mobile Passport.
  • Download the airlines app for free in-flight entertainment while you wait at the gate, before you board your flight.

It would seem Google misses the obvious by not highlighting digital signage: yet not all consumers are fond of location-related advertising, so maybe it is less of a miss and more of an omission during the time Google must get consumers to adopt Nearby.

To take advantage of Nearby, consumers will need to have both Bluetooth and Location services (you can opt out by having one-- or both-- of these settings disabled).

Developers can deploy their own beacons to work with Google’s Nearby.

Watch Google’s Nearby Feature in Action

Go More about Google Nearby