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Nearby API


Google may bring proximity-based Nearby API to Chromebooks

Last year, Google released v2.0 of its "Nearby Connections" API, which allows for your gadgets to communicate with other devices in close proximity via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It was a part of the overall "Nearby" package, which also includes a few other systems for more specific applications, including messaging and notifications. According to a pair of commits recently spotted by the folks at XDA Developers, these Nearby APIs may be coming to Chromebooks. 

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Google Play Services v9.2 Adds Support For All Of The New Nearby Capabilities, And Likely Includes Peer-To-Peer File Transfer [APK Download + Teardown]

Google dropped the news last week that Nearby was about to get a whole lot more interesting. With the use of Bluetooth and a special blend of tricks collectively known as Location Services, Google will enable Android devices to learn about all manner of things in close proximity, whether they be Eddystone beacons, Chromecasts, or even Android Wear watches waiting to be set up. In the announcement, it was mentioned that an update to Google Play services would be rolling out shortly that adds support for all of these new features, and this is the one. While most of the features have already been disclosed, there's one in the teardown that wasn't mentioned.

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Google Extends The Nearby API: Beacons, Physical Web, Cast And Wear Setup, And Plenty Of Contextual Notifications

When the Nearby API started rolling out to Google Play Services in July of last year, it had a lot of potential and promise. It made it so devices could talk to each other based only on their proximity and regardless of whether or not they were on the same WiFi network (in certain applications) or paired via Bluetooth. That's why we've often said it's the genius feature no one is using.

But Nearby in its original form required a lot of involvement from the user. The few apps that implemented the API only used it in specific screens, had to ask for a permission to activate it, and had to show a notification whenever Nearby was on and looking for other devices.

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App Links 2.0 Uses Nearby API To Share Links Of Your Installed Apps With Other Devices

We've spent months with barely any example use of Google's Nearby API by third-party apps, but in only a couple of days several apps have popped up with this proximity sharing method. First it was Radon for sending regular links, then Card Case for contact details, and now it's app links' turn with an app called, predictably, App Links.

The app was just updated to version 2.0 and it no longer only supports sending links of your preinstalled apps with Android's Share intent. There's a new Nearby icon in the app's title bar (which looks like two overlapping playback buttons) that simply broadcasts the apps you have selected to devices that are close to you, and looks for apps being shared back by them.

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Card Case Shares Contact Details With Those Around You Using The Nearby API

The Nearby API is arguably one of the coolest features Google introduced in Play Services last year, but its potential remains largely untapped. Pocket Casts and Trello were one of the first apps to use it for sharing, but very few apps have since followed suit and even less have been built solely to utilize this new capability. Last week, we heard of Radon, an app that shares links to nearby devices, and today we have another new app that does the same for contact cards: Card Case.

Contact sharing is, if you ask me, one of the most logical ways to use Nearby.

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Radon Uses Google's Nearby API To Easily Share Links To Other Devices

Google's Nearby API is one of the coolest things developers aren't using. I mean, they are, but not as often as I had hoped. Radon is a new sharing app based on Nearby, and it's pretty cool. Just share something to Radon, and it will search for target devices in close proximity with WiFi, Bluetooth, and ultrasonic pulses.

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The Google Play Services v8.1 SDK Is Now Available, Includes A Few Enhancements And A Couple Breaking Changes

The rollout for Google Play services v8.1 is complete and now it's time to open the floodgates for developers to begin working with some of the changes. When new versions come out, it's fairly common for Google to hold back a few extra details to be announced after the rollout has completed. This time around, there are improvements for the Maps API, Nearby API, and App Invites. The previously announced Play Games Play Stats API has been added, and Google has advice on properly handling Android 6.0 permissions. There are also a couple of minor breaking changes that have to be dealt with too.

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Trello Team Manager Gets Easy Local Sharing Via Nearby API In The Latest Update

Trello is a service that allows teams of people to delineate tasks and assignments. I've used it for various projects, and it's surprisingly effective once you get used to its somewhat unconventional drag-and-drop card/stack system. The design is most effective for large teams that don't often get everyone in the same place. But what about the times when you do happen to be close to your teammates? Enter Google's fancy audio/Bluetooth/Wi-Fi connection API, Nearby, which was integrated into Google Play Services last month.

Now if you want to add another Trello user to a board and said user happens to be near you (and also using an Android phone or tablet), you can do so with the Nearby feature.

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Pocket Casts Updated To v5.2 With Podcast Discovery Powered By Google's Nearby API

Pocket Casts is one of the finest podcast apps around largely because it's always been quick to take advantage of new Android features. In the latest update, the developers are already using the Nearby API to make podcast discovery easier. Just fire up the Nearby feature, and you can see what those around you are listening to.

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Google Play Services v7.8 Completes Rollout, Adds New Mobile Vision API With Face Detection And Barcode Reader, Improves Cloud Messaging With Priority And Localization

It has been almost a month since Google Play services 7.8 began rolling out to users, and as of yesterday, it is in wide release to everybody. A previous blog post by Google discussed the big new feature for developers would be the Nearby Messages API, but it turns out there are a couple of other additions worth checking out. In a new post on the Android Developers blog, Google announced a new Mobile Vision API with the ability to detect the presence, orientation, and some details of faces when they are in frame on an active camera.

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