Frequently Asked Questions

Nearby Notifications

Nearby Notifications are notifications on Android devices that don't require an app.

Start here to create a new project for your proximity service key: https://console.developers.google.com/apis/dashboard.

If a Nearby Notification is not shown, verify the following:

  • The beacon battery is charged.
  • The beacon is transmitting the Eddystone UID protocol (check this with the vendor's app).
  • The Android device has Bluetooth turned on.
  • Make sure the url of the Nearby Notification is SSL (https NOT http).
  • Make sure the phone you test on has the same language as selected at the notification.
  • Make sure the url is reachable with this tool.
  • Make sure the content of the url does not conflict with Google's Nearby Notification policies.

Troubleshooting

  • Make sure you're close enough to the beacon. For testing purposes try a distance shorter than 1 meter.
  • If you use a date and a time range, the time range is on a daily base. Meaning, that if you broadcast from January 10th to June 20th and from 8am to 10am, the message will show each day between 8am and 10am. Not from January 10th 8am to June 20th 10am.
  • Try different URLs, non-working URLs may be cached by Google.
  • Log into the Google Beacon Dashboard and create a Nearby Notification in debug mode.
  • Turning Bluetooth off and on again sometimes solves the issue.
  • Create a new service key.
  • Make sure no quotas are attained in the Google API dashboard.
  • Google uses an algorithm to decide whether a Nearby Notification is relevant for users and whether it's shown. If a user gets a Nearby Notification each day, but doesn't open it, it tends to get hidden. Because Google wants to provide useful content, and appearently the user is not interested in the notification.

Finally, verify directly in the Google Beacon Platform if the entries are correct. This rules out that the issue is related to the software. The Nearby Platform uses the Google Beacon Platform's API, and has no control over whether Nearby Notifications are shown on a device. The software solely adds the beacon and Nearby Notification entry to the Google Beacon Platform.

No. It's a Google concept for Android devices, and it's unlikely it will ever be supported by Apple.

Eddystone beacons

You can find the Instance and Namespace ID with the app provided by the vendor of the beacon. These are assigned and can not be changed. With some beacons you can turn the Eddystone UID protocol on or off.

If you can't find the IDs with the included app, you best contact the vendor.

Nearby Platform

The Nearby Platform is the online system you can find here.

The free version has Nearby Notification branding, and the premium version for $20 a month is white label.

No, the Nearby Platform is a managed service.

You can add unlimited beacons and messages to the platform.

If you use the same key for multiple accounts, each account will see the same beacons and messages. This is probably not what you want, so you best use a different key for different accounts. You can create different projects in your Google back-end, or have users create their own key in their own Google account.

Apart from the quotas, another advantage is that if one user violates the Google terms, this does not affect other user accounts.

Yes, as long as it's what we consider fair use.

People can't sign up at your domain, you have to manually add them in the back-end. It's fine if you offer this as a free - or paid - service to your customers, but you can't automate this, or have hundreds of users. It will be determined per use case whether it's reasonable, and we remain the right to limit the amount of sub-user accounts. A couple of dozen users should be no problem, but it has to compare to the monthly fee we ask. The more user accounts, the higher our server cost are.

Domain DNS management

You can manage your DNS at your domain registrar.

You can either send a support ticket to your registrar, or Google something like "[insert name hosting provider] add an A record".

Go to the DNS management of your domain registrar, and add the following A record (naming can vary per registrar):

Type: A

Host / Name: if you want to use the top level domain (e.g. example.com) add @, if you want to use a subdomain (e.g. nearby.example.com) add the first part nearby.

Points to / Value: 188.226.158.123

It may take a couple of hours for the DNS to propagate. DNS can be cached at your Internet Service Provider, that's why it sometimes doesn't work on your desktop PC, but it does work on your 4G phone.

Troubleshooting

  • Make sure there are no conflicting records, maybe you have to delete an existing record with the same value pointing to a different IP address.
  • If you want to use a top level domain, use @ for the value and not example.com because that will resolve to example.com.example.com.

If you get an SSL related error, that is because it can take up to a couple of hours for the SSL certificate to be generated. If the SSL certificate isn't generated after 24 hours, this means the DNS is not configured correctly.