iBeacon App Development Considerations

If you are considering writing apps to communicate with iBeacons, here are some high level things you need to think about that are specific to beacon app development:

  • Detecting whether Location and Bluetooth are on/off and alerting the user for permission to use these
  • Detecting beacons in background when the iOS app is closed or the Android app is in doze mode
  • On Android, taking account of the various Bluetooth APIs that exist for the different Android releases
  • Fetching data, associated with a beacon, from a service, such that it’s cached and not fetched every time
  • Arranging for some initial data bundled with the app so that it works straight away without a data connection
  • Fetching data before it is needed such that it’s available with no delay and when there’s no network connection
  • Re-fetching of data when it becomes stale
  • Fetching metadata from the server to control the behaviour of triggering
  • Arranging how Apple will test the app for app review otherwise complications will arise and the review will take weeks
  • Assessing whether to use the mobile OS or manufacturer supplied SDKs (or both)
  • If connecting to beacons, taking account of the unreliability of wireless connections
  • Collecting and uploading statistics/analytics to assess usage
  • Providing end user diagnostics to aid support troubleshooting

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