Using the nRF Beacon for Eddystone App

There’s a small sub-set of Eddystone beacons that support the Eddystone GATT Service. These are beacons that not only advertise Eddystone but also have software that conforms to a standard Bluetooth Services interface such that the beacon can be configured using generic tools and apps.

Two such apps are nRF connect app and the web-based configuration. Another third app you can use is the nRF Beacon for Eddystone app for Android which is the subject of this post.

The app is designed to be used in conjunction with a Nordic developer kit (DK) board running Eddystone GATT software. However, as the the Bluetooth Services are standard, it works with other Eddystone GATT devices such as the i7 (based on Nordic nRF52).

The first thing to note is the app has two uses. It 1) allows you to configure Eddystone GATT Service beacons and 2) allows beacons to be registered with Google Nearby.

The Google Nearby registration functionality no longer works in this app as Google changed the API. You need to re-build the app yourself from source code with your own API key from Google. If you want this functionality, you are better off using the Google Beacon Tools App. You can read more about Nearby in our article on the BeaconZone site. In most cases you don’t need registration with Nearby and just want to put a URL in the beacon.

Run the app:

The second thing to note is the the first ‘BEACONS’ tab is for Nearby registered beacons. Many people expect local beacons to show up here but they won’t! Instead, go to the ‘UPDATE tab’ and tap on Connect:

Wait a bit and local Eddystone GATT Service beacons will be listed. The beacon needs to be connectable. In the case of the i7, it’s connectable by default but other beacons might need you to press a button or have powered on the beacon within the last n seconds.

Tap on a beacon and it will show the configuration screen. You will be asked for a password if the beacon has a default password (ask your beacon supplier).

Tap on the pencil to the right of the slot to change the URL:

Note that you will will probably need a shortened URL and it needs to point to a secure (https:) web site.

You can also change the advertising interval and transmit power.

There are also some advanced settings:

Beware of making the beacon non-connectable unless you know there’s a physical way to make it connectable otherwise you will never be able to connect to the beacon to administer it again!

View our Eddystone GATT Beacons.