The ultimate Nearby Notification troubleshooting guide

Notification not showing up? Here’s a step-by-step guide explaining what to do!
The support team at Beeem – after a few hundred customer support cases – has compiled the ultimate guide to troubleshoot your Nearby Notifications. As Google keeps the filtering algorithms a secret, the novice beacon user- especially the proximity marketing professional just starting out – may come across a myriad of issues during initial setup from hardware, to the 
phone settings, to content issues. Let’s do this!

I. Phone settings
The biggest chunk of the issues stems from simple things that anyone can check on their phones. Most of our support experience tells us, this is the place to start!
1. Does the phone have access to the Internet?
Please check if the phone has mobile data ON or is connected to a Wi-Fi Network. If you have a poor data connection (Edge or 2G) it might not enable Google Nearby to receive the data back from Google servers in time so notifications may not always appear.
2. Does the phone have Bluetooth on?
Most people have Bluetooth turned on most or all of the time and Bluetooth penetration is continually growing like Wi-Fi did 5-6 years ago. Please re-check your phone settings. Note: There is nothing else required in Bluetooth realm to get Notifications: there is no pairing or anything similar!
3. Does the phone have Location (sometimes called GPS) on?
As Google deems Nearby Notifications to be using location information of the device, so a setting called Location (called GPS on some Android ROMs) has to be on even though Notifications don’t use the phone’s GPS directly.
4. Has the beacon been in the range of the phone for enough time?
In some cases, we experience that the phone has to be in the range of the beacon for quite some time before a notification shows. The most we’ve experienced is about 1 hour, but an 5-8 minute wait is the norm. Also please note that you can trigger a manual scan for beacons by turning the phone screen off and then back on! Please note that beacon scanning can take a few seconds as well so please wait a few seconds on the notification list too.
5. Have you tapped on a notification, exited Nearby and don’t get it anyomre?
Google Nearby deems a notification “used” if you tapped on it and the page is still running inside the Nearby App. If you want the notification to appear again, close the Nearby App, turn your phone screen off and back on to trigger beacon scanning and get to your notification list!

II. Beacon settings

Source: minewtech.com

Time and time again we see the most trivial solutions to a beacon “not working”. Let’s go through them all!
1. Is it turned On? Is the Battery on?
If your beacon has an indicator light make sure it’s on. If you have no such options, make sure the beacon is on by checking the battery or going directly into the beacon’s own configuration app. If you don’t know what app to look for you can use the NRF connect app for iOS and Android to do a hardware-level scan for your beacons.
2. Is the beacon configured to be broadcasting an Eddystone URL?
In some cases, the beacons are left in iBeacon mode and are not broadcasting the URL but iBeacon IDs. You can check this by going directly into the beacon’s own configuration app. If you don’t know what app to look for you can use the NRF connect app for iOS and Android to do a hardware-level scan for your beacons!

III. Beacon page content issues
This is the most overlooked part of Nearby Notifications. Everyone expects to blast a badly written website running on a poorly performing server and is let down by the results. But if you look at it from the perspective of Google: do I really want to flood the notification list with items that provide a poor UX to my phone users? The answer is clearly no and you can’t blame them for doing it. So if you’re looking to blast irrelevant messages at crowded locations you’re most likely to see poor results especially compared to your expectations. Here’s all you need to know
1. Is the URL valid (Skip if you use Beeem!)
There is only one resource that the Physical Web team at Google provides to check your beacon URLs. The Physical Web validator will test your URL shorteners and destination URLs for technical issues that prevents Google servers from successfully crawling your URLs and displaying Nearby Notifications. NOTE: this test is only for the URL itself and not the content on the URL!!
2. Is the end URL exclusively HTTPS(Skip if you use Beeem!)?
This part is covered in the last test but there is so much confusion out there that I’d like to clarify this. The technical specification for Nearby Notifications requires exclusively HTTPS content on the final URL (including any image on the page for example). So if you have any mixed content warnings for your destination URLs you’ll be filtered out, no questions asked. Please also note that even though the destination URLs have to be HTTPS exclusively, any forwarder in use can be HTTP!
3. Do you have any page content that cannot be promoted with Nearby Notifications?
Did you know that there are a ton of requirements to meet with your content? These are the most basic types of content filtered out:
Adult Content
Content that exploits children
Dangerous and Widely Illegal Content
Content that is not clear, unprofessional in appearance and that is not useful for recipients
Harassing, bullying, or threatening behavior, and do not incite others to engage in these activities
Hate Speech
– Malicious Content Distribution
– Mature Text / Profanity
– Personally Identifiable Information
– Regulated Goods & Services
– Spam
– Terrorist Content
– Violence & Shocking Content

As you can see Google filters you out in pretty much the same cases as they do with Google search. Even if you’re not intending to publish any such content it is good to know that the filtering algorithms are in place. In case your notifications still do not appear, please make a page that contains no such text content (like a template page in Beeem for example) that you can be 100% sure it’s complying.

The future of apps is no apps: your mobile audience is just 2 taps away

We are pleased to announce the most important release of Beeem in our short history. It’s jam-packed with all of the top requests: unlimited storage for your page content, page, and project analytics even displaying movement from one page to the other! We’re also happy to announce our Free, Starter and PRO plans!

Your mobile audience is just 2 taps away

Beeem is the fastest way to create a mobile website. Now we will help you engage anyone on mobile in just a few minutes without a mobile app! Reach all of your mobile audience with Physical Web Beacons on Android and QR codes on iOS 11!

Physical Web on Android

QR codes in iOS Camera

91% of all Android phones out there today support the physical web! That means that all you have to do is place a Bluetooth beacon inside your location to engage anyone on Android! Cool right?

Well, your Bluetooth beacon is free with every annual Beeem subscription! Check out our plans @ https://beeem.co/#/pricing

Learn how the ITTF used Beeem as a mobile engagement service to engage 14% of the entire stadium attendance at the Table Tennis European Championships

Have you heard about the QR code scanner in the camera app coming in iOS 11?

Check out this video! We think it’s going to transform the mobile engagement space with all sorts of possibilities!

Think about it: the camera app is on the home screen of every device out there and finally, Apple developed QR code functionality that is actually cool: it works like a charm and it’s as fast as a Physical Web beacon on Android!

Find the perfect plan for your perfect page

5 ways the physical web will move beyond beacons

5 ways the physical web will move beyond beacons

A few days ago Jeanette Cajide, VP of Corporate Development for Dialexa wrote a post on the Huffington Post on beacons. The post is a great summary of the shortcomings of the iBeacon area: the adoption rate of beacons has been slow and users have not gotten a single, seamless point of entry on their UI for proximity-based content and interaction. 

In this post, We will elaborate on how Google’s concept of the physical web will move beyond the shortcomings of the iBeacon-area of proximity-based apps:

  1. No app downloads
    The physical web will remove the no. 1 obstacle between mobile users and the places they visit: the dreaded app download. With browsers (like Chrome on iOS soon available on Android too and Opera) and mobile Operating Systems (like Chrome OS and Firefox OS) getting physical-web enabled rapidly soon over a billion devices on the planet will have a single point of entry for proximity-based content and interaction: the lockscreen.
  2. No direct messaging
    The physical web will do away with the privacy concerns of smartphone users: Google has implemented several measures to make sure no contact is necessary during service discovery.
    As with web search, Google handles the storing and sorting of information but without any direct control over the content of the URLs the service completely open and free. The formal nature of the web will make sure that no nagging mobile messaging will be without opt-ins. The clear standardized vision of the W3C on the matter is already implemented by Google in Chrome 42 on Android.
  3. Users opt-in with taping at content they choose
    The alarming opt-out rates discussed in Jeanette’s post are a clear sign that users do not want their smartphones to turn to a proximity-enabled ad-machines.
    This will be best served by Eddystone beacons and Google’s back end services acting as a proxy between the advertised URLs and the smartphone users. Browsers do not talk to the web servers directly during discovery: only after taping at a particular URL will the browser be launched and direct communication between the user’s phone and the website begin.
  4. A clear path on the UI for proximity-based content and interaction
    push-product.0
    We will get rid of looking for and downloading QR code reader apps, pointing cameras at codes that do not seem to work, we will get rid of service discovery issues in app-based beacon-enabled content and interaction. The browser will serve as the principal source of content and interaction around us and will serve the relevant places and things at our convenience at a single point of entry: the lock screen.
  5. No beacons!
    The most promising feature of the physical web is not requiring installed, dedicated hardware: The Wi-Fi Alliance is already pushing Wi-Fi Aware to rival Bluetooth Smart and both Mac OS X and Windows 10 have universal Bluetooth libraries that enable 240 000 000 PCs in the world to power the physical web and act as Bluetooth beacons today.

With these advances, app-less proximity-based content and interaction will soon be available to practically anyone regardless of mobile platform, physical location and market size.

Try world’s first content and interaction platform for the physical web that will enable all of these advantages, sign up for Beeem now!

#physicalweb #ibeacon #eddystone #beacon

6 reasons to rethink your event app and go for the physical web

6 reasons to rethink your app and go for the physical web

A little while ago the guys over at  wrote a post on the challenges of event apps called 6 Reasons to Re-Think Building your Own Event App. They presented some interesting insight into the main challenges event professionals face when developing a branded event app for their visitors. A lot of things happened in the time since the piece was written, the launch of Google Eddystone beacon format, and the cancellation Google HERE service inside Google Maps just to name a few major pieces of news for the booming retail and event technology industry.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the current situation in beacon technology. With the concept of the physical web, we can go further in analysis and explore the newest technology trends. How does the advent of the physical web change the situation in the Event Technology and the entire IoT landscape?

  1. Mobile Development Takes Forever
    Mobile app development is a complex task: with user requirements, meetings, walkthroughs, more meetings, project management, schedules and then some more meetings…mobile event app development offers very little in terms of instant gratification.
    The physical web will take care of that: you’ll select the communication tools add the proper content or interaction features, delegate the content tasks to exhibitors or partners who you can work together with, you’ll have a much more easy time developing your content!
  2. Mobile Development is Tough
    Let’s get real: you’re most likely are not – and most definitely do not need to be – an IT professional. And mobile app development is expecting a lot from you: understanding the fundamentals and the day-to-day tasks of mobile app development is a tough expectation that should not be!
    The physical web will change this: you will be basically drag-and-dropping your way to a website that you will be able to collaborate on with ease: delegating or sharing content tasks during preparation will be a snap! Deployment will be as easy as placing the physical web beacons to the desired locations of your event or venue!
  3. Mobile App Security is Important
    This is one of the key areas for the future: apps even from the biggest vendors rely on several techniques (like local databases) that are prone to data theft. This area of the security layer is very under-elaborated: event apps are typically low-used apps, developers are not likely to test them on big, global audiences. This means that data theft is less likely to be identified.
    The physical web relies on the standard web technologies that have been with us for over a decade now: with content delivery networks and massive security services behind them, your data is as secure as it can be!
  4. You’ll Need A LOT of Technical Support for that App!
    There is just too much hassle with tech support: apps have to be compatible with several screen sizes, browsers and settings that do not make it easy on event professionals. You need to remind yourself that this app is NEW to all of your visitors!
    Using standard web technologies, the physical web will replace all of these problems. All of the browsers on all of the major platforms (even on Windows Mobile 10) are HTML5 compatible to a high degree. This means that the physical web will render the same on all of these platforms and provide the same experience to all!
  5. App User Experience is a Learned Art Form
    With changing technologies and ever-bigger screen sizes, the design of the user experience is different for all target markets. Trying to provide the same UI for all events is a stretch: from teens to millennials through seniors, target markets have very-very differing content consumption and device use patterns. Using an app-based concept for event engagement will tie you down.
    With the physical web, your on-event interaction can be as simple and as tailored as you wish: from simple schedules to Q&As at talks, file sharing at stands all of the possibilities are in your hands!
  6. Publishing and Distributing Event Apps is no Cake-Walk
    No matter who you work with, no matter how much experience they have, especially on iOS you have to be ready within weeks of your event: app approval times are slightly rising on both platforms. The more complexity you have, the bigger the times are.
    The physical web will do away with this: you’ll be able to change content and interaction features on the fly even during the event itself! 

As these examples show, almost all of the challenges facing the Event marketing and Event technology segments will be solved with the Physical web and Google’s Eddystone beacon format allowing for mass acceptance of proximity-based information and interaction on a large scale.

Try world’s first content and interaction platform for the physical web that will enable all of these advantages, sign up for Beeem now!

#physicalweb #eddystone #ibeacon #eventtech #iot  #tradeshows

5 reasons iBeacon fails and the Physical Web succeeds

5 reasons ibeacon fails and the physical web succeeds

Some time ago, Peter Williams, Product Director and Co-founder at Localz wrote a great piece on The top 5 reasons why iBeacon projects fail. A lot of things happened in the short time since the post was published, Google launched their own Eddystone beacon format, and the cancellation Google HERE service inside Google Maps was leaked. These stories are just the icing of the cake for the retail and event technology industry space that is clearly booming.

In this post, we will take a look at the current situation in the beacon technology space. With the concept of the physical web, we can go further in analysis and explore the newest technology trends. How does the advent of the physical web change the situation in the Retail, Event technology and the entire IoT landscape?

1. There’s no real benefit

The physical web will make trying to make people install our app for no apparent reason to them a thing of the past: the offered functionality and the benefit to the visitors or customers will be perfectly clear from the start. The interaction inside the physical web site will be a breeze!

2. It’s an isolated experience

The use of the web has become commonplace in almost all sectors of life. The expansion of the web to physical spaces will make using our prior knowledge of our visitor or customer a much easier and way less expensive task! Integrating a payment gateway, an omnichannel commerce engine or your social media is trivial and will enhance functionality to never before seen levels.

3. Reliance on a single technology

iOS versions SOURCE: AppleAndroid version breakdownAs time goes on, both iOS and Android make strides in their platforms that continually increase the penetration of BlueTooth. As more and more BlueTooth 4 devices are out there, the power management worries are going to fade away quickly. Both platform vendors are strongly pushing BlueTooth to be turned on. For example, iOS is warning users in their settings menu. And Android is allowing for the BlueTooth radio to be turned on by an app if required.

4. Lack of integration to what already exists

This part is most likely the biggest advance the physical web is making in relation to apps: the World-Wide-Web had a phenomenal 25 years since it’s inception. This run of success can be attributed to the strength and flexibility of the web to be an application platform. And the same thing will happen on mobile. To quote from the World Wide Web Consortium’s latest document on Standards for Web Applications on Mobile:
“Web technologies have become powerful enough that they are used to build full-featured applications; this has been true for many years in the desktop and laptop computer realm, but is increasingly so on mobile devices as well.”

5. Security & privacy non-compliance

Creating proximity-based interaction will no longer be a threat to security. Using standard web technologies will provide the same level of security we have enjoyed on the web for years. The same principals and legal background can be applied to your physical web content as your current content on the web. The use of standard web technologies has raised the bar in IT security. The use of apps will no longer create a hole in the privacy and security compliance domain of your IT strategy.

As these examples show, the Physical web and Google’s Eddystone beacon format will solve almost all of the challenges facing the Retail and Event marketing segments allowing for mass acceptance of proximity-based information and interaction on a large scale.

Try world’s first content and interaction platform for the physical web that will enable all of these advantages, sign up for Beeem now!

#physicalweb #eddystone #ibeacon #eventtech #retail #festivals #iot  #tradeshows