As all of you know, Google has finally launched the new Chrome for Android (version 49) to push physical web capabilities to some 5 million users. Here are the key takeaways from the experience of our users:
1. Use HTTPS!
Chrome for Android does not let any HTTP URLs through! Even though Chrome for iOS works with HTTP URLs, it seems that Chrome for Android does not let them pass at all! Last week we added full HTTPS support to Beeem to enable anyone to create a landing page with the physical web fully compliant with Google’s high security standards! This will add an extra layer of secutiry to users that will ensure that the physical web is going to be even more secure than the web itself!
2. Watch out for your OEM Android!
With dozens of big Android vendors, everyone tries to get the maximum out of their phones. Several manufacturers use some sort of battery/performance optimization tools that tweak several things that might prevent from Chrome for Android in locating physical web beacons. The usual suspects are: Battery/performance profiles turning Bluetooth off (even if they are turned on in Android settings!) and preventing Chrome for Android launching on Boot. In our direct experience there is no single cure you should tweak around and wait as Google’s services may not locate physical web beacons on the fly (like on Chrome for iOS). Let’s hope this improves later on.
3. Turn it ON! 🙂
No matter how simple it seems, as Chrome does not prompt you to turn Bluetooth or the Physical web on, you might want to start with checking Bluetooth in your Android Settings and Enabling the Physical Web on Chrome @ Settings/Privacy/Physical Web! If you’re still stuck, you can take a look at Google’s help.
4. Make sure your URL makes sense to the visitor!
If you followed these key steps all you have to do is make sure you have a meaningful landing page for your Beacon: beacon URLs only make sense if the provide real value to users! Keep in mind that the key to the physical web is interaction on demand. We’ve created the simplest and most powerful landing page editor for the physical web. You should try it out @ https://beeem.co now!
With these key steps, you should be good to go with the physical web on Chrome for Android! Enjoy!
A little while ago the guys over at Whova 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?
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
In today’s quickly changing event landscape, event apps have steadily caught on as a means of enriching the experience and many event professionals have already employed robust technologies to boost the interaction and social aspects of live meetings. With the advances Google has made with their Eddystone beacon standard will allow for the extension of the event website to physical spaces of the event.
Here are the top 4 reasons why the physical web will make the event apps obsolete in 2016:
Say goodbye to app clutter! Event apps have become complex: they offer dozens of features that most events will take but are only useful in certain physical areas such as meeting rooms. These non-relevant features clutter the UI twice: they take up screen real-estate when they are irrelevant and whenever the user taps on them when they shouldn’t. Walk up and use anything is the fundamental message of the physical web and this will be true for events as well: participants will enter any part of the physical environment of an event and will get the targeted content for that particular environment.
Link and reuse your existing web content! With an already existing website that is most likely mobile-friendly event professionals already do a part of the legwork required for event mobile success. These pieces of content can be easily reused in the physical web presence of the event: agendas, speaker profiles and social media are just some examples of some of the content that can be used inside your physical web presence without someone writing code (and you paying for it)!
Hyperlocal by nature There is a major shift in adoption of location-based services that drives the beacon revolution in several verticals at the moment. With event apps adopting beacon capabilities, the infrastructure is already being enabled to allow for a much easier and more location-aware experience.
The bottom line At the end it all comes down to the math: how much time and money do you spend on your event app experience? With the physical web, you’ll be able to get rid of massive capital expenses and the risk that comes with it and employ a technology everyone is already familiar with. With event app developers struggling with the ROI of their products it is easy to see why: in order to serve their customers, they need to employ software engineers to make your event app. Even with some automation in app production there is a massive cost for this that will ultimately be surpassed by the much more friendly approach of the physical web.