On June 9th, Google introduced a new feature for Android users called “Nearby,” which is a location based system that notifies Android smartphone owners of apps and sites that are possibly relevant or useful in real time based on their location.
Google provides some use cases in its post:
- Print photos directly from your phone at CVS Pharmacy.
- Explore historical landmarks at the University of Notre Dame.
- Download the audio tour when you’re at The Broad in L.A.
- Skip the customs line at select airports with Mobile Passport.
- Download the United Airlines app for free in-flight entertainment while you wait at the gate.
If you’re running KitKat on your Android devices (which includes Android watches), Nearby will be compatible with that device.
Not only will Nearby let users know of content and experiences that could be helpful to the user, Nearby is another effective app marketing/discovery tool, as well as a way to help developers engage users.
Nearby will also get Android users to opt into location services and notifications. In turn, this will support things such as Store Visits data for AdWords.
In order for Nearby to work properly, users will have to turn on location services and Bluetooth, since the services will rely on beacons which trigger mobile webpages or experiences via Chrome. If you want more technical information on this topic, check out the Google Developer Blog post.
Overall, it has been shown, according to recent consumer surveys, that Android users tend to be more receptive to noticications than iOS users. But let’s not get the wrong idea here, as a majority of mobile users are resistant to notifications. The good thing about location is that it is a way to help personalize a user’s experience and make notifications more relevant and overcome that resistance.
Here’s a video from the Google I/O session on Nearby: