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Apple starts iBeacon product certification under 'Made for iPhone' program

post #1 of 13
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In a push for wider iBeacon adoption, Apple on Tuesday released specification requirements under the "Made for iPhone" program for third-party manufacturers looking to build products incorporating the Bluetooth LE-based technology.

iBeacon


According to Apple's "Made for iPhone" program website, OEMs with products meeting the newly instituted criteria can now ask for iBeacon branding from Apple, opening the door to myriad new implementations, reports BEEKn.

As noted by the publication, the specifics of Apple's iBeacon requirements under the MFi program are currently unknown as part of the vetting process includes the signing of a non-disiclosure agreement. Sources said there are "no surprises" in what Apple is asking of hardware makers and applying for iBeacon branding is reportedly free.

When Apple introduced iBeacon micro-location technology with iOS 7, the company gave smart device users an entirely new way to interact with their environment. Because iBeacon is proximity-based, the system can offer granular and targeted information to passing users via app notifications or in-app content.

Leveraging Bluetooth LE, iBeacons transmitters bring location awareness to compatible devices. For example, if a user is in proximity of a beacon at a grocery store, their iPhone may pull up daily deals or a store map.

After a number of pilot tests, including the Macy's flagship store in New York, Apple rolled out the technology in December at its U.S. retail stores. Tied to the Apple Store iOS app, iBeacon can invoke location-based product messages, the EasyPay function and push out general notifications.

Major League Baseball recently announced successful iBeacon installations at Dodger Stadium and Petco Park, with the hardware serving up ballpark information, points of interest and more. MLB plans to roll out iBeacon tech in over 20 parks before the 2014 season's stateside opener in March.
post #2 of 13
Quote:
The move means that the iBeacon trademark, which has ended up being applied by the media to a whole slew of devices that act as beacons, will now be used with a bit more control from Cupertino.

But there’s no particular restriction in place which makes an iBeacon incompatible with Android or other phones. So while a beacon might carry the iBeacon name, this simple means that it has access to the trademark and that it has been configured to work well with Apple devices.

Good tactically.

Not long before we get a payments system?!

I for one would love to get rid of the debit card crutch iTunes will require for a mobile payments system, and many people are dissatisfied with banks and card company fees, but I can't see this happening unfortunately.
post #3 of 13
About time ... 1smoking.gif

....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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....the lack of properly optimized apps is one of the reasons "why the experience on Android tablets is so crappy".

Tim Cook ~ The Wall Street Journal - February 7, 2014

Inside Google! 

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post #4 of 13
I don't know. To me iBeacon only sounds like getting flooded with messages whenever I'm walking through the city, mall, etc. - basically wherever I am. That's definitely not an attractive prospect. At least not for me.
post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

I don't know. To me iBeacon only sounds like getting flooded with messages whenever I'm walking through the city, mall, etc. - basically wherever I am. That's definitely not an attractive prospect. At least not for me.

In what way do you expect to get flooded with messages?

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post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


In what way do you expect to get flooded with messages?

 

Well, it sounds as if I get notifications whenever I'm close to an iBeacon, e.g. when entering an Apple store, grocery store, a mall, movie theatre, ...

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

Well, it sounds as if I get notifications whenever I'm close to an iBeacon, e.g. when entering an Apple store, grocery store, a mall, movie theatre, ...

Think of it like an RSS feed. You will get notices of all the news articles and blogs you wish to follow but you are still in control of what websites you wish to receive these RSS feeds from, not every RSS feed that exists.

iBeacons are no different except for being even more selective since location is key. If you 1) have installed the Apple Store app on your iDevice, 2) have iBeacons enabled for that Apple Store app, and 3) have BT enabled on your device will then get iBeacon notifications when you're in an Apple Store. But that Apple Store app won't pick up iBeacons from a grocery store, mall, movie theater, etc. You'll have to willfully install other apps that are tied to those iBeacons and then willfully choose to accept their iBeacons to receive anything.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Think of it like an RSS feed. You will get notices of all the news articles and blogs you wish to follow but you are still in control of what websites you wish to receive these RSS feeds from, not every RSS feed that exists.

iBeacons are no different except for being even more selective in that location is key. If you 1) have installed the Apple Store app on your iDevices, 2) have iBeacons enabled for that app, and 3) have BT on for your device will then get iBeacon notifications when you're in an Apple Store. But that Apple Store app won't pick up iBeacons from a grocery store, mall, movie theater, etc. You'll have to willfully install other apps that are tied to those iBeacons and then willfully choose to accept their iBeacons to receive anything.

OK, thanks for the clarification. However, on one hand this sounds like a lot of (de)activations I've to do. On the other hand I'll ultimately judge it once it's widely implemented. Most of the time Apple does a good job on such things and remains unobtrusive. We'll see.

post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post

OK, thanks for the clarification. However, on one hand this sounds like a lot of (de)activations I've to do. On the other hand I'll ultimately judge it once it's widely implemented. Most of the time Apple does a good job on such things and remains unobtrusive. We'll see.

Has Push Notifications been an issue for you over the years? I get many per day, mostly in the form of iMessages, but I've never found the concept to be obtrusive. Now consider that any app can setup Push Notifications and send them to you at any time. They don't need you to be in a special location or need to have specialized HW; they could just spam you all day for the hell of it. The apps that I have don't seem to ever do that so I can't imagine a location based push notification by the same apps I already use would seek to abuse their existence on my phone, especially when it would be so easy to delete the app altogether.

It's really quite brilliant.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #10 of 13

This is huge.

 

On a 'somewhat' related note, I wish Apple would add female Lightning port connectors for iPhone battery case makers to its MFi program. Badly needed.

Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #11 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacApfel View Post
 

OK, thanks for the clarification. However, on one hand this sounds like a lot of (de)activations I've to do.

 

You misspelled "activations".

 

Just to be absolutely clear... if you do nothing, you'll never receive an iBeacon notification.  Not one.  Not ever.  You'll have to knowingly install and grant permission for an app to use iBeacon.  In other words, "it sounds like a lot of activations you may want to do (or not)".

post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

This is huge.

On a 'somewhat' related note, I wish Apple would add female Lightning port connectors for iPhone battery case makers to its MFi program. Badly needed.

I'd be happy with Apple even limiting the Lightning receptacle to only be included on devices, on a 1:1 basis, that also have a male Lightning plug, like Mophie Juice Box. Micro-USB 2.0 absolutely sucks and micro-USB 3.0 is even worse. In fact, the reason why I don't many accessories for my iPhone and iPad is that I dislike not getting to use my Lightning cables when using these accessories. I'd think they would be able to further grow their accessories market and sell more Lightning cables if they did this.

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

 

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post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimmyDax View Post
I for one would love to get rid of the debit card crutch iTunes will require for a mobile payments system, and many people are dissatisfied with banks and card company fees, but I can't see this happening unfortunately.

 

Uhh... Apple has enough cash to be their own bank. In that event, I wouldn't expect Apple to offer any deals on fees...

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