Some of you might remember the Contextual App Experiences talk at I/O this year. The seemingly convoluted name actually held some pretty big news, as it was during that talk that Google revealed its plans to refresh the Nearby Connections API. That set of APIs is used to provide communication between your phone and other things in physical proximity to you, further expanding your ability to share info and data locally. Well, as of today version 2.0 that API is now available, bringing new features for developers.
Nearby Connections isn’t a new thing. Google announced the original API back in 2015, and last year the company expanded on it. Nearby Connections is a part of the overall “Nearby” package, which includes the Nearby Notifications and Nearby Messages APIs. Things can get a tiny bit confusing between the various “Nearby” names Google has for different things, but Nearby Connections is primarily peer to peer, as opposed to the beacon-based system used in Nearby Notifications, though functionality in Nearby Messages does seem to slightly overlap. This latest release of Nearby Connections, version 2.0, brings with it support for higher-bandwidth operations, lower latency, encrypted connections, and full offline support.
It might not seem like a big deal, but the potential applications of local communication from the Nearby package are quite extensive. There’s a reason we’ve called it “the genius feature no one is using.” From home automation to content consumption, and even when it comes to censorship and security, there are a ton of ways the under-utilized API can be harnessed for consumers, especially now…
click here to read more