Apple iBeacon

As we all know that mobile applications have helped marketers to deliver personalized experience to users and these days, most of the customers opt for using mobile phones for shopping.

Retailers are quite worried about the constant increase in diminishing showroom traffic; however, iBeacon is the most useful for marketers in this case. This is a highly new and advanced technology and various retailers and marketers have just begun to experiment with it. The technology was introduced at WWDC in 2013, and it is a specification for BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy.

They are constantly transmitting the same signal containing a UUID to recognize an iBeacon and the distance form it. All the devices that powered with Bluetooth 4.0 to detect those and developers are taking benefit of them by developing different triggers to react to them.

Executing iBeacon – Own Application and Third-Party App

Already Running App

Do you already have running app and users download it? Location-based elements can be easily built up in the application. However, the benefit of it would be that iBeacon will help in delivering personalized experience to users as per their location.

In an iBeacon-enabled application, a lot of features can be enabled like digital loyalty schemes, notifications, etc. Instead, if you are a small company with no development team, creating an iBeacon-enabled application is quite expensive, so it is recommended that you consider third-party applications.

Third-party Apps

In case, if you do not have your own application or you have a small budget, using third-party apps is the best solution. By opting for this, you can get advantage of only adjusting triggers to the already running apps on users’ devices. It will help you to reach more customers.

Apart from this, there are lots of disadvantages linked with the third-party apps. Enormous brands are there that are sending push notifications through the same app and it can be irritating for the user.

Mobile iBeacon Applications Using JavaScript

Apple’s iOS has iBeacon API, which can be used easily to scan the iBeacons. Other platforms like Android and more support BLE that can also scan the iBeacons. The plugins of iBeacon are also obtainable for Cordova/PhoneGap. The company has some of the restrictions on how their APIs can be utilized properly on iOS platform; however, other platforms do not have such restrictions.

Implementation

As you know that iBeacon application is developed in HTML/JavaScript. You can also use the Evothings clients for the deployment of an application to publish an app on the app stores. To track beacons, it is important to specify the regions that they could determine that notifications need to be generated.

Moreover, the UUID of beacons is also essential to know and multiple beacons can also be used same UUID. Both the minor as well as major integer numbers can be uniquely identifying an iBeacon.

Tracking and Monitoring of Beacons

Mainly, there are two different types of tracking used for beacons:
One that tracks the entrance and exit of regions and the monitoring can be carried out when an application is both in the foreground and in the background. The second one works only in the foreground and has an instant update rate with proximity information.

To get beacons’ events, a delegate object with callback functions can be used easily. To run an application, a developer needs to:
  • First, download the GitHub source code.
  • Begin with Evothings Workbench on a desktop machine.
  • Then, you can connect to the workbench by launching the Evothings Client.
  • Now, add some of the important HTML and JS files to the project.
  • Run a Project
  • Look at how an application works on a mobile device.
Integrating Beacons with an Application

For integrating beacons with an application, here are the prerequisites:
  • A beacon with ibeacon technology
  • Comprehending of BLE and iBeacon
  • A valid iOS developer account, and iOS device and Xcode.
As you know that core locations are the most essential to manage GPS information like determining a user’s position. For managing the beacon, CLBeaconRegion is the main class and it contains all information about beacons for tracking.

Things that need to be set:
  • proximityUUID
  • Major/Minor ID
  • notifyOnEntry/ notifyOnExit
  • notifyEntryOnStateDisplay
Once you registered the regions that should be monitored, you will get CLLocationManagerDelegate callbacks that reports back the entry and exit events for CLBeaconRegions through the method below:

(void)locationManager:(CLLocationManager *) manager didDetermineState:(CLRegionState) state forRegion:(CLRegion *) region

The state is reported back with one of three below values:
  • CLRegionStateUnknown – no state of the region is determined
  • CLRegionStateInside – inside the specified beacon region
  • CLRegionStateOutside – outside the specified beacon region
However, there are various challenges that you can face while developing iBeacon application, so let’s have a look at the different challenges:

Dealing with Messy Signals

iBeacon applications are mainly commencing with external radios, which transmit signals. Thus, it can be quite messy for you.

It must be excellent guess the iBeacon’s distance that is challenging because radio waves bounce around a physical location and are affected by the presence of users. In addition to this, the Bluetooth LE (low-energy) spectrum is in the same spectrum band as Wi-Fi that can interfere with the signal.

The Server Piece

An iBeacon application has given all the variables encountered, business logic scripts are a must-have. For instance, your application requires to collect data about the beacons like its UUID, major and minor numbers, and location on a floor plan.

It needs to access the business logic script to get a list of all the users at a beacon when the app encounters a beacon, it requires to access the business logic script to get a list of all the users at a beacon.

For privacy, the script filters the data and tries to interpret what “at the beacon” means – that is quite tricky, given the updates at events may not be recorded in real-time or the device might drop out of the beacon’s range.

One of the main solutions is to make use of a time-based heuristic to guess if the user is reasonably still there or not. Other business logic scripts use to observe trends, perform statistical analysis and draw conclusions.

Figuring out the Permission Matrix

It is important that iBeacon apps check several states to perform. Initially, does the device support iBeacon? Second, has the user enabled Bluetooth and location services, thereby providing permission for the application to access the device’s location.

In some of the cases, it’s a good idea to wait until the last possible moment to ask for these permissions rather than blasting users before they have even tried the app or are close to an iBeacon. You can proactively offer information, explaining the value of the application and how user data is protected.

So, this is the complete guide of developing Apple iBeacon application with your desired features. If you want to get help from professional iBeacon app developers, you can get in touch with a leading iOS and iPhone app development company that has expertise in developing apps for iOS.

A Complete Guide to Develop Apple iBeacon Application


Apple iBeacon

As we all know that mobile applications have helped marketers to deliver personalized experience to users and these days, most of the customers opt for using mobile phones for shopping.

Retailers are quite worried about the constant increase in diminishing showroom traffic; however, iBeacon is the most useful for marketers in this case. This is a highly new and advanced technology and various retailers and marketers have just begun to experiment with it. The technology was introduced at WWDC in 2013, and it is a specification for BLE or Bluetooth Low Energy.

They are constantly transmitting the same signal containing a UUID to recognize an iBeacon and the distance form it. All the devices that powered with Bluetooth 4.0 to detect those and developers are taking benefit of them by developing different triggers to react to them.

Executing iBeacon – Own Application and Third-Party App

Already Running App

Do you already have running app and users download it? Location-based elements can be easily built up in the application. However, the benefit of it would be that iBeacon will help in delivering personalized experience to users as per their location.

In an iBeacon-enabled application, a lot of features can be enabled like digital loyalty schemes, notifications, etc. Instead, if you are a small company with no development team, creating an iBeacon-enabled application is quite expensive, so it is recommended that you consider third-party applications.

Third-party Apps

In case, if you do not have your own application or you have a small budget, using third-party apps is the best solution. By opting for this, you can get advantage of only adjusting triggers to the already running apps on users’ devices. It will help you to reach more customers.

Apart from this, there are lots of disadvantages linked with the third-party apps. Enormous brands are there that are sending push notifications through the same app and it can be irritating for the user.

Mobile iBeacon Applications Using JavaScript

Apple’s iOS has iBeacon API, which can be used easily to scan the iBeacons. Other platforms like Android and more support BLE that can also scan the iBeacons. The plugins of iBeacon are also obtainable for Cordova/PhoneGap. The company has some of the restrictions on how their APIs can be utilized properly on iOS platform; however, other platforms do not have such restrictions.

Implementation

As you know that iBeacon application is developed in HTML/JavaScript. You can also use the Evothings clients for the deployment of an application to publish an app on the app stores. To track beacons, it is important to specify the regions that they could determine that notifications need to be generated.

Moreover, the UUID of beacons is also essential to know and multiple beacons can also be used same UUID. Both the minor as well as major integer numbers can be uniquely identifying an iBeacon.

Tracking and Monitoring of Beacons

Mainly, there are two different types of tracking used for beacons:
One that tracks the entrance and exit of regions and the monitoring can be carried out when an application is both in the foreground and in the background. The second one works only in the foreground and has an instant update rate with proximity information.

To get beacons’ events, a delegate object with callback functions can be used easily. To run an application, a developer needs to:
  • First, download the GitHub source code.
  • Begin with Evothings Workbench on a desktop machine.
  • Then, you can connect to the workbench by launching the Evothings Client.
  • Now, add some of the important HTML and JS files to the project.
  • Run a Project
  • Look at how an application works on a mobile device.
Integrating Beacons with an Application

For integrating beacons with an application, here are the prerequisites:
  • A beacon with ibeacon technology
  • Comprehending of BLE and iBeacon
  • A valid iOS developer account, and iOS device and Xcode.
As you know that core locations are the most essential to manage GPS information like determining a user’s position. For managing the beacon, CLBeaconRegion is the main class and it contains all information about beacons for tracking.

Things that need to be set:
  • proximityUUID
  • Major/Minor ID
  • notifyOnEntry/ notifyOnExit
  • notifyEntryOnStateDisplay
Once you registered the regions that should be monitored, you will get CLLocationManagerDelegate callbacks that reports back the entry and exit events for CLBeaconRegions through the method below:

(void)locationManager:(CLLocationManager *) manager didDetermineState:(CLRegionState) state forRegion:(CLRegion *) region

The state is reported back with one of three below values:
  • CLRegionStateUnknown – no state of the region is determined
  • CLRegionStateInside – inside the specified beacon region
  • CLRegionStateOutside – outside the specified beacon region
However, there are various challenges that you can face while developing iBeacon application, so let’s have a look at the different challenges:

Dealing with Messy Signals

iBeacon applications are mainly commencing with external radios, which transmit signals. Thus, it can be quite messy for you.

It must be excellent guess the iBeacon’s distance that is challenging because radio waves bounce around a physical location and are affected by the presence of users. In addition to this, the Bluetooth LE (low-energy) spectrum is in the same spectrum band as Wi-Fi that can interfere with the signal.

The Server Piece

An iBeacon application has given all the variables encountered, business logic scripts are a must-have. For instance, your application requires to collect data about the beacons like its UUID, major and minor numbers, and location on a floor plan.

It needs to access the business logic script to get a list of all the users at a beacon when the app encounters a beacon, it requires to access the business logic script to get a list of all the users at a beacon.

For privacy, the script filters the data and tries to interpret what “at the beacon” means – that is quite tricky, given the updates at events may not be recorded in real-time or the device might drop out of the beacon’s range.

One of the main solutions is to make use of a time-based heuristic to guess if the user is reasonably still there or not. Other business logic scripts use to observe trends, perform statistical analysis and draw conclusions.

Figuring out the Permission Matrix

It is important that iBeacon apps check several states to perform. Initially, does the device support iBeacon? Second, has the user enabled Bluetooth and location services, thereby providing permission for the application to access the device’s location.

In some of the cases, it’s a good idea to wait until the last possible moment to ask for these permissions rather than blasting users before they have even tried the app or are close to an iBeacon. You can proactively offer information, explaining the value of the application and how user data is protected.

So, this is the complete guide of developing Apple iBeacon application with your desired features. If you want to get help from professional iBeacon app developers, you can get in touch with a leading iOS and iPhone app development company that has expertise in developing apps for iOS.


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