Eddystone Q&A—27 Frequently Asked Questions Answered
You keep asking us questions about the new beacon format and our platform’s support, so we gathered many of the common questions and answered them. We’ve grouped them all together below for you.
If you think there are other important issues we should add, let us know in the comments section!
Please note: Eddystone is an open format, so it’ll evolve and grow. The following list presents what’s possible right now (or what we believe will happen soon), but it doesn’t mean it’s the end of Eddystone’s capabilities. We’ll be updating the article once new opportunities show up.
Table of contents
1.1 Can Eddystone beacons broadcast all 3 frame types?
1.2 Can I set my beacons to broadcast either iBeacon or Eddystone?
1.3 Can one device support all 3 frames and iBeacon?
1.4 Can Eddystone beacons transmit the battery status?
1.5. What kind of sensor-driven data is embedded in Eddystone?
1.6 Will Eddystone take the security seriously? For example, will it enable ID rotation?
1.7 How does Eddystone affect the battery life?
1.8 Do Eddystone beacons need Bluetooth turned on?
2.1 Can Android devices scan for Eddystone beacons in the background?
2.2 Can Eddystone wake up Android app?
2.3 Does Eddystone work with 4.3 Android devices?
2.4 Is Eddystone for iOS capable of monitoring (running in background) and ranging (running in foreground)?
2.5 Can Eddystone wake up iOS app that isn’t running in the background?
2.6 Can a single app work with both iBeacon and Eddystone at the same time?
2.7 What value should be used for defining monitoring regions on iOS?
2.8 Will my iBeacon-enabled app stop working if I update my beacons to the latest firmware?
3.1 Can Eddystone URLs be translated by non-Chrome browsers?
3.2 How will Eddystone-triggered URLs look like?
3.3 How does Eddystone deliver URLs to users? Does a user have to open a browser in order to see something?
3.4 Under what circumstances can the Eddystone format push content to a phone that has no app installed?
3.5 Can I decide to whom I want to send URLs?
3.6 May I use my custom link shortener?
3.7 May I broadcast text instead of URL?
4.1 Will Kontakt.io beacons have the ability to update to a firmware that supports Eddystone?
4.2 Do my current beacons support Eddystone-TLM?
4.3 Is Kontakt.io going to add some kind of antispoofing mechanism?
4.4 Can I manage Eddystone Beacons with my Cloud Beacon?
Can Eddystone beacons broadcast all 3 frame types?
It depends on the manufacturer. At Kontakt.io, Eddystone beacons can broadcast all three frame types—one after the other.
Can I set my beacons to broadcast either iBeacon or Eddystone?
Our firmware v3.0 enables you to switch between iBeacon and Eddystone. Learn how to do it.
Can one device support all 3 frames and iBeacon?
It is possible, but our beacons don’t support this feature yet. Transmitting iBeacon and all three Eddystone packets as well as a scan/response packet represents a huge battery drain, and until we have developed a system to broadcast all of these packets and keep a reasonable battery life, we’ll add this capability to our beacons.
Can Eddystone beacons transmit the battery status?
The third frame type (Eddystone-TLM) does this, yes.
What kind of sensor-driven data is embedded in Eddystone?
Currently, Eddystone is able to broadcast the battery status and device’s temperature. Remember, though, that Eddystone is open, so anyone may help it grow. What’s more, Eddystone-TLM frame type supports versioning, so there’s a room for development.
Will Eddystone take security issues seriously? Will it enable ID rotation?
Currently, Eddystone itself is no more or less secure than the iBeacon profile. If you use a tool like Kontakt.io’s Proximity SDK or our API, you can easily and securely rotate your iBeacon or Eddystone beacon.
How does Eddystone affect the battery life?
There’s no big difference between Eddystone and iBeacon when it comes to this issue, provided that you’re only broadcasting one frame type. As you add more and longer broadcasts, the battery draw increases.
Do Eddystone beacons need Bluetooth turned on?
Eddystone beacons, like any other BLE beacons, broadcast a radio signal based on Bluetooth Low Energy. A smartphone, in order to recognize and understand this signal, needs to have Bluetooth enabled.
Can Android devices scan for Eddystone beacons in the background?
Our SKDs support background monitoring right now. According to Google, there will be a native support for that with the release of Google Play services update (v7.8).
Can Eddystone wake up Android app?
Yes, it can.
Does Eddystone work with 4.3 Android devices?
If they only have support for Bluetooth LE, there’s no reason why it shouldn’t.
Is Eddystone for iOS capable of monitoring (running in background) and ranging (running in foreground)?
Our iOS SDK supports ranging. In terms of monitoring, scanning on iOS doesn’t operate within CoreLocation (as it does for an iBeacon profile), but within CoreBluetooth. Therefore, Eddystone monitoring on iOS is less energy efficient and has fewer features.
Can Eddystone wake up iOS app that isn’t running in the background?
Can a single app work with both iBeacon and Eddystone at the same time?
Yes, although there are some tradeoffs you’d need to make, such as having hardware deployed in both beacon formats.
What value should be used for defining monitoring regions on iOS?
Namespace ID would be the closest thing, but monitoring regions only apply if you’re scanning with CoreLocation, and Eddystone beacons only interact with iOS devices via CoreBluetooth, so there’s no direct analogue.
Will my iBeacon-enabled app stop working if I update my beacons to the latest firmware?
Your Bluetooth beacons will not start broadcasting Eddystone frame types unless you make them do so. This would require that you change your app to use Eddystone beacons and also change the beacon format in either the API or the Web Panel to broadcast as an Eddystone format and not under iBeacon profile. If you don’t change anything, your beacons won’t suddenly stop working.
Can Eddystone URLs be translated by non-Chrome browsers?
Eddystone-URLs can be recognized only by browsers that support Eddystone-URL. Currently, the only browser with this support is Chrome.
How will Eddystone-triggered URLs look like?
A user will see a URL and some metadata that is attached to this URL (currently, the Meta: Title tag) just like in a Google search result
How does Eddystone deliver URLs to users? Does a user have to open a browser in order to see something?
For iOS, there’s a Chrome Today widget that enables users to access an on-demand list of URLs broadcasted by nearby beacons. The list is visible after opening the Notification Center. After tapping a link, the browser opens and displays the content linked.
When it comes to Android, we don’t know yet how Google is going to address that, but we may assume that the approach will be similar. We’ll see that in action once Google releases Google Play services v7.8.Right now, you can see URLs in the Physical Web app.
Under what circumstances can the Eddystone format push content to a phone that has no app installed?
There are three requirements, all of them on a user’s smartphone side:
- It has to support Eddystone-URL (on Android, it’ll likely be native either with the Google Play Services update or when they launch Android M. On iOS it is supported by the newest version of Chrome)
- It has to have Bluetooth turned on
- There should be an Internet connection (URLs are broadcast by Bluetooth, so this one isn’t required to display links, but to actually open them)
Can I decide to whom I want to send URLs?
You can’t “target” your URLs, but it’s possible that applications could choose what kind of links they want to receive.
May I use my custom link shortener?
Absolutely! You may use either Google’s shortener or the one of your choice.
May I broadcast text instead of URL?
Theoretically, you may, but it doesn’t make much sense. Remember that links broadcasted by Eddystone beacons aren’t just plain URLs—they contain meta titles. This is where you can place a short call to action or a catchy headline.
Eddystone-URL has to start with a byte representing the http:// or https:// prefix so your text wouldn’t look good. Moreover, if a user clicked on it, a browser would open. Needless to say, it would display an error page.
Do Kontakt.io beacons have the ability to update to a firmware that supports Eddystone?
Yes, they do. Update your beacons to the newest firmware and you’ll be able to choose whether you want your beacons to broadcast iBeacon profile or Eddystone format.
Do my current beacons support Eddystone-TLM?
Your beacons can already broadcast data with the temperature and battery level.
Can I manage Eddystone Beacons with my Cloud Beacon?
Currently, Cloud Beacons aren’t capable of managing Eddystone beacons.
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