Google officially announced a new Android feature today that notifies Play Store users of apps that might be relevant to them based off their location. It’s called Nearby and users can opt in by turning on their Bluetooth and location. So, for example, if you’re near CVS Pharmacy, Nearby will let you know that you can print photos there through the pharmacy’s app. Or if you’re in an airport’s United terminal, Nearby will prompt you to download the airline’s app and watch its free in-air entertainment. If a notification is clicked, users will be pushed through to its Play Store listing.
The new feature will also make it easier to set up your phone with Android Wear and Google Cast devices that are in your proximity. The update is rolling out as part of a Google Play Services update and will be available on Android 4.4 and above.
IT’LL BE AVAILABLE ON ANDROID 4.4 AND ABOVE
This sounds like a whole lot of forced advertisements to me, but it could be helpful in certain circumstances. Maybe I do want to know about a museum’s audio tour app. Google doesn’t indicate that these will be advertisers, but rather that any app developer can incorporate beacon technology that will allow their app to be promoted on Nearby.
The release of Nearby follows Google’s decision to let advertisers pay for “promoted pins” on Google Maps. It also does something similar on search: if someone Googles “coffee nearby” a paying advertiser could show up as the first result.