1. What is a beacon?
A beacon emits a Bluetooth Low Energy signal, being Bluetooth 4.0, that consumes very little power, especially compared to previous versions. They give the option to define a radius in which the user can receive a notification.
A beacon is uniquely identified due to the combination of three parameters :
- The UUID : this is a unique identifier, specific to an enterprise, an application or someone who owns one or more beacons. It must be in the form: f7826da6-4fa2-4e98-8024-bc5b71e0893e
- The major : it is used to create groups of beacons under the same UUID. It must be between 1 and 65535 ;
- The minor : this also, combined with the major, allows to refine the beacon consolidation. It also must have a value between 1 and 65535.
As an example, we can imagine the case of a grocery store that wants to feature current special offers :
- All of the beacons in the store will have the same UUID ;
- All of the beacons in the "Fruit and vegetables" radius will have the same major, let's say 1 ;
- The apples on sale will have a minor and the strawberries will have another minor.
So, we get the following combinations :
- Beacon placed for apples : ( f7826da6-4fa2-4e98-8024-bc5b71e0893e ; 1 ; 1 ) ;
- Beacon placed for strawberries : ( f7826da6-4fa2-4e98-8024-bc5b71e0893e ; 1 ; 2 ).
"iBeacon" is the generic term, created by Apple, used to qualify beacons. Since August 2015, Google also launched a similar beacon format, called "Eddystone", simply containing more settings than iBeacons, but which in our case will not be used.
There are several beacon manufacturers, but not all of them are compatible with the Apple and Google formats. You must buy beacons from one of these manufacturers to be able to use the Apollo Apps iBeacon add-on.
We recommend 2 manufacturers : Kontakt and Estimote. There beacons are compatible with both formats.
In Apollo Apps, when setting up your push notification, you will have to fill in the UUID, the major, and the minor. The tutorials that follow explain, step by step, how to find them and how to modify them with the applications of both brands that we recommend :
- Tutorial for Kontakt beacons
- Tutorial for Estimote beacons
3. Be careful when submitting your app to Apple
If you enable the add-on iBeacon, make sure you set a UUID before submitting your app to Apple.
It is a rejection motive to submit an app with this add-on installed but not set fully.
If you're not sure yet to use this feature, remove the iBeacon add-on (Add-ons > Management) it must be removed completely from your add-ons, not just deactivated, then rebuild your app to submit it to Apple.
4. Update of the notification
If you create or update a new notification links to a beacon, you will need to kill the app and launch it again in order to apply it.