A few years ago, Google launched a feature called Nearby Notifications for Android. Available since Android 4.4 KitKat, the ability was for compatible Google Play Services versions. The feature was interesting because it showed notifications based on closeness to Bluetooth beacons. Despite being a solid idea, Google has decided to axe Nearby Notifications.

The company initially introduced Nearby Notifications to help Android users to receive information on nearby services. While outside, a device could connect to near Bluetooth signaling beacons to provide data on locations nearby.

As mentioned, it was a neat idea. However, Google too to its Android Developers Blog to says Nearby Notifications did not evolve as it had hoped. The company says spam content coming through the feature has increased this year:

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“We’ve learned a lot building and launching Nearby Notifications. However, earlier this year, we noticed a significant increase in locally irrelevant and spammy notifications that were leading to a poor user experience.”

Poor Quality Notifications

Google says it could have dealt with the spam through “filtering and tuning” but decided it was too complicated. It is worth noting Android users could turn off the feature if they wanted. The problem was many users would forget and be bombarded with spam notifications.

Google explains how the change will affect developers when Nearby Notifications are ended on Dec. 6, 2018:

“On December 6th we will stop delivering both Eddystone and Physical Web beacon notifications. You will still continue to have access to the beacon dashboard and can deliver proximity based experiences similar to Nearby Notifications via your own apps using our Proximity Beacons API.”

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