Google Chrome has removed its iOS and Android support for the Physical Web in its latest update for Chrome. At the moment we are unsure if Google has done this because it has something better in the pipeline: it’s worth remembering they did something similar this time last year with Nearby notifications, temporarily suppressing them because they were improving the service.
However, no matter what the reason, this update will only affect people who have an iOS device and who have chosen to install Google Chrome, which is estimated be just 3.9% of users. Most iOS users prefer Safari, with 96.1% estimated to use this browser.
Even if this latest move is permanent it is not a big deal, and here’s why:
Eddystone-URL is the open-source protocol used by Beacons to send notifications to Bluetooth enabled smartphones. Beacons that support the Eddystone protocol (BCM Beacons for example) send out a URL viewable by anyone with a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone, and this is supported by the new improved Google Nearby service on both iOS and Android.
- With Nearby, you can manually enter a title and description for your URL, greatly increasing its effectiveness.
- Nearby supports App intents, so when people click on a notification, it directly opens the correct app.
- Targeting rules make it easier to customise your message, for example only sending notifications during weekday working hours.
- Nearby also cleverly eliminates duplicate notifications.
What to Do If Your iPhone is Affected
If your iPhone is affected by these changes then it is very easy to fix. Downloading one of these amazing apps will add or restore this feature to your phone.
If you do have problems, please contact our technical team and we’ll get you up and running again right away.