At I/O in May 2017, Google previewed its second generation of Nearby Connections toolkit. Now, the company has made it available to Android developers. This updated framework can find nearby devices by using Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, then establishes connections to them and perform tasks without the necessity of an internet connection. It means whenever you enter your hotel room, it can adjust the temperature, or your phone could merge contacts while you’re close to your spouse.
Apps using this Nearby Connections API can switch between these different radios when needed and can take advantage of new radios depending on their availability. Developers don’t have to write a new code or that. The kit also supports centralized connection, as well as mesh networks. The first one is specifically helpful in the classroom, where you’d want to give priority to one particular device.
The new Nearby Connections will take some time to make its way towards the apps you use, but some companies have already partnered with Google to use the new API. The Weather Channel is installing mesh networks in areas with data deficiency so that it can spread emergency weather warnings. GameInsight will help you not only find nearby players, but also play the whole game offline. Hotstar is providing offline media sharing and Android TV will make initial setup process easier and enable new second screen experience by developing a new remote control app, which will use Nearby Connections.