Apple Updates Apple Store App with Support for iBeacon Systems

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
7,457
8,520



The Associated Press is reporting that Apple will be launching iBeacon technology in its 254 U.S. retail stores today, with Apple quietly launching an over-the-air update to its Apple Store app to support iBeacon receivers in its retail locations. The official move follows a report last month stating that iBeacon integration in Apple Stores would be enabled through an Apple Store app update, with the app now prompting users about receiving in-store notifications once opened.

The Apple Store app also gives examples of what notifications can be pushed to the devices of in-store customers through the use of iBeacons, such as messages about picking up online orders and store events.

Apple reportedly demonstrated the use of iBeacon systems to the Associated Press in its Fifth Avenue store this week prior to its official rollout today:
The company demonstrated the technology to The Associated Press this week at its busy, 24-hour Fifth Avenue store in New York City. At this particular store, Apple has installed about 20 iBeacon transmitters, some of which are simply iPhones and iPads, which come with the capability as part of the iOS 7 mobile software released in September. The transmitters use Bluetooth wireless technology to sense your exact location. That's not possible with GPS, which don't work well indoors and aren't good at distinguishing between locations that are just a few feet apart.
First introduced at WWDC, iBeacon microlocation APIs are designed to access location data through the Bluetooth Low Energy profile on iOS devices, interacting with physical transmitters. The technology first appeared earlier this year, when Major League Baseball announced plans to begin incorporating Apple's iBeacon APIs into its MLB.com At the Ballpark app to create interactive experiences within stadiums in the near future.

The various implementations of iBeacon systems by different companies has also picked up throughout the past few weeks, with some companies such as London based digital publishing startup Exact Editions using Apple's microlocation receivers to deliver location-based access to iOS Newsstand publications. Shopping app Shopkick and Macy's also teamed up for the first retail-based iBeacons last month, allowing customers to find location-specific deals, discounts, and recommendations in the Shopkick app while in a participating Macy's store.

According to an official support page, Apple's iBeacon technology works with Bluetooth capable iOS devices running iOS 7 including the iPhone 4S or later, iPad (3rd generation) or later, iPad mini or later, and the iPod Touch (5th generation) or later. The Apple Store app is a free download for iOS devices, but the new functionality does not require users to download an updated version from the App Store. [Direct Link: iPhone/iPad]

Article Link: Apple Updates Apple Store App with Support for iBeacon Systems
 

MrSmith

macrumors 68040
Nov 27, 2003
3,038
13
That's a step back for delayed gratification. The modern world...
 

hrishidev

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2007
107
4
Next :iBeacons near exhibits in Art Gallery ,In restaraunts , Airports , Hotels , Mupltiplex ...eventually everywhere :D
 

andyvp

macrumors member
Feb 1, 2008
48
0
Detroit, MI
I think the Topsy purchase might go right along with this. Collect shopping data on what i specifically do in a store...I looked at cases for 7.25 minutes...spent 8.63 minutes on the iPad Mini with retina...Then i receive targeted emails a few days later about those very things.

Could be a huge part of their service they provide to any retailer that would like to use iBeacon.
 

mongobongo

macrumors member
May 1, 2007
95
30
There should be an option to use GPS to automatically turn on Bluetooth before you enter an Apple Store.
 

AbSoluTc

macrumors 601
Sep 21, 2008
4,337
2,617
There should be an option to use GPS to automatically turn on Bluetooth before you enter an Apple Store.
Might as well have BT on to begin with. GPS polling your location every so often would drain the battery.
 

mongobongo

macrumors member
May 1, 2007
95
30
Might as well have BT on to begin with. GPS polling your location every so often would drain the battery.
I'm not sure. Don't most people have location services turned on most of the time but Bluetooth turned off to save battery, unless they're actively using some Bluetooth accessory? At least I do.
 

doctor-don

macrumors 68000
Dec 26, 2008
1,538
290
Georgia USA
I think the Topsy purchase might go right along with this. Collect shopping data on what i specifically do in a store...I looked at cases for 7.25 minutes...spent 8.63 minutes on the iPad Mini with retina...Then i receive targeted emails a few days later about those very things.

Could be a huge part of their service they provide to any retailer that would like to use iBeacon.
More spam?:(
 

deputy_doofy

macrumors 65816
Sep 11, 2002
1,351
91
I don't know that this will ever truly replace using the elephant key at the zoo to listen to that horrible, monotone voice explain about the animal you're looking at, but there you have it -- a use at the zoo.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,540
1,266
I'm not sure. Don't most people have location services turned on most of the time but Bluetooth turned off to save battery, unless they're actively using some Bluetooth accessory? At least I do.
Bluetooth low energy profile is very different. Most likely you're wasting your time turning it on and off, unless you are also worried about something else, like security.
 

Menel

macrumors 603
Aug 4, 2011
6,199
1,050
I don't know that this will ever truly replace using the elephant key at the zoo to listen to that horrible, monotone voice explain about the animal you're looking at, but there you have it -- a use at the zoo.
You'll just have a horrible, monotone voice coming through your iPhone instead of an 'elephant key' whatever that is.

----------

I'm not sure. Don't most people have location services turned on most of the time but Bluetooth turned off to save battery, unless they're actively using some Bluetooth accessory? At least I do.
No, most people have bluetooth turned on so it can sync with their car, fitbit, headset etc on a regular convenient basis.

It doesn't use much power like it did 4 years ago.
 

Supermacguy

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
320
494
iBeacons just seem to creepy, watching my every move in a building. LIke the worst part of Minority Report or 1984. :(
 

Vjosullivan

macrumors 6502a
Oct 21, 2013
760
827
iBeacons just seem to creepy, watching my every move in a building. LIke the worst part of Minority Report or 1984. :(
Definitely. At best it appears to be nothing more than a junk mail / spam generator for shopping malls. At worst...
 

troop231

macrumors 603
Jan 20, 2010
5,398
148
Weird, the update isn't showing for me. If I go directly to the app's page, all it has is the 'Open' button, not 'Update'. It's not appearing under the Updates tab either (automatic updates are turned off as well) The article title says Apple Updates Apple Store App, but if I go into iTunes on the Mac, I see the last update was November 8th for the iPhone version. :confused:
Screenshot:

 
Last edited:

WildCowboy

Administrator/Editor
Staff member
Jan 20, 2005
16,724
1,029
Weird, the update isn't showing for me. If I go directly to the app's page, all it has is the 'Open' button, not 'Update'. It's not appearing under the Updates tab either (automatic updates are turned off as well) The article title says Apple Updates Apple Store App, but if I go into iTunes on the Mac, I see the last update was November 8th for the iPhone version. :confused:
It's an over-the-air update. You don't need to do anything.
 

edolecki

macrumors member
Mar 16, 2009
46
88
Weird, the update isn't showing for me. If I go directly to the app's page, all it has is the 'Open' button, not 'Update'.
Perhaps we all already have the update. I think I read the term "quiet" wireless update. Once you're in range of a store and the Apple Store is running, you may simply be presented with the new stuff.

While I'm not in a position to jump in my car to test this theory out, I'm sure reports will trickle in about this whole new thing.