Apple Updates Apple Store App with Support for iBeacon Systems

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_store_app_ibeacon2
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]

Top Rated Comments

Vjosullivan Avatar
97 months ago
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...
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
deputy_doofy Avatar
97 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
doctor-don Avatar
97 months ago
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?:(
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mongobongo Avatar
97 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
andyvp Avatar
97 months ago
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.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
edolecki Avatar
97 months ago
Just thought of something: how easy would it be to make a rogue iBeacon that pushes out malware? Of course, it would probably be fairly easy to track where the iBeacon is and find out who's responsible for it.

You don't actually connect. Beacons say I'm here and here is some information about me... the Apple Store app knows what to expect for values and serves up stuff that you've opted-in to receive.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

apple music change forever

Apple Music Teaser: 'Get Ready – Music is About to Change Forever'

Sunday May 16, 2021 2:39 pm PDT by
The Browse tab in the Music app across Apple's platforms has started displaying a prominent teaser hinting at an upcoming major announcement for Apple Music. Under the heading "Coming soon," the headline says "Get ready – music is about to change forever." An accompanying "Tune-In Video" simply shows an animated Apple Music logo. Rumors have indicated that Apple is preparing to launch a...
m1 ipad pro early customer

M1 iPad Pro Arrives Early for Lucky Customer

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:57 pm PDT by
Days ahead of their expected launch and seemingly before official review embargoes lift, one lucky customer has already gotten their hands on the brand new 12.9-inch M1 iPad Pro. Reddit User PeterDragon50 Posted on Reddit, u/PeterDragon50 has already received their 12.9-inch iPad Pro through retailer Nebraska Furniture Mart. The Reddit user says they placed their order when pre-orders...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
Twitter Feature

Twitter's 'Blue' Subscription Service May Cost $2.99, Will Offer Undo Tweet Option

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Twitter has been working on some kind of subscription service since last summer, and Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs into new features coming in apps, has shared details on just what Twitter is exploring. Twitter's subscription service could be called Twitter Blue, and at the current time, it's priced at $2.99 per month. There will be a "Collections" section that allows users to save and...
AirPods Lineup Not Lossless Feature

AirPods, AirPods Max and AirPods Pro Don't Support Apple Music Lossless Audio

Monday May 17, 2021 10:44 am PDT by
Apple today announced that starting in June, Apple Music songs will be available to stream in Lossless and Hi-Resolution Lossless formats, but lossless audio won't be supported on the AirPods, AirPods Max, or AirPods Pro. Apple's Lossless Audio is encoded as Apple Lossless Audio Codec files, with lossless quality ranging from 16-bit 44.1 kHz playback to 24-bit 48 kHz playback and Hi-Res...
Top Stories 60 Feature

Top Stories: M1 iMac Benchmarks, iPhone Battery Life Tips, Colorful MacBook Air?

Saturday May 15, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Anticipation is building for the new iMac and iPad Pro models, which have started shipping out ahead of a launch around May 21. Benchmarks for the new machines are starting to come in, and the M1 chips inside of them are registering at around the same figures seen with other M1-based Macs, making for significant upgrades over previous-generation models. This week also saw some rumors about...
apple music spatial audio

Apple Music Launching Spatial Audio With Dolby Atmos and Lossless Audio in June at No Extra Cost

Monday May 17, 2021 6:06 am PDT by
Apple today announced that Apple Music will be gaining support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos at no additional cost starting in June. At launch, Apple Music subscribers will have access to thousands of songs in Spatial Audio from artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and many others. Apple says this feature will provide a...
General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
apple music logo

Apple Music Teaser References 'Hi-Res Lossless' and 'Dolby Atmos'

Sunday May 16, 2021 4:04 pm PDT by
Earlier today, Apple Music began teasing a special announcement with the tagline "Get Ready – Music is About to Change Forever." This teaser comes amid a rumor that Apple is preparing to announce the third-generation AirPods alongside a HiFi, or lossless audio streaming tier for Apple Music on Tuesday, May 18. Now, references to "Apple Lossless," "Free Lossless," "Hi-Res Lossless," and...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Apple Says Tile Trackers Sold Poorly in Apple Stores

Friday May 14, 2021 4:53 am PDT by
Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products." Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance...