Droids make great beacons.

I wrote this neat little program for my phone that uses bluetooth discovery to look for stationary devices. The idea is that when my phone detects one of these devices it can do something. I.E. it is location aware. When I go to my car, my phone can react to it, when I go home, my phone can react to that.

Works great. Or at least it used to.
See google is smarter than the rest of us, and they know better, so as a result, they improved their latest version of android (5.0) by changing the bluetooth settings so that it can no longer be set to broadcast its name all the time.

I have one moto-g that refuses to upgrade to 5.0 and works great, I go near it and my phone recognizes it. But alas I have another moto-g that updated itself and now it no longer works. I googled and googled, and that’s just how it is. I tried writing a program to just turn on bluetooth discovery all the time, but it causes a popup to display saying “xyz application wants to enable bluetooth visibility, ok?” which defeats the purpose, since I’m not going to be there to press OK.

It happens, however, that I have an old droid 1 lying around. These are really great machines. Actually the droid 3 is probably the best machine ever made, but the droid 1 isn’t too shabby either.
It requires little power, boots immediately when it detects power even from a dead battery (if say it’s been sitting in my car for a week). Some phones require the battery to charge for 5-10 minutes before it will boot, not this puppy.
It boots quickly, and best of all, it can be set to have the bluetooth discovery enabled all the time and never shut off.
And it will never get upgraded.

In short, the droid 1 can be had on ebay for about $10, and it makes a great bluetooth beacon.

2 Responses to “Droids make great beacons.”

  1. Sounds like you’re trying to use Bluetooth for an application better suited to NFC? Retail stores have been doing this exact thing for years now; the beacons are sold on the cheap in large numbers.

    But yeah, I hate when they decide they want to stop letting you make a choice on a setting you had control over before.

  2. admin says:

    NFC range is too short. my phone isn’t within inches of the beacon. bluetooth discovery works perfectly, when it is allowed to work.

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