Google Eddystone Poses Challenge to Apple iBeacon

By eWEEK Staff  |  Posted 2015-07-16 Print this article Print

DAILY VIDEO: Why Google Eddystone looms as an Apple iBeacon killer; tablet sales continue to fall, but the end of tablets is not near; Microsoft ends support for Windows Server 2003; and there's more.

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Today's topics include new Bluetooth LE beacon technology from Google, the continuing decline of tablet sales, the end of product support for Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 and why Google Photos keeps backing up your snapshots even after you turn it off.

Google this week rolled out a new Bluetooth LE (low energy) beacon technology that competes directly with Apple's industry-leading iBeacon offering. It's called Eddystone.

This new service is important for two reasons. First, beacons have unleashed new capabilities for automation, virtual assistant technology, retail applications, social media and much more.

It's also important because Eddystone is far more capable than any previous platform, including iBeacon and it's an open-source as well as a cross-platform system. Google also announced that its virtual assistant platform, Google Now, will soon be able to make use of Eddystone-supporting beacons.

Consumer tablet computer shipments have been falling for several quarters. But in the first quarter of 2015, they fell by 35 percent from the fourth quarter of 2014, giving the category its worst quarter-to-quarter decline since it was first tracked in 2009.

Year-over-year, the decline was 16 percent. Those are the key conclusions of a recent market analysis on tablets conducted by ABI Research, which reported that "there is no denying the market is losing its momentum and leading vendors are feeling the squeeze."

Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 reached its end-of-life on July 14. Essentially, businesses still running the operating system will have to fend for themselves to find and fix undiscovered vulnerabilities in the software unless they spend a considerable amount of money to contract with Microsoft for custom support services.

Companies that have somehow missed Microsoft's yearlong outreach effort now face an uncertain data security landscape. Some may even learn that their systems have fallen out of compliance, endangering their ability to legally conduct business, Microsoft warned.

Even after being deleted from a smartphone, tablet or other device, Google Photos continues to back up and upload a user's photos, which is not appreciated by at least one user who is loudly complaining about the "feature."

David A. Arnott, assistant news editor of the Nashville Business Journal, used the app, deleted it, and five weeks later reinstalled it only to find pictures he had taken since deleting the app.

Arnott wrote that he quickly contacted Google about what he considered to be a bug and received a response that said, "The backup was as intended." The email continued that if he wanted to stop the continued backups that he would have to change settings in Google Play Services.


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