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March 17, 2014

Apple's iOS 7.1 Tweak Improves iBeacon

Apple might take quite a bit of pride when it comes to its operating system, but that doesn’t mean the company won’t admit when changes need to be made. The company has already let it be known that iOS 8 is going to greatly improve on the map application offering after thousands of reported problems since iOS 6 was first released with that feature.

That doesn’t mean the company is going to rest on its laurels until iOS 8 is available. The Cupertino firm recently released iOS 7.1 and among the tweaks the company made were improvements to the iBeacon functionality. The biggest change to the application is that now the app will look for beacons if the application is shut down or you’ve rebooted your phone. As long as you have iBeacon installed, it will be on the lookout for beacons.

The change has been pointed out as rather significant. When iOS 7 was launched, Apple did quite a lot to underline the positives of having the ability to “hear” Bluetooth LE powered beacons. The use was supposed to be able to have retailers send you coupons while you were walking through the cookie aisle.

That function has largely been cut down thanks to the fact that iBeacon didn’t work if it was closed. It had to at least be running in the background, and if you are one of those people who is careful to close out as many apps as possible in order to save battery life, you were also making it impossible for iBeacon to work properly. With the update that allows the app to work as long as its installed, you will now be able to get those coupons and ads when walking through the stores.

More importantly for the retailers, it appears iOS 7.1 has also tweaked the responsiveness of the iBeacon application. One insider believes that a delay that used to be up to a minute long is now almost instaneous.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

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