Google launches a new app that connects nearby devices without Bluetooth, Internet connection

Bill Mount

Google has found a new way to keep nearby smartphones and users connected as it has launched its “WifiNanScan App”. This is not for end users but it will eventually affect their day to day usage, as reported by 9to5Google. The “WifiNanScan App” is meant for developers so they can […]

Google has found a new way to keep nearby smartphones and users connected as it has launched its “WifiNanScan App”. This is not for end users but it will eventually affect their day to day usage, as reported by 9to5Google. The “WifiNanScan App” is meant for developers so they can experiment with WiFi Aware.

In case you don’t know, WiFi Aware is Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) that lets smartphones running Android 8 and later versions to “discover and connect directly to each other without any other type of connectivity between them.” The API discovers the nearby devices and creates a network for sharing data or sending short messages.

As per the search giant, this Wi-Fi Aware supports “higher throughput rates across longer distances than Bluetooth connections.”

So the possible use cases using this tech, as mentioned by the Wi-Fi Alliance are:

-Securely send a document to a printer without first logging onto the network.

-View a restaurant menu and make a reservation while walking by without an internet connection, even when the restaurant is closed.

-Automate and timestamp school check-ins and roll-call.

Also read: Google’s Live Transcribe is coming to ChromeOS, five new languages supported

-Streamline airport security, customs, and immigration processing flows using mobile identification (ID) such as a driver’s license or passport without requiring travelers to present a physical ID.

The WifiNanScan App (made by ‘Developed with Google’) Play Store listing gives us a bit more idea about it. “With this app it is possible to obtain a distance measurement with a precision of about 1 meter with phones up to 15 meters apart. Developers, OEMs and researchers can use this tool to validate distance/range measurements enabling the development of peer-to-peer ranging and data transfer, find my phone and context-aware applications based on the WiFi Aware/NAN API,” stated the listing.

It is worth adding that some enhancements have been made in Android 12 as well, when it comes to Wi-Fi Aware. It includes efficiency improvements and addressing lost connections.

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