Apple has rolled iBeacons into its Made for iPhone (MFi) program. iBeacons are miniature Bluetooth transmitters that talk to Bluetooth 4.0 devices and provide micro-location data. iBeacons have a wide array of use, but currently they are most often found in retail stores and baseball parks.
By rolling iBeacons into the MFi program, Apple gains greater control over who can call what an iBeacon device. As Beekn.net explains:
The move means that the iBeacon trademark, which has ended up being applied by the media to a whole slew of devices that act as beacons, will now be used with a bit more control from Cupertino.
As we've noted elsewhere, beacons that carry the iBeacon name are conforming to two things:
- They broadcast Bluetooth LE 'signals' in a way that conforms to the Apple standard for what those signals should contain
- They have use of the iBeacon trademark
But there's no particular restriction in place which makes an iBeacon incompatible with Android or other phones. So while a beacon might carry the iBeacon name, this simple means that it has access to the trademark and that it has been configured to work well with Apple devices.
Interested developers can go to their MFi account and accept the new iBeacon NDA to begin using the trademark on their products.
In other news:
- Apple has added an additional Apple TV channel in Sweden. The new channel is TV 4 Play and includes original programs, live broadcasting, and movies.
- Apple has officially filed a formal appeal of the ebooks antitrust ruling. The company has also asked the appellate court to suspend the work of the external antitrust compliance monitor assigned to Apple.
- The FCC has launched a new ad-free FCC Speed Test app that "accurately measures your mobile broadband performance and displays an in-depth view of its factors." The FCC says using it will "bring greater clarity and competition to the broadband service marketplace."
- Candy Crush's developer has withdrawn its controversial "candy" trademark application.