Google announced today the public availability of a developer tool that will allow Android apps to better communicate with nearby devices, even while offline. The company touts a number of potential use cases for this technology – like hotel rooms that sense your entry then set the temperature accordingly and turn on your favorite music, or phones that can merge their address books while in proximity, among other things.
However, the initial implementations of the technology aren’t perhaps quite as magical. Instead, forthcoming apps will use the Nearby Connections API, as the technology is called, for things like offline media sharing or the distribution of urgent weather warnings in low-bandwidth areas, for example.
Google has been developing its Nearby Connections API for some time. The API was first announced in 2015 as a way for mobile devices to be used as second screen controllers for games that are running on your TV.
At this year’s Google I/O developer conference…