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Estimotes Plugin for Xamarin to allow for cross platform development using the Estimote SDK
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readme.md

ACR ESTIMOTES PLUGIN FOR XAMARIN

This project is not currently supported. It remains live on nuget and working to the best of my knowledge. I simply don't have the time to deal with the consistent (and often repeated) questions that come with this library, so I have suspended issues for the time being.


This is a cross platform implementation of the estimote library for beacons. It will allow you to make beacon calls for your PCL library. Please be sure to read through the samples found in this repository!

This library currently only supported on iOS and Android. You can get it on nuget at https://www.nuget.org/packages/Estimotes.Xplat/

SETUP

iOS

Make sure to install the nuget package in your platform project. In your Info.plist, add the following key:

<!-- needed for background monitoring or foreground ranging-->
<key>NSLocationAlwaysUsageDescription</key>
<string>ENTER YOUR REASON FOR LOCATION TRACKING</string>

<!-- if you don't need background monitoring, use this -->
<key>NSLocationWhenInUseDescription</key>
<string>ENTER YOUR REASON FOR LOCATION TRACKING</string>

Android

Make sure to install the nuget package in your platform project. Android 4.3+ is required!

You need to add BLUETOOTH and BLUETOOTH_ADMIN privileges to your android project

USAGE

First thing to do is initialize the plugin

var status = await EstimoteManager.Instance.Initialize(); // optionally pass false to authorize foreground ranging only
if (status != BeaconInitStatus.Success) {
    ... You have a problem with permissions or bluetooth is unavailable on the device, use the enum to figure out what!
}

Now hook up to the event(s) you want to use

EstimoteManager.Instance.Ranged += (sender, beacons) => {};
EstimoteManager.Instance.RegionStatusChanged += (sender, region) => {};

And to actually start or stop the process (optionally, you can also pass major/minor combinations)

// for exact distancing, use ranging - requires your app to be in the foreground
EstimoteManager.Instance.StartRanging(new BeaconRegion("Beacon Identifier", "Your UUID"));
EstimoteManager.Instance.StopRanging(new BeaconRegion("Beacon Identifier", "Your UUID"));

// for background monitoring when you don't care about actual distance
EstimoteManager.Instance.StartMonitoring(new BeaconRegion("Beacon Identifier", "Your UUID"));
EstimoteManager.Instance.StopMonitoring(new BeaconRegion("Beacon Identifier", "Your UUID"));

FAQ

  1. What is the difference between ranging and monitoring?

  2. Does this library support other brands of manufacturuers?

    • I won't personally support anything beyond estimote beacons for this project because it is driven by estimote SDK's which are coded to their beacons. If you have success with other beacon brands - great.
  3. I'm monitoring by UUID, but the major and minor values do not come back for a beacon

    • This is how monitoring works. It echos what you are monitoring. If you want to get more info for the beacon(s) that triggered the monitor entry, you have to range to get additional details. This is the purpose of FetchNearbyBeacons(BeaconRegion). WARNING: On iOS, you only get about 5 seconds after a monitor event to do something. Range and save, broadcasting to the server isn't always going to work if their is latency.
  4. How many regions can I monitor/range at one time?

    • On android, I don't believe their is a limitation. On iOS, the maximum is 20. This library does not protect against errors around this maximum
  5. Can I monitor for eddystone on iOS in the background?

    • Yes, you need to enable "Use BLE accessories" in your iOS main project properties. Careful with this though!
  6. Can I range for beacons in the background?

    • Yes and no. You can have you app awaken for a monitored beacon and then range it. On iOS, you get 5 seconds from the time the monitor event is fired. Use FetchNearbyBeacons(region) to listen for (default) 2 seconds to pick up what may have triggered the monitor event.
  7. Can I change the foreground and background scanning periods?

    • On iOS, no. On Android - yes. It requires a "hack". In your android project, do the following to set the scanning period globally ((EstimoteManagerImpl)EstimoteManager.Instance).SetBackgroundScanPeriod(...) and .SetForegroundScanPeriod. I am going to improve this in the near future.
  8. When are you going to include nearables?

    • When the API from Estimote looks similar. Android and iOS are nothing alike.
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