Android features come and go and when it’s Google involved, it happens more often than not. In some cases, it causes both developers and users to groan when a favorite feature they’ve relied on is suddenly announced to be discontinued. This time, however, Android phone owners are probably breathing a sigh of relief. Google has just announce that starting December, the Android Nearby Notifications feature will no longer be sending spam messages to users nearby.
Google rolled out the Android Nearby set of features in response to what was then a growing interest in beacon-related features. These location-based services would mostly be used for advertising purposes, notifying customers within reach of deals and promos and other bits of information. The fanfare around beacons may have died out a bit but Android Nearby remained.
Unsurprisingly, Nearby Notifications, which sent those tidbits as Android notifications, was abused. Google reports that it noticed an increase in “spammy notifications” earlier this year. Rather than try to filter and tune those, they decided that it wasn’t worth the effort and will discontinue Nearby Notifications instead.
So come December 6 this year, users will no longer receive Nearby Notifications. That, however, doesn’t mean that Android Nearby is going away. It will still exist and, in fact, still has other APIs like Nearby Messages. Hopefully, abusers wont’s switch to using those next year.