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Licensing

What's the difference between the Basic and Premium licenses?

The two licenses are identical apart from two things:

  • The Basic license is free, whereas the Premium license costs $499 per app per year.
  • The Basic license shows the words "Powered by Beacondo" at the bottom of many screens in your app.

What's the difference between Premium and Enterprise?

Both of these licenses don't show the "Powered by Beacondo" watermark, but the Enterprise license adds several features for advanced users:

  • You can detect and act on more than 20 iBeacons.
  • You can send custom app notifications. These aren't seen by the user, but instead let Beacondo call into your own app code to take custom actions.
  • You can embed multiple Beacondo apps inside a single App Store app, each with their own designs and functionality.

The Enterprise license costs $1,499 per app per year, whereas the Premium license costs $499 per app per year.

Can I launch with a free license then upgrade later?

Absolutely! In fact, we encourage it - make your app, release it to the world, and get proof that it works before you pay us a cent. We want all Beacondo users to be happy with our service, so please only send money our way when you're absolutely sure.

I already have a Premium license – can I upgrade to Enterprise?

Yep! Just pay the difference between the two licenses – we'll send you a new license key and extend your license for another year.

Do I get free upgrades?

Your license fee includes all upgrades and maintenance releases for as long as your license remains active. The apps you've produced are yours and yours only, so it's up to you whether you update them as new Beacondo upgrades are made available.

Can I carry on using Beacondo after my license expires?

Yes, but you will need to downgrade your app to the free version of Beacondo. If you're having trouble updating your app in time, please just get in touch at hello@beacondo.com and we'll extend your license to help you make the transition.

If I want my app on iOS and Android, do I need to pay twice?

No: your license fee is charged per app, per year, and you are entitled to deploy that app to any supported platform. Right now, that means you can pay once and put your app on iOS and Android.

For more information, click here to read about our Android support.

I want to publish lots of apps – can I get a discount?

If you intend to publish multiple apps with a Premium or Enterprise license, you can qualify for discounts up to 50% – please get in touch at hello@beacondo.com and let us know your needs.

How many apps can I ship for free?

If you're using our Basic license, you can publish as many apps as you want. Each app is able to look for up to 20 iBeacons, so if you had five apps on the Basic license you could scan for 100 different iBeacons. What you can't do, however, is scan for more than 20 iBeacons inside a single app; that requires an Enterprise license.

I'd love to use Beacondo, but you're just missing one thing…

Do tell! We're always looking for ways to improve, so if there's something you think we could do better just let us know – email hello@beacondo.com and we'll set our coders on the case.

Building

What image quality do you recommend?

When you're working with photographic images, a JPEG quality of around 70% is usually about right. In the event that you're starting to notice some JPEG artifacting, you could increase that up to about 85% to get a really sharp image.

The way JPEG compression works means that if you choose a quality setting over about 95% your built images will actually take up more space than your originals, so we don't recommend you use this unless it's just a test build.

Is there a size limit on my app?

Apple does not allow apps to be bigger than 2GB, but to be fair if you're coming close to that size you're probably doing something wrong! Here are some things to know:

  • If your app is over 100MB, Apple won't allow users to download it without WiFi. This makes it a little harder for users to get your app, so try to stay under 100MB.
  • You can use local videos or streaming ones from the internet, and as you might imagine using streaming videos means your app size is kept much smaller.
  • You get to choose whether each of your images are PNG files or JPEGs, and it's important to choose wisely. For all photographic imagery, JPEG is the better solution. For images that need to have transparency, or if they contain fine-grained detail such as text, PNG works better.
  • If you use JPEGs for some of your images, you can adjust the JPEG Quality slider at build time. This won't affect your original files, but it will make the final app smaller.
  • When you build your app, Beacondo only copies in files you actually used. If you have 1GB of files in your working directory but only use a handful, the rest will be ignored when you do a build.

How can I let other people test my app?

The best way to do private testing before submitting to the App Store is by using Beacondo Viewer, which is a free download available from the App Store. Once they have it installed, you can upload your app zip somewhere and send them the URL, or if your app isn't too big you can send it by email.

How do I get my app into Beacondo Viewer?

There are two ways you can do this:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac, then launch iTunes. Near the top-right of the iTunes window will be a button that says "iPhone" – select that, then choose the Apps tab and scroll down until you see Beacondo. You can now drag your built app zip into Beacondo. Once the copy has finished, tap "Copy from iTunes" in Beacondo Viewer.
  2. If you have web space somewhere, upload your app zip there and then tap "Enter URL" in Beacondo Viewer.

Do I need anything in my app review notes?

When you submit your app to Apple for review, there's a text area where you can tell Apple anything it needs to know in order to review your app. Apple take user privacy very seriously, so if you've used iBeacons you'll need to write a sentence of two explaining how you use them.

If you don't use iBeacons in your app, you must use the "No-iBeacons" version of Beacondo. This version does not include iBeacon technology, and so won't need any app review notes to Apple.

Can I build enterprise apps with this?

Apple's Enterprise App Store scheme lets you build apps for internal distribution rather than distribution on the public App Store. You're welcome to use Beacondo in your enterprise app store, and you'll be pleased to know that there is no per-app charge for doing so – a single Premium or Enterprise annual license is sufficient to cover as many enterprise App Store apps as you need.

Technology

Do you support Android?

Yes! We support all Google Play-compatible Android phones and tablets running Android 4.2 or later, and support iBeacon detection on devices running 4.3 or later.

For more information, click here to read about our Android support.

Can I see an example app?

We have three example apps for you to try - click here for more information.

Do I have to use iBeacons?

All our packages include iBeacon support, but all our features are optional so you don't have to use it if you don't want to - our apps are still great ways to deliver your content to users' devices, and you can still draw on functionality such as barcode scanning if you want it.

Please note: if you don't use iBeacons in your app, you should use the "No-iBeacons" version of Beacondo.

Will my app recognise iBeacons even if it isn't running?

As soon as a user walks near your iBeacon, their device will vibrate and make a noise, and a message that you've written will appear on their screen - even if they haven't launched your app for months. This means it's easy to post special offers that entice users to come into your store as they walk by.

Why aren't my iBeacons being recognised?

If you're having problems, there are a few things you can check:

  • Does your phone have Bluetooth turned on?
  • Did you definitely enter the UUID correctly into Beacondo Designer?
  • Did you enter the correct major and minor values, or use -1 for both to match all beacons?
  • Are you within the range you set?

If you've checked all those and are still having trouble, try restarting your phone – sometimes if you're testing entering and exiting beacons a lot, the iPhone can be confused. Restarting will resolve this.

Why is your library so big?

The files libbeacondo-beacons.a and libbeacondo-nobeacons.a are both about 20MB, but that's their raw form that includes an x86 build alongside an ARM build for easier development. When you build your own app, you can expect the finished build to be about 2MB.

Can I extend Beacondo?

The Enterprise license enables you to send a custom app notification, which is a silent, internal message from Beacondo to the rest of the app. For most people, that "rest of the app" does very little, but you can have your own app developers add more code that takes custom action when that internal app notification. For example, you could use the message to send a log to Google Analytics to track footfall, or to show a whole new user interface that you've designed.

The Enterprise license also includes the ability for you to launch multiple different Beacondo apps from within a single container app, which means you could easily write some code to update your Beacondo content over the internet.

All versions of Beacondo let you encapsulate the Beacondo platform into one part of your app, with other parts sitting alongside. For example, you can put your Beacondo design into one tab of a larger app, where all the other tabs are your own custom code.

Can I get your source code?

The source code to Beacondo is not open, so you'll need to use our library. However, because you have complete control over the app build using our Xcode project, you can customise as much or as little as you want by writing your own code around our library.

What about iOS 9 and Swift 2?

At WWDC 2015 Apple announced a huge number of new features for iOS developers, including lots of new changes in Swift. We're reading through the list of changes to see how many apply to Beacondo, and you can be sure we'll do our best to add anything interesting. In the meantime, you can read about what's changed in Swift 2 with iOS 9 or see some code examples for iOS 9's new features and try it yourself.