A Sad Day for Beacons: MacBeacon and Yosemite


Maybe we were the only ones. But in the early days after Apple announced iBeacon and support for BLE we did a lot of running around.

Did anyone else find themselves developing apps with Esimote, say, and then running around the office to test whether an app and its response to beacons?

We had all kinds of jerry-rigged approaches to make life easier. We ripped the case open on our Estimotes so that we could turn them on/off by pulling out the batteries. We tried turning our phones into beacons. We even thought about putting a beacon on the dog and playing catch to simulate beacon ranging.

Beacon On Rails

I still think the idea of a beacon-carrying model railroad running the length of the studio was the best idea. We intended to patent the idea and call it Beacon On Rails.

But then along came MacBeacon. And it was a godsend for developers.

Boot it up, and simulate dozens of beacons. Toggle on and off without leaving your computer.

Now, however, Radius Networks has announced that MacBeacon doesn’t work so well with the Yosemite operating system. And the BLE development world mourns.

On one of our older Macs, MacBeacon works just fine – although we’re also using a Bluetooth dongle for transmission, and the app does crash more than it used to.

Radius is looking into solutions. For now, they recommend either not upgrading to Yosemite, or using Locate App or EZBeacon App to turn your iOS device into a beacon.

MacBeacon made life easier. It also made us get a little bit less exercise from running around testing our apps. We thank it (and our dog thanks it) for its service. Let’s hope there’s a way to create a Yosemite-compatible replacement.

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OK…come on….we know you have stories. What’s the craziest thing you’ve done to find ways to test iBeacon hardware?

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