Question about using a beacon with a Xamarin app


I have read some posts that you can use iBeacon with Xamarin to detect when you walk by a beacon and have the app popup and go from there. I am new to this sort of concept. Is the app always running in the background to listen for the beacon? Or is it something that is setup with the device and calls the app to load when near one?

I also need an Android app version of this as well. Honestly I am new to Xamarin and have been using Corona Labs for the last few years. So to do this I will probably end up paying someone to write the basic parts of it for both iOS and Android. But I was just trying to understand how this works.




  • JimBennettJimBennett GBXamarin Team, Insider, University, Developer Group Leader ✭✭✭✭

    It's the same as geolocation - your app registered interest in a beacon region instead of a gps region (defined by the id of the beacon), and this is stored in the OS. When the phone detects the beacon it will wake your app up so you can do background processing such as a local notification that can be swiped to launch the app, or gather data to sync to your server.

    In the background you monitor - so just detect the a change from no beacon to far, near, immediate distance, or loss of beacon signal. Once you have detected the beacon you can range it which allows you to do distance measurements etc.

    iOS supports the iBeacon standard in the OS, Android supports Eddystone in the OS - which is a pain if you want the app launched from a single beacon. They can interact with the other type using manufacturers SDK's but don't wake up. At the moment AFAIK there aren't any beacons that broadcast both standards, but this will come soon I think.

    Xamarin have great support for the Estimote beacons including a component for iOS and Android which is very up to date and well maintained. You can also just use the native SDK calls to do the basics, but the manufacturers SDK's provide a lot more functionality.

    Although there are a few manufacturers of beacons, I personally recommend the estimote beacons ( - they're great technology and have great developer support from they community and Xamarin.

    I've been doing a lot with beacons so if you have any questions either ask on here or main me on jim(at) I also gave a hands on talk at the Birmingham Xamarin user group about beacons and the slides with some useful info and code samples are here:

  • AlessandroCaliaroAlessandroCaliaro ITMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JimBennett have you some sample to catch beacons with Android?

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