Wi-Fi Aware Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) is a feature available in Android 8 and later smartphones that enables them to discover and communicate directly with each other without using any other means to communicate.
Google has developed a new way to keep nearby smartphones and users connected with the introduction of its “WifiNanScan App.” This is not for end users, according to 9to5Google, but it could have an impact on their day-to-day use. Developers who want to try out Wi-Fi Aware should use the “WifiNanScan App.”
Wi-Fi Aware Neighbor Awareness Networking (NAN) is a feature available in Android 8 and later smartphones that enables them to discover and communicate directly with each other without using any other means to communicate. The API detects nearby devices and builds a network for exchanging data and sending short messages.
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Wi-Fi Aware allows for higher throughput rates over longer distances than Bluetooth connections, according to Google.
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As per the Wi-Fi Alliance, this technology could be used for the following purposes:
- Send a document to a printer securely without logging into the network first.
- When walking by without an internet connection, view a restaurant menu and make a reservation, even if the restaurant is closed.
- Automate and timestamp school check-ins and roll-call.
- Using mobile identification (ID) such as a driver’s license or passport, streamline airport security, customs, and immigration processing flows without requiring travelers to present a physical ID.
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The Play Store listing for the WifiNanScan App (created by ‘Developed with Google’) gives us a little more details. “With this app it is possible to obtain a distance measurement with a precision of about 1 metre with phones up to 15 metres apart. Developers, OEMs and researchers can use this tool to validate distance/range measurements enabling the development of peer-to-peer ranging and data transfer, find my phone and context-aware applications based on the WiFi Aware/NAN API. ” according to the listing.
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Wi-Fi Aware was improved in Android 12 with performance improvements and addressing lost connections.