22 Feb 2021 10 min


Last update 19 MAY 2023

Difference in indoor navigation using Android and iOS devices

Navigine - Difference in indoor navigation using Android and iOS devices
22 Feb 2021 10 min


Last update 19 MAY 2023

Finding a suitable positioning technology is a decisive factor in the successful realization of indoor navigation. The most common navigation solutions are Bluetooth Low Energy beacons (BLE) and Wi-Fi. Their implementation does not produce any difficulties and ensures synergies with the positional platform for business. However, while implementing any technology, companies have to consider which devices are mainly used by their users - iOS or Android-based ones.

Android operating features

The Android operating system allows developing applications for indoor navigation relatively easily. It simultaneously supports several technologies, such as iBeacon, Wi-Fi, GPS, VLC. Indoor positioning system for Android has a significant plus – in most cases, during its installation, it is possible to use the already existing company’s infrastructure, such as Wi-Fi access points or checkouts connected to the Internet.

The application of Android indoor navigation is quite wide. Using this technology, it is possible to:

  • quickly define the location of clients;
  • send push notifications with additional information or promotional offers;
  • create interactive maps of buildings using Android maps SDK;
  • make the shortest routes to users’ points of interest;
  • monitor visitor flows and assets.

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The server positioning of Android devices is not complicated at all. While using Wi-Fi, it is not necessary to have the user’s device connected to the network. Having Wi-Fi active is enough. However, this location technology is not accurate enough – on average from 5 to 15 m, thus, the iBeacon technology (based on a Bluetooth Low Energy location beacon) is becoming a more optimal solution.

While realizing a suitable technology, it should be considered that Wi-Fi does not allow using iOS devices for navigating. So, the given way is chosen only if Android smartphones are used by most users. A typical example of such a solution can be a museum that provides visitors with its own devices for moving around the halls.

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iOS operating features

Devices based on iOS 4.3 and higher do not support client positioning via Wi-Fi. It means that developers have to take away such smartphones from indoor navigation projects while implementing the system based on the local Wi-Fi network. Nevertheless, such devices can be detected using the server, for instance, for evaluating visitor flows.

If a project requires not only server positioning, it is advisable to install beacons from iBeacon / Eddystone. They have high accuracy up to 3 m and can be easily integrated with apps designed for locating objects.

Navigine specializes in developing and implementing innovative solutions for indoor navigation designed for Android and iOS devices. Especially for users, we provide free access to some sets of development tools and algorithms for the given systems.