RWD Podcast #52

This week I talk about the physical web and how you can use your mobile, both Android and iOS, to distribute and consume beacons for some awesome uses. I also talk about the increase in HTTPS sites on the web and why it's now more important than ever to run your site with SSL.

RWD Podcast
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Show Notes

Hey everyone and welcome to another edition of RWD Weekly.

In the show this week I discuss both Beacons and HTTPS along with

  • When you might use them
  • How you can implement them
  • What you and your customers get out of it

Physical Web & Beacons

This week I found out that you can enter the physical web world without the use of one of the beacons.
- First beacon from the TheWeb.is
- Used it to locate my keys.
- Idea is that it just broadcasts a URL. Great for discoverability.

from the article:

Not convinced this is the future? Well think about this: what if you were giving a presentation, and could bring along a beacon that sent out a link to download the slides for your presentation? Or what if you owned a sandwich shop and wanted customers to easily access a link to the mobile app for online ordering you spent so much time building? Or wanted to push an updated agenda link to conference attendees as they walked in the door? The possibilities are endless.

There always seems to be a catch. Luckily this one isn’t too bad: just note that you can only send secure web pages (HTTPS), and the URL is limited to 17 characters because of Bluetooth packet size limitations.

If your URLs are too long then use a URL shortening service.

Everyone in the audience to turn their Bluetooth and Location on and for iOS users to add Chrome to their notification center (I’ll explain why they have to do this later), then I ask to raise hand if they got the URL on their phones.

- android users automatically get notifications when a Physical Web is within range

- iOS users first need to add Chrome to the Today section in their Notification Center. There is a great step-by-step tutorial for that on the Physical Web website.

HTTPS

The other great story this week is that the web has now doubled in the number of HTTPS websites being served in the past year.

This is amazing and I think it’s down to a couple of reasons.

  1. it’s a lot cheaper to go https now.
    1. Lets Encrypt provide free SSL certificates
      - with that a lot of other providers have driven their prices down
      (there was never a reason to set the price so high, it was just something we did).
  2. Large services are serving them by default
    1. GitHub Pages
    2. Wordpress
  3. Services such as Cloudflare make it super simple and free.
  4. Carrots — Not the ones that rabbits and reindeer eat, but ones that compliment the stick.
    If you want to take advantage of things like Geo Location, the speed of HTTP2, the amazing-ness of Service Workers and progressive web apps… even serving your sites on physical web beacons… then they need to be on HTTPS…

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