Get Started

This document explains how to start developing with the Nearby Messages API on iOS.

Step 1: Get the latest version of Xcode

To build a project using the Google Nearby Messages API for iOS, you need version 6.3 or later of Xcode.

Step 2: Get CocoaPods

The Google Nearby Messages API for iOS is available as a CocoaPods pod. CocoaPods is an open source dependency manager for Swift and Objective-C Cocoa projects.

If you don't already have the CocoaPods tool, install it on OS X by running the following command from the terminal. For details, see the CocoaPods Getting Started guide.

$ sudo gem install cocoapods

Step 3: Install the API using CocoaPods

Create a Podfile for the Google Nearby Messages API for iOS and use it to install the API and its dependencies.

  • If you don't have an Xcode project yet, create one now and save it to your local machine. (If you're new to iOS development, create a Single View Application, and ensure that Use Automatic Reference Counting is turned on.)
  • Create a file named Podfile in your project directory. This file defines your project's dependencies.
  • Edit the Podfile and add your dependencies. Here is a simple Podspec, including the name of the pod you need for the Google Nearby Messages API for iOS:

    source ''
    platform :ios, '7.0'
    pod 'NearbyMessages'

  • Save the Podfile.

  • Open a terminal and go to the directory containing the Podfile:

    $ cd

  • Run the pod install command. This will install the APIs specified in the Podspec, along with any dependencies they may have.

    $ pod install

  • Close Xcode, and then open (double-click) your project's .xcworkspace file to launch Xcode. From this time onwards, you must use the .xcworkspace file to open the project.

Step 4: Create a bridging header (Swift only)

If you created your project using Swift, you must add a bridging header to your project so that it can use the libraries that were installed by the pod file. Take these steps to add a bridging header:

  1. In the same directory as your project's .xcworkspace file, add a new header file (name it whatever you like and use a filename extension of ".h").
  2. Paste the following code into the file you created: #import <GNSMessages.h>.
  3. Save the file.
  4. In the project editor left pane, select the main project.
  5. Click Build Settings at the top of the build editor.
  6. In Build Settings, navigate to "Swift Compiler - Code Generation" (type "Swift Compiler" into the search box to locate it quickly).
  7. Click the arrow to expand the Objective-C Bridging Header section.
  8. Under Debug and Release, add the path to the header file you created.
  9. Build the project to make the changes take effect.

Step 5: Get a Google account

To use the Nearby Messages APIs, you need a Google Account. If you already have an account, then you're all set. You may also want a separate Google Account for testing purposes.

Step 6: Get an API key

Take these steps to enable the Google Nearby Messages API for iOS and get an API key:

  1. Go to the Google Developers Console.
  2. Create or select a project to register your application with.
  3. Click Continue to Enable the API.
  4. On the Credentials page, create a new iOS key (and set the API Credentials).
    Note: If you have an existing iOS key, you may use that key.
  5. In the resulting dialog, enter your app's bundle identifier. For example:
  6. Your new iOS API key appears in the list of API keys for your project. An API key is a string of characters, something like this:
  7. To prevent quota theft, secure your API key following these best practices.

Step 7: Create a message manager object

The message manager object lets you publish and subscribe. Message exchange is unauthenticated, so you must supply the API key you created in the previous step.


#import <GNSMessages.h>

GNSMessageManager *messageManager =
    [[GNSMessageManager alloc] initWithAPIKey:@"API_KEY"];


let messageManager = GNSMessageManager(APIKey: "API_KEY")