Geolocation-Based Mobile App Development: Key Takeaways
Understanding how mobile geolocation apps work and what they can do could help you unlock their potential when developing your own.
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We all know that location-based mobile applications help you search for places like cinemas, eating joints, and shops which are close by. Today is the age of mobile applications and geolocation. There were times when we needed a proper address or a location guide with the right directions to reach our destination. Now it is very difficult to find a person or place physically. Geolocation-based mobile application development comes to the rescue.
Geolocation technology has opened the doors for many new startup ideas and establishments which could never have existed without this technology. The ability to integrate geolocation into mobile applications has brought to light new kinds of market strategies and changed the whole flow of interaction with the consumer.
How Do Geolocation Apps Work?
Using the Geo Tag or GPS location of a smartphone, a great location-based application development solution can be created for any industry domain. Various location-based applications can be developed, like weather alert systems, livestock trackers, and location-based advertisement systems. In a geolocation-based application, where the location is a gold mine for data analysis, you can easily track the behavior of any person, vehicle, or animal, or any tangible object. With location-based app development, you can provide users with real-time results for your services in their proximity.
Let us understand the engineering behind building a geolocation based mobile application:
Geolocation App-Building Technologies
For developing geolocation based mobile applications, you need two essential items: location services and maps. There are multiple ways of determining outdoor geolocation with various services. Let us talk about the ones which are the most common:
Today all smartphones are equipped with Global Positioning System chips inside. GPS captures the location and timing which satellites send from space. To determine location with accuracy within about sixty feet, a smartphone needs data from at least four satellites.
There are times when a GPS signal is unavailable. In such cases, we can use the information from cell towers. Mobile networks help in determining which cell tower the customer uses and compares it with the base-stations database. This method works quite well in major cities.
Assisted GPS combines both GPS and Cell ID tools, which is more precise than GPS alone.
Wi-Fi determines the position of the user the same way the Cell ID does. Wi-Fi does it more accurately, as it covers smaller areas. With Wi-Fi, we can determine the location in two different ways. The first one is RSSI (Receive a Signal Strength Indication). It refers to the signals from the phone within a Wi-Fi point's database. The second one is used in frequently visited places. It uses profiles of some locations which are in Wi-Fi networks, and therefore are called wireless fingerprints. It identifies the user’s position accurately, within two meters. Once the location is captured, services like Google Maps geolocation or Map Kit Framework are used to put it on a real map. Therefore, Google Maps APIs for iOS and Android devices offer the performance of geolocation apps, giving you of all the information about your location, such as detailed maps, nearby places, and many other features. Google Maps SDK for iOS is largely responsible for adding maps. Google Places API for iOS helps in detecting the location, and other advanced features. These tools are provided for Android devices with Google Maps Android API and Google Places API for Android.
Geofencing uses GPS in the user's mobile device for determining how close they are to a particular point. It also allows you to know whether users are outside or inside a building, or have just entered or left it. Geofencing helps in sending offers or coupons to consumers and therefore provides a personalized experience. The geofencing triggers can be of three types:
- Static- These are based on the user’s position relevant to a particular place.
- Dynamic- Such triggers occur based on the user's location on the changing data stream. For example, a user may get a notification about the free parking space which is nearby.
- Combined- Such an approach is based on the user’s location relevant to other users. For example, users may get a notification about a friend’s check-in in Facebook, Foursquare, etc.
Geolocation App Categorization
Maps And Navigation
There are a variety of navigational applications which at once come to mind whenever we talk about maps and navigation. Such applications include Google Maps, Waze, a variety of compasses, and a lot more.
Such applications are more about a social component than geolocation. Users share content based on their locations in applications like Facebook and Instagram. This category also includes streaming services like Periscope.
Weather Forecast Apps
Weather applications are among the leading category for which users turn on their geolocation. Applications like Yahoo Weather and Weather Underground use geolocation data.
Geolocation has enabled new ways of offering services like taxis, domestic issues assistance, and home delivery help. There are innumerable mobile applications which offer such geolocation-based on-demand services.
Health And Fitness Apps
There are many applications which use GPS data for tracking sports activities and patterns. Some of the popular ones are Moves and Runtastic.
There are many other applications which use GPS data information. These are event applications, lifestyle and hobbies applications, travel applications, time-based and memory applications, social networking and dating services applications, augmented reality and gaming applications, real-time knowledge applications, e-commerce applications, and many more.
Location-based applications change the way brands interact with their customers both online and offline. Geolocation-based solutions help businesses deliver benefits to the customer at the right time and the right place. Ensuring customers that their confidential information is safe and secure is the secret ingredient of successful geolocation application.
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