Geolocation enabled applications helps in detecting users current location. It can be both mobile applications as well as desktop application that can have geolocation technology enabled. Nowadays most of the mobile applications are having geolocation technology. It is not limited to GPS maps and navigation apps that user can find the required location and way to reach there, but in most of the mobile apps nowadays are having geolocation.
Applications like Yelp, Justdial, NearBuy, groupon, etc. uses customer’s current location to show them deals or places that are closest to their current location.
There are certain type of apps for which geolocation is the main feature, for example, cab services apps like uber or ola uses customer’s current location to provide them cab services nearest and quickest. Weather forecasting apps also use geolocation technology to show the current temperature of the user’s current location.
If you talk about social networking apps, like facebook and Instagram, it has features of select the current location to upload photographs or videos in that location. Even travel industry uses geolocation based services to give best deals to the customer.
These were some of the apps that majorly use geolocation and are highly useful for daily use to customers. These days even gaming apps are coming with geolocation enabled features. The most relevant example of such a gaming app is Pokemon go, which uses player’s current location and creates images over the real environment images. Such apps are called augmented reality apps, and are currently in trend all over the world.
Hence, it is absolutely visible how much geolocation is used worldwide in every domain and every field. It is the fundamental feature that every mobile app is looking forward for. Now that we understood geolocation is in trend, let us know what are key factors of geolocation mobile app development:
Geolocation technology works using Global Positioning System (GPS) chip that is installed in smartphones. Generally, all the smart phones have GPS chip. This chip determines and shows the current location of the device by using the data of time and location sent by the satellites. A phone requires data from approximately 4 satellites to give accurate information.
When GPS data is not available, then phone’s cell ID is used to find the location of the phone by comparing user’s data with station’s data.
There are other technologies also there which are used for determining location. Like Wi-Fi connection is used to determine the location as it has small area coverage and give precise information about the location. Then Google Maps can be used to put it on real map. Google Maps offers APIs for iOS and Android mobile app development and it is easy to integrate while mobile app development and enable geolocation.
Geofencing is used to determine distance of the users from a specific location. For example, when you book an Uber cab, it shows how far is the driver from your place. Such data is provided by geofencing. There are three types of geofencing:
- Static geofencing that uses person’s current location by finding nearby landmarks like movie theatre, store, markets, etc.
- Dynamic geofencing uses person’s current location by changing data stream. Like latest offers at near by stores or advertisements
- Combined geofencing uses interaction with other users like recent check-ins with applications like facebook, Instagram, etc.
API Integration and Availability
Application Programming Interface (API) is used for applications to interact with smartphone’s operating system, like iOS and Android. For geolocation technology, there are two types of APIs that are integrated in the application. One is API that uses GPS, Wi-FI or Call ID to determine current location of the user and shows results based on the address entered by the user. Second type of API is used for searching near by landmarks on the maps like cafes or movie theater, etc.
Google play services have library of APIs that can be used for integrating geolocation in the application. Mainly IntelliJ IDEA IDE or Android Studio IDE (Integrated development environment) are used for developing geolocation based applications. For iOS based geolocation apps, swift programming language is used for application development.
There are varied social media apps that displays current location of the user to all the connections. One example of such feature is in Facebook application, where you can see which all of your connections are near by your location. But it is important to consider the fact that every user will not prefer to share their current location with all the connections.
Therefore, while developing a geolocation based feature in your app, it is necessary to consider security of your users and give them rights to decide whether they want to display their current location or not.
The factors listed in the article proves the importance of geolocation based apps and also the key points one needs to keep in mind before developing a geolocation enabled mobile app. To keep up with the trend and give your users a seamless experience, get geolocation integrated in your app now.