Location-based apps are here to stay and are going to influence the way marketers approach their customers. These are essentially interesting times for customers as well as marketers. While the former get benefited with the cutting edge services on the offer, marketers ought to be on the top of their game to woo them. The developers, it seems are going to have their hands full in the coming times. Happy coding!
Geolocation storming mobile application development is hardly an overstatement for the stupendous dependency it has cemented across the industrial facet. Having incepted a plethora of ideas towards boosting the startup facet, the end user expectations have risen while the market trends have emerged into an exciting phase, more than ever before. Ultimately, the way organizations approached their customer has essentially transformed for the better.
As the number of mobile applications backed by Geolocation continues to take a soaring leap, the point of a service request from the end user is of paramount importance that impacts the quality of the service rendered.
In order to understand how to build mobile apps with Geolocation feature, you need to understand first what type of apps you can build with the same:
Unlatching the most out of Geolocation services, the following are few of the most popular application ideas that have been around so far.
Maps and Navigation
Geolocation has been most successfully implemented in maps and navigation based applications. Google Maps, Waze, and other such widely popular apps stand as a testimony to the above statement. Many more apps with similar features have been already developed and a number of others would be surely on the way.
Venue Search Applications
Ever used recommendation services such as FourSquare or Yelp? You could provide reviews about restaurants and other service providers using the same! Wonder what is the crux of these apps? Yes, you guessed it right – Geolocation.
On Demand services
Want to hire a cab, shared or otherwise? Just fire Uber, Lyft or Ola on your phone and there you go – a cab would be made available at your doorsteps within a matter of minutes. How cool is that! The same is made possible with the introduction of Geolocation technology.
Weather Forecast Apps
We are sure that your phone would have alerted you about impending rain or cold wave in the recent past more than once. How is that made possible? Apps like Yahoo Weather and Weather Underground utilize the Geolocation technology to gather information about the weather in your area and the appropriate forecast for the upcoming days or weeks.
Technologies to build an app with Geolocation
What are the essential components of location-based apps: Maps and location services. A number of services could be employed in order to determine the outdoor Geolocation of the end user. Here is a detailed account of a few of them:
Most modern smartphones come equipped with Global Positioning System. Satellites can pinpoint the location with 60 meters accuracy and apps make use of the same to render services. Satellites broadcast radio frequency signals which include their exact location, status, and certain time information. GPS devices (your smartphone in this case) receive the same signal and their exact location is determined.
In case GPS is unavailable how is the Geolocation determined? Well, Cell ID comes to the rescue. The current cell associated with the customer can help in locating the latter by referring to the base location database. This technique especially comes handy in big cities with a huge number of cells.
Wi-Fi is another potent method of pinpointing the location of the customer and the accuracy is even higher in this case. Wi-Fi can identify the position of a user within 2-meter accuracy. It would be worthwhile to note that there are two different ways to determine location using Wi-Fi. One way to do that is using Wireless Fingerprints – profiles of locations present in a Wi-Fi network. The second one is RSSI (receive a signal strength indication), which makes use of the Wi-Fi points database to determine the location.
Indoor Geolocation Technologies
Given the huge marketing potential of Geolocation services, the usefulness of Indoor Geolocation technologies is worth mentioning here. The two names that you ought to take note of are geofencing and Eddystone/iBeacon. First the statistics; the indoor Geolocation market was worth a staggering $30.6 billion in 2016, up from $8.12 billion in 2014, which is essentially a monumental rise in itself. As per the latest studies, eight out of ten customers make the final decision regarding purchasing a product using their smartphones. This is pretty serious stuff, isn’t it!
Imagine walking into a store and you receive an SMS with discount coupons worth a particular amount or percentage! How cool would be that? This is made possible with the help of Geofencing technique. Talking of Geofencing, here are the triggers:
Static: The current position of the customer triggers Geofencing. For example, a user entering a store gets a notification such as free coupons.
Dynamic: Notifications are sent on the basis of a rapidly changing data stream.
Combined Approach: A service that makes use of best of the above two, such as an update regarding the location of other users.
Google Eddystone / Apple iBeacon Technologies
Both Google and Apple seem to have upped the game with the introduction of Eddystone and iBeacon technologies respectively. These apps are essentially about determining whether a mobile user is within the area of their influence and take necessary action. These technologies make use of Bluetooth Low Energy Signals (BLE) and are in stark contrast to Geofencing.
Geofencing and iBeacon technologies are firing up the Internet of Things market as well. With each passing day more and more devices are coming under their ambit and a number of interesting innovations are taking place regularly. We are on the verge of witnessing a new revolution every other day!
Stories by Mitesh Patel