GPS are three letters that even many children are used to nowadays. GPS and location-based services (LBS) are widely used today, especially in mobile applications industry. Location-based services are implemented in apps for individuals as well as for businesses and represent a useful tool for achieving a wide range of goals.
Navigation apps are quite common but there are much more cases where you can use location-based services. In this article, we’ll go through the major applications of LBS in mobile app development.
People tracking. There are already apps on the market that allow their users to see where their nearest and dearest are. Knowing where their kids are is a quite useful tool for parents that saves their nerves. And tracking people with disabilities such as Alzheimer’s disease can be life-saving indeed. Even when one goes jogging or cycling in the evening, especially in desolate places, it really adds security, when one’s relatives know where one is in case of an accident. Or for instance, when you go to a concert or an overcrowded shopping mall, it can be really annoying when you lose someone you have come there with. It wouldn’t be a problem if you have a special location-based app installed on your both devices.
Examples: GPS Phone Tracker (Android), Family Locator.
Pets tracking. For most people pets are part of their families, so missing them can be a real tragedy, which happens often, unfortunately. So it is much more convenient to place a hardware device on your dog’s or cat’s collar, open a mobile app and quickly see the point on the map to see where your pet is, rather than posting ads in local newspapers.
Examples: Tractive, Whistle.
Emergency calls. Imagine a person being kidnapped or having health troubles. An LBS application isn’t the perfect life-saving tool, but it can be quite useful in many cases. For instance, saying a key phrase will call an emergency exactly to the place where the person is.
Examples: In Case of Emergency ICE-Lite, Echo112 – The Pocket Lifesaver.
Statistics. It can be fun to know where you spend most of your time exactly, so one can decide what to do with this data. And it is a great tool for marketing, so that you can see how much time, how often and when people spend their time in your shop/restaurant etc. so that you can improve your customer retention.
Example: GPS Tracks (iOS).
Fitness trackers. This application is quite popular. There are lots of fitness tracker mobile applications that enable collecting data on where you were doing sports, how long, with what speed you usually run etc. Using wearable devices can be even more useful and enables much more options. LBSs are also helpful for coaches to control the training process of their team members.
Examples: Runtastic, Fitbit, Endomondo.
Gaming. Location-based games such as Geocaching and the now popular Pokémon Go are quite trendy and make gaming out-of-doors and social. One can come up with much more ideas of implementing LBS, maybe even with augmented reality or IoT solutions for creating outstanding mobile games.
Examples: Zombies, Run!, Resources Game, Pokémon Go, Geocaching.
Logistics. Cargo tracking is a powerful tool that saves resources in logistics. Tracking of cargos and trucks can help you reduce unnecessary expenditures and wastes as well as control the work of your company and employees.
Example: Logistics Pro.
Search. It can become really upsetting if you lose your phone with lots of private information. Imagine you could easily find on the map where it is. It is possible now and there is a number of apps on the market that allow this.
Example: SeekDroid Lite, Prey, Lookout Mobile Security.
For car drivers. Imagine you need to find a parking lot or you are running out of petrol. Integrated into Android Auto or Apple Auto location based service is quite unusual yet but this will surely gain popularity in the future. Finding the nearest parking spot or petrol station with a location based app can easily save your nerves and time.
Examples: SpotHero, FullTank, Find Cheap Gas.
Travelling. Planning a trip can become really exhausting with all the things you have to keep in mind. Keeping your trip journal for memories, finding points of interest around you, getting location-based recommendations, hotels, taxis, finding public transport opportunities and navigating is much easier with mobile applications with integrated location-based services.
Examples: FourSquare, Time Out.
Public transport and taxis. It’s typical to use GPS when you want to decide which means of public transport to take or if you want to call a taxi. Uber is a great and trendy service that uses LBS.
Examples: Uber, Easy Taxi – Book Taxi Cab App.
Delivery. Whether you have ordered a pizza or a new laptop, you probably would like to know where it is on the way to you. Thus you’ll be certain that your package or delivery is on the road and not lost.
Example: ParcelTrack – Package Tracker.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Imagine a person can share with the friends in what a great restaurant he/she is and provide a spot on the map where this (apparently, yours) restaurant is. Or suggesting coupons based on the customer’s location. Or an app sending shopping offers when the customer walks into the shop.
Example: Zoho CRM, Base CRM.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP). To track employees is completely normal nowadays so that managers can analyse, test hypotheses and improve enterprise functioning.
However great all these applications are, there is one vast problem that can arise while using LBS in mobile application development, namely privacy. Mobile applications with LBS are a great tool to track family members for security or employees for more effectiveness, but it is easy to violate one’s privacy with LBS misusage. So it’s important not only to come up with great mobile app ideas but to think about your users’ privacy as well.
To sum up, telemetry technologies and location-based services are in high demand nowadays for they allow a wide range of solutions to people and businesses that save one’s time, money and nerves. Smartum Pro development team has a great experience implementing LBS in various projects for a wide range of industries.
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