Love it or hate it, but geolocation is present in more than 90% of apps installed on your smartphone. In fact, Touchscreen sensors, 4G, GPS, and Camera functionality are four elephants on which the mobile app world is resting now. So, if you’re up to making a successful location-based service app, you’d better take advantage of these technologies.
The geolocation feature can be applied in literally any industry domain, whether you’re running a carwash company or a corporate health insurance project. Shortly speaking, geolocation performs two things:
- It tracks the movement of the device;
- It reports this data to the server.
Needless to say that Data is the new oil of the Digital Economy. Making use of this data may bring additional value to your company and your customers as well. So, we have collected the best ideas behind apps that use geolocation. You can use this article if you consider performing digital transformation for your business and creating a new mobile solution. Regardless of the privacy concerns, geolocation made our lives easier. It gave birth to the wide range of mobile apps we’re using in our everyday adventures roaming through metropolitan jungles.
You’ve probably heard about some top-notch geolocation-based Android and iOS apps, so let us just quickly remind you about the most popular solutions on the market:
- Uber – this is a real giant of transportation used worldwide, which even created an Uber-like economy and a separate market of Uber-like apps.
- TripAdvisor – the chances are that you and many of your friends are already using this app while doing your trip planning.
- Pokemon Go – this game popularity literally skyrocketed overnight, and this app attracted an impressive number of users and kept them engaged for months.
- Instagram has first started as a social network app with chatting options now turned into a powerful business platform with online stores, influencers, and an enormous number of users.
- Google Maps – navigation app itself used literally by everyone to create the route, search for nearby places, and find the shortest way to any location.
Some more Location-Based App Ideas
Mobile App for Social Networks – Drophook Case
Every fisher knows that success in his field depends on many factors. In addition to such obvious things as spinning and bait, the success also depends on the spot you choose, season, weather, and time of the day.
That is what we’ve found out during the development of Drophook – Web & Mobile Social Network for fishing lovers. Among other social media features, like messaging option and user profiles, Drpohook emphasizes geolocation functions.
Keeping in mind those audience specifics, we’ve added an interactive map that shows users the best places where they can count for a nice catch. The app allows users to pin favorite fishing spots on the map, so they could share locations with friends and find a place in the future, no matter how far in the wilderness it is.
We also added a nautic map with GPS navigation that will be handy for those who like fishing from a boat. This option is particularly useful in terms of app promotion, as long as there is a vast audience base of fishers who prefer the sea to shore.
On top of all these geolocation features, there are still left a lot of things to add:
- Location-Based Notifications, so the fisher or hunter could know if it started a spawning nearby.
- Weather Forecast pinned upon the map to allow users to check weather conditions before going to sea.
Location-Based Offers App
This idea could find its application in any service-based business. The app can map restaurants and parking places, or you can develop a location-based discount app that will display all hot sales and discount offers nearby.
This kind of application is also popular in retail. Supermarkets and other retailers integrate GPS into their apps to help users find stores near them. The application can be a powerful tool if you need to increase your brand awareness, attract more new customers, and keep the existing client base engaged and loyal. The geolocation app for offers is a great chance to boost your business and make it more profitable.
On-demand Community App
The other approach is to make a location-based platform that would connect people instead of places. Surf & Yoga is a great example of apps that use location. Thanks to the power of geolocation technology, we’ve made a platform for an active community of users so that they could share their knowledge in Yoga and Surfing.
As you noticed, geolocation is one of the most important Surf & Yoga’s features. It helps users find perfect morning yoga spots with a breathtaking sunrise view of sandy bays with high waves.
The same principle can be used to pinpoint other suitable locations:
- Dating App
It marks the best places for a date or a random place for a blind date.
- Fitness App
This type of location-based application shows the best routes for day and night runs.
- Food Truck Finder
Think about it as an Uber for the Street Food industry.
- Travel app
This type of application is advantageous as it helps thousands of tourists to get to the destination – stations, hotels, places of interest, etc.
- Weather app
This app can help to check the forecast in a particular area for any needs of users.
- On-demand delivery
This type implies the delivery of different services – barbers, food, babysitters, neighbors, etc. A geolocation feature helps to find the required service fast and easy as it shows the results nearby your location.
- Social network and messengers
A geolocation feature can be used in different ways if we talk about social networking. Users can share their geolocation, mark it on their posts, etc.
Location-Based Messaging App
We used geolocation in Sparkle – Social Instant Chat that enables users to create and join public chats with people nearby. This mobile app is a location-based messaging tool that locates all active users in the same area and connects them via chat. Besides, Sparkle allows users to set the radius within which the location-based chatting will be available to others by using geolocation technology.
Additional applications for radius feature in location-based apps:
- Live Video Streaming App that will allow users to find watch what’s happening nearby. More on live streaming app development, you can find here.
- Local Parties Finder for travelers and those who are looking for night activities.
- Support Groups & Sponsor Finder for disabled people or people with addiction who urgently need a hand of help.
Location-Based Application for Travelers Example
This is probably the most obvious example of an industry that relies heavily on geolocation technology. There is literally no booking, sightseeing, guiding app that doesn’t take advantage of geolocation. But, even in such a highly competitive market, do exist few untouched niches.
So, just for a change, let’s take a look at the platform that targets a more luxurious audience – Sea Guide – TripAdvisor for the Yachting World. We’ve made the LBS platform essentially a crowd-sourced destination, a rating-based guide for water travelers and yacht lovers.
What sets this platform apart from other is its extensive and easy mapping functionality that helps users quickly add new sites, yacht location, and services. Those who are familiar with the yachting world will appreciate the possibility to add precise GPS Coordinates of their boat with exact Latitude and Longitude coordinates in place. A similar feature can be included in an Uber for Services (Boats App) we described in our Startup App Ideas Series.
Photo Location Finder App
Sometimes it’s hard to find a place even if you have a picture of it. The easiest way is to search by picture through Google. Sadly, this is not going to work if you have a photo of the bar’s interior.
It turns out that making such a location-based app may be a great tool for both HoReCa advertisers and visitors. The advertisers could use this app to locate happy customers’ photos, and customers may count on gifts from restaurants and cafes for check-ins like this used to be in the Foursquare app. This is a mutually beneficial idea for both – business owners and their clients.
Health and Fitness apps
According to the study by NYU Langone Medical Center, 58% of US smartphone owners downloaded a health or fitness app, which makes this kind of solution extremely promising in terms of financial benefit for your business.
Integrated geolocation in such applications helps users to track their workouts and patterns. Sports-lovers may, for example, take advantage of GPS data to build and monitor their walking, cycling, and running routes, as well as record other activities like swimming. If you give this idea a good thought, then you can create a rather holistic solution able to attract hundreds of athletes. You can add features for searching for a running partner nearby, looking for a place to grab a bite of healthy food after the gym or running session, etc.
It’s always nice to know what weather to expect for the day in your exact location. That’s why geolocation is a must-have feature of any weather application.
Besides current conditions, such apps may show short-term forecasts, for instance, for the next day or week, as well as send alerts about storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, or just heavy rain. This allows users to get push notifications about unfavorable weather conditions before they happen and be prepared.
Most IoT solutions have an integrated GPS, so the list of options is almost endless. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed about contributing to the intelligent-built environment, you can make your city smarter by developing a mobile app that monitors traffic, parking, vehicles, and cargo via wireless sensors.
Another idea is creating an application for smartwatches, which are skyrocketing in popularity nowadays. This can be, for example, a fitness app or app for running or cycling, which are users’ favorite choices.
Have a look at our video with 7 most popular ideas for location-based apps:
Features of the location-based app
Geolocation APIs for Mobile Apps
What is a map API? The Map API provides location intelligence for software developers building location-based products and services. It is an essential building block for location-aware applications, rich maps, and geographic data retrieval.
Essentially, there are four Google Maps APIs to choose from, depending on the requirements and features you want to have in your mobile app. You can take one or use every one of them if you have new ideas for GPS applications.
- Google Maps API displays the map itself and allows you to change the color scheme, hide labels, use a different road density, and switch between sites. Also, you can now create a custom map style so that the map will fit your branding.
- Google Places API. It grants access to the detailed and categorized database of 100 million places.
- Google Maps Directions API. According to the latest survey, 58% of U.S. adult smartphone owners use their devices to look up directions. Along with directions, this API allows users to choose transportation mode or take multiple modes.
- Google Distance Matrix API. It estimates travel time and distance based on a user’s destination, traffic condition, and suggested routes.
All of these Google Maps APIs have dedicated versions for Web, Android, and iOS.
Stage of building a location-based app
Here comes a question: how to start the development of location-based in your business industry and successfully launch it? We created a short guide on where and how to the building.
Make a research on the market
Before choosing the area or beginning the development of your location-based app, make sure that it is worth the effort and recognized. Find out about common features, functionality, set of services, designs, and other options about competitors’ apps. The next step is to compare them, reveal weak sides, and transform them into strong sides in your solution. You also need to define your target audience, research their interests, and if your app would be useful for them.
Reliable tech partner
The second step is to search for a reliable tech partner who will perform your requirements in the app accurately and high-qualified. Check their portfolio if they had experience in location-based app development and if the launchings were successful.
Before choosing the required technologies, you, along with Business Analyst, need to define critical challenges and features that will be included in your application. Therefore, developers will pick up the technology stack.
Level of security
Security is a crucial feature in location-based apps. All users have o be sure that their data protected from scammers when they let the app use their geolocation. It is also important to consult with the team you chose about the necessity of this function. Usually, all bugs and errors are revealed on the stage of testing the application.
A geolocation feature is a must to include in the app development. It has its own benefits for different industries like healthcare, marketplace, media, travel, etc. Some of these industries are obvious, like taxis, map services, food delivery. However, most modern applications are location-based as it helps users to find information upcoming events, meetings, local news or updates, etc. All they have to do is to turn on the geolocation and follow the latest news in their neighborhood. If you already have an idea for a location-based application or you think that the development of this kind o app can make your business more profitable, contact us. Our Business Analyst will help you with the research on the market of like apps and build your own solution’s business strategy.