What are Location Based Mobile Apps
Businesses around the world have witnessed a remarkable transformation with the advent of technology and software into their business processes. The right kind of software, which can integrate the various business functions and provide for an effective flow of activities, is a pertinent decision to be made. That is why most enterprises curate software or mobile application, according to their needs and thus ensure the proper functioning of the same. Mobile app development for a specific purpose is the buzz word of the industry today. Location based mobile apps are making a new shift in modern world.
It is a systematic procedure of creating various applications for mobile devices such as personal digital assistants, enterprise digital assistants, etc. It consists of a plethora of steps that help in software development which can be run on mobile phones. A typical mobile app uses a network connection to work into remote computing resources. The creation of a mobile application traces its roots from traditional software development. The consequent, however, is a software intended to utilize the unique features and hardware of mobile devices.
One such type of application is location-based mobile apps. There is an old saying that the key to making it through life is to know where you are, where you’ve been and where you are going. Well, today we have an app for that. Location-Based Mobile Apps refer to the geographical location or information about your device’s whereabouts. It can be an IOS or Android-based smartphone, fitness tracker or anything that has a GPS chip or connects to WiFi. That is because location-based mobile apps don’t necessarily use GPS and other satellite systems. In the quest for trends, more and more location-based or geo-dependent mobile applications have been appearing on the market. Navigators, guides, social networks with geological photos, a fitness app with the route tracking belong to so-called Location-Based Apps.
Features of Location-Based Apps
There are a plethora of features that are available for location-based mobile apps. It is very necessary to understand the characteristics of the same before venturing into any new location app. Here is a list of certain valuable features:
Location-based mobile apps give you the ability to reach anybody with a mobile phone. This opens the location-based services to every mobile handset user, as long as the company is willing to maintain device-specific versions of applicators.
One of the most common location based mobile apps type is the check-in- which may be defined as the ability to announce that “I am here” or “I visited this place”. The check-in can deliver a lot of high standard data for you to analyse and begin to build profiles of users who check in to your business.
The very reason behind the need for a location-based mobile app is the ability to find something. Hence, the ability to get discovered becomes another one of the features that an app has to take care of.
Engagement is a more personal sort of conversation so as to keep people interested. It is much more than just blasting “here I am”/ allowing you to carry a dialogue or group conversation. So, a lot of location-based mobile apps come with social media integrations too to provide a superior experience on the engagement front.
Future and intent
Sometimes you know what you are going to do, and you want to let people know so that you can connect with them or solicit their opinions about what you should do. People like recommendations from others whom they trust. They also like to know who’s going to be at an event so that they can decide with whom they will spend their time.
You can use platforms to build your own application to cater to your specific purpose and needs. Location-based mobile apps provide a plethora of opportunities to be worked upon, such as databases, check-in-functionality, tips and recommendations, authentications and much more.
Some of these location-based mobile app platforms allow you to tailor your content to be placed right next to user-generated content so as to be consumed by the users, yet have a personalised tone to the same.
Pre-Requisite for the development of Location-Based-Apps
Define Your Goal-
The first pre-condition for development of Location-Based mobile apps is to have a clear conception of the objective of the object initiated. Clear definition and clarity of the goals of the project is a must before inception Questions like what needs the app will cater to? The app will incorporate which feature of Location-based services (LBS) such as navigation, monitoring, etc.? Also, the goal needs to be kept in sight while the development of the software as Location-Based Information mostly have real-time implications.
Select Best Software Developer
It is a very important consideration for Enterprise application Development as it is the foundation for designing. Professionals who have prior experience in designing will be able to cater to your needs by tailoring the software according to your needs. Try avoiding cheap developers. Though budget constraint will prevail, it is not an excuse to scrape the bottom of the barrel. Cheap developing companies usually mean that you will bleed out that money you just saved and create havoc in the long run. Also, take a look at the portfolio of the developers regarding the satisfaction of their clients and whom all have they worked with. Previous records need to be checked before venturing into such projects
Efficiency over speed
It is most advisable to set precedence to the effectiveness of the code of the LBS app rather than speed. Most mobile app developers are guided by the principle that a fast code will save them a lot of time and thereby tend to be a better option for smooth functioning. But there is no point choosing speed over efficiency if the app is inherently wrong. Provide the time it takes, but making the right correct should be the priority so that the user’s car does not end up in the gutter!
Where it is an in house app or is being outsourced from a developing company, it is essential to provide necessary information to all the participants of the project to provide a clear idea of the updates of the LBS app development so that there is no room for any glitches.
Clarity of Feature requirement
Obscurity and ambiguity regarding the requirements of features and functionalities will lead to the delay and complexity of the software designing process of Location-Based applications, and it is also a huge turn-off for the software developers, who run on a time constraint. It gets into their nerves, every time the client keeps asking them to add new features and functionalities to the existing. Consequently, the pace of the project takes a toll, and strains on the budget and schedules, are also witnessed. So a framework should have been clear at the inception stage of the project as to which dimension of the LBS to focus namely: personal, spatial or temporal, in order to ensure the efficiency of the application
It should be a priority of the location Based mobile apps, to ensure the security of the same. Auditing and Compliance should be a priority throughout the process. Integration of tracking issues with performances of other checks, need to the ensured, leaving no room for human error. LBS application is real-time information about the geographical whereabouts of the device, which is highly susceptible to an online security breach. So, The last thing an application developer wants is the confidential information and data getting leaked in the wrong hands. So it should be ensured.
Application-level logging is a must for any LBS software product; various frameworks are built upon similar lines, which facilitate in tracking errors and debugs issues. These logs are available for monitoring with various tools that can provide several intricate insights to the people /users.
Management of Applications
Management of Location-Based application is pertinent to ensure that no information is discounted or disclosed, or predictable. This process includes the utilising of universal packages and not solely on public repositories. Since the information stored about the location is confidential and should only pertain to the user and his/her discretion, it is important to have a clear structure so as to manage the app.
Difference between Google Maps and Apple maps
Google Maps and Apple Maps are bot synonymous to digital navigation apps or (LBS). Google maps have been the go-to king of online mapping since its launch in 2005. Now it’s less of a mapping app and more of a sharing and data collection network. In 2012, Apple announced Apple maps, which ignited that Google maps Vs Apple maps war that has been stretched out to this day. Given below is an account of a comparison between Google Maps and Apple Maps.
Pricing and Availability
Both Apple Maps and Google Maps have made their mark and are available on almost every device. Apple subsidises Apple Maps as a part of its MacOS and iOS, and Google makes money off Google Maps by tracking your location based data and selling ads.
The most crucial point of distinction between Google Maps and Apple Maps are their supporting devices. Google Map is available on iOS and Android, as well as online through any web browser. The Apple maps online version is not released yet either is the one for Android, so Apple Maps is only available on macOS and iOS devices.
In the last few years, Apple has invested a lot in improving the quality of its maps, by prioritising it internally and buying other location-centric-startups outright. Apple may have faltered initially but it has amended its ways and has become reliable to great extent. However, in all honesty, it is still nowhere close to what Google Maps has at the offer and it will be a while before this finally happens
So, this was our take on location based mobile apps, their important features, the prerequisite for their development and a small comparison between two of the most powerful location-based mobile apps. Number of other such apps have also come up over time and a lot of apps include the location tracking functionality in them too. It makes sense given how programmatic advertising has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. We feel that a few years down the line and we will be seeing ads not basis our interest but probably based on our location. InMobi for one has been doing that, about time that we see many more such firms coming up.