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The times, when the needed location could be read on a paper map, have gone far behind. The world made a huge leap toward digitalization. And, this made everything handier for humanity. This includes geo-based apps.

Need to know your current location? No problem! Open up Google Maps. Need to see what’s near you – shops, ATMs, petrol stations, restaurants? Google Maps can give you a hint. Need to pick up some medicine urgently? It can be done on the go, just open up a tracking medical location-based application you have on your smartphone. And, look for the nearest pharmacy, medicine price, drug availability, order details, and so on. Sounds convenient!

Here’s more. This year, the navigation sector should reach about $1,174 million in revenue. If the annual growth rate sticks to 8.73% up to 2026, this revenue will increase to the projected $1,642 million.

How to Create a Location-Based Application for Your Startup?

For this reason, rising startups shouldn’t neglect location-based app development. And, definitely should think to develop location-based services applications.

Want to find out details about how to create a location-based app for your startup? Inoxoft has prepared an informative guide on the matter. So, have a good read!

What is a Location-Based App and How Does It Work?

Geolocation app is a type of software that uses geographical data and information to provide location services or information to the end-users.

You can use geolocation to meet different needs and requests. For example, in healthcare, while searching for objects indoors, in entertainment, working environment, for personal purposes, purchase, and more.

So why do we need geolocation app development? Geolocation is critical to businesses, governments, and people, who can obtain real-time data insights based on a particular location. So, anyone can make use of their surroundings! And, provide geo-specific services to the target audience, get valuable information as to what’s happening nearby, weather forecast, etc. Geolocation in apps has different purposes to meet different user goals.

How to Create a Location-Based Application for Your Startup?

There are four common types of location-based applications. These are:

  • navigation software
  • social networking applications
  • geo-based advertising systems
  • tracking systems

What’s more, location-based mobile app development is extremely popular in different industries. They use features of location-based services apps in:

1. Retail

Well-known retailers try to use geolocation tracking applications to enhance the in-store experience. Buyers can always use GPS to find the nearest store or choose the location of order delivery. They can also track their orders being delivered in real-time. Retailers may also use indoor navigation with a beacon.

2. On-demand services

On-demand apps usually use GPS. For instance, different taxi providers rely on customer location to match them with the nearest available vehicle Also, these taxi apps show where the vehicle is in real-time and when it will arrive. Or, there are on-demand delivery apps with courier services. You place an order for a meal and the app shows when and where to expect your delivery/pickup.

3. Automotive

Perhaps, the best option here is to use geolocation in public transport. For example, to inform passengers of the real-time public transport location, departure, arrival, etc. And, this is convenient as passengers can meet the departure deadlines or schedule their commuting routes.

4. Tourism and travel

Need to book a hotel? The booking app will surely have a map, where you’d probably see the hotel’s location. And, the locations of the other hotels in the area, their star rating, and user feedback. Why is it important in tourism? First of all, it’s convenient to know the exact area of hotel placement. And, second, if you decide to change your mind on the go, you can re-book yourself a hotel room just with a few clicks.

5. Sports and fitness

Daily running, cycling, or gym visits can be tracked via GPS. Here, you can choose new routes, get data about your speed or kilometers covered. Or you can choose a new gym to visit or find a nearby yoga club to go to. Anything is possible. Just open the maps and see what’s there around you.

6. Social media and dating

While chatting with friends it is possible to place geotags with your current location. Or view a map and see who is nearby. This is used to connect people. Especially, if they want to go on a date and set up the place via a dating app.

7. Gaming

Everyone remembers Pokemon Go, which uses real-time location to catch Pokemon characters. And there are other games with the same usage of local maps and navigation. This makes the game feel more realistic.

8. IoT

Smartwatches, fitness trackers, and other wearables use geolocation services to sync wearable data with your smartphone. And these wearables should always know your current location to update weather conditions and the other features that are based on your geographical position.

The Main Features of Location-Based Services Apps

Location-based mobile application development has six main features. So, nowadays the apps are able to provide users with

Real-time locations

How do they do that? Via the native platform tools. They use Google Location API for Android devices, Apple Core Location API for iOS devices, and Cordova geolocation plugin for cross-platform purposes. These APIs obtain and use data from GPS, Cell ID, and WiFi networks to pinpoint the exact location of a user. And it is a great opportunity to always know where you are at and how to reach your destination. Also, you will be able to receive location-based recommendations or on-demand services. But first, to use their location, users have to share it with others like in WhatsApp.

Online and offline maps

Using Google Maps and their APIs (or Open Streets APIs, Mapbox APIs, etc) will allow your smartphone application to access maps, see where you are, and choose a destination you need to go to. A pleasant bonus is that you can track your route live. Also, maps show all the nearby places of your choice: restaurants, hotels, ATMs, gas stations, and other objects of interest.

You can easily pick up a route from point A to point B and receive the best traveling option, road length to cover, and other suggestions. To make the user experience with maps even more convenient, make these maps function offline as well. For example, Google Maps allows one to upload maps to the smartphone and use them offline.

Different places

Places are all the locations of interest placed on maps tourists or citizens would like to visit. You can click on any place and receive a detailed description of it, i.e. address, working hours, contact details, and general information. Also, you will be able to find user ratings of a place and their feedback. Places also use APIs. Either Google Places APIs or the ones similar to these.

Everything depends on your solution. Make sure to consult a skilled software development team and ask for their recommendation on which Places API to use. To make places even more interactive and thrilling to see, you can add a street view feature. These street views can have pictures from different perspectives.

Outdoor and indoor navigation

Need a navigator to take you places? Easy! Pick a final destination and click Go! And your map navigator will show you the best route. This way you will avoid traffic jams and routes under repair. And, it will also give you voice commands on where to turn and what’s ahead. To achieve this, you can use Google Maps Directions APIs and Google Distance Matrix APIs. of course, there are others to choose from. A little hint for you, there are a lot of outdoor navigators but what if you choose to make an indoor one?

Travel time estimation

There is no need to wait anymore. Your on-demand application can show the exact travel time. Do your things, and prepare for your daily routine without looking at your watch every 5 minutes. If you have ordered a cab – it will come at the exact time the app shows you. How does it work? By tracking your location for up to a minute, finding the fastest route, informing about the heavy trafficб cab speed, weather conditions, etc. You can use either Bing Route Data API or the famous Google ones. How does Google do that? The app analyzes all the app users within a particular location and based on this data gives out results.

Ratings and reviews

There is a great feature Google has. It asks you about your visit experience, asks to rate it, and whether you would recommend the place. This feature is really convenient for people, who like to go to that city, or mall, or even theater. Feedback is the driving force and a communication method. People don’t have to wonder whether they will meet their expectations by going to visit that museum or walking in this park.

Collecting feedback from real customers is what your business should definitely consider in geolocation apps development. How would it work? When your end-user leaves a place of interest, a push notification should be sent to his/her phone with the questions to rate and comment on the visit. This allows different business owners to improve their services or keep up the good work.

How to Create a Location-Based Application for Your Startup?

How to build a map-based app? Let’s discuss some of the most common technologies.

Technologies Used in Geolocation App Development

The choice of technologies to create a location-based service app depends on whether it will be outdoors or indoors.

App development outdoors requires to have a:

GPS

The Global Positioning System tool is a built-in module in any mobile device these days. This method gets satellite details, so it is considered to be quite accurate. To work properly it should be always active. The only drawback of GPS is that it drains your battery a lot.

A-GPS

Assisted Global Positioning System takes data both from satellites and mobile tower operators. This method is great because it saves battery life. But mobile operators might charge you an extra fee for using their towers.

Cell ID

Except for GPS, your phone is able to activate the cellular tower signal. This is done in case the GPS signal is weak. This method is not accurate for it requires the nearest mobile operator tower to catch your smartphone’s info. And, figure out your location based on the information obtained. It can have oversight.

WiFi

Using a WiFi network somewhere on the streets can manage to track your location. But the area of coverage of single wifi is rather small. So, it won’t show accurate results outdoors.

Geofencing

This technology is used for advertising purposes. There is a certain geographical area and when you enter or leave it, you will receive a push notification with offers.

App development indoors requires to have:

BLE

Bluetooth low energy can show your exact location inside of a building due to beacons placed in the very building. These beacons should primarily catch your smartphone’s signal, analyze it and give out results based on the data obtained. Beacons require non-stop technical support.

WiFi

Wireless connection indoors also has a small area of coverage. But, its tracking possibilities become more efficient.

Geofencing

Certain advertising barriers also work indoors. When you enter such a mall, you may receive a push notification with a fresh offer. So, the main idea stays the same. That’s how advertisers understand their audience’s interests and count the click rates.

How to Create a Location-Based Application for Your Startup?

Steps You should Take in Location-Based App Development

If you wonder how to create a GPS app, start with planning. Project planning can give you various insights and eliminate future product risks. For instance, consider the following steps:

1. Set your goal

Setting your goal will allow you to understand what you truly want. Geolocation apps differ as well as their implementation in different industries. Choose the industry you want to commit to.

2. Be innovative

The launch of a location-aware startup is not something new. To attract audiences and get users to like your app you should introduce something completely unique on the market. We all have Google Maps and its navigation possibilities. But, with the introduction of Waze, everyone turned to that app and uses it more often than Google Maps. To be innovative requires months of market research and, perhaps, user surveys. But only users can give you certain hints of what a perfect geolocation application should include.

3. Find a software services provider

Finding a provider that could deploy the perfect geolocation app for you is like a quest. But, there are quality providers on the market. Just do your research about this provider. For instance, browse Clutch for feedback about the company, and engage in a consultation with their team of experts. What’s more, see whether the team can get all your requirements right and what would they offer considering the tech stack, design, and functionality. Are you on the same page with them or not? Your team will certainly motivate you to start work as soon as possible. Have a second thought about the team that will raise more questions than answers.

4. Design a prototype

A prototype sounds like a great idea. Design the main screens and features of an interface. This would be the first prototype of your app. But you will be able to look at it from different angles and perspectives. Add something, change something, and experiment with style.

5. Decide on a tech stack

The best option here would be to consult an expert team in the field. But, if you want to do it yourself, you may choose the MEAN stack for an excellent web app and Flutter, React Native, Cordova, or Ionic to make a cross-platform mobile app. Everything depends on your platform choice and budget possibilities. To assist you with your choices, use our perfect app calculator.

6. Design an MVP

Why MVP? Mainly, because full app development will take a lot of time, and effort and will also cost a lot. And, as a startup, you need to save up budget money and implement only the most needed features first. The app will function as it should and gather user feedback. During this time, you will be able to add more features to the app or change something, which users don’t like. MVP is faster to deploy, and its cost is fair enough.

7. Grow and advance

Engage in an ongoing process of growth and advancement. Your app may be successful, but you should keep up with the customers’ expectations. Improve technologies, design, and upgrade the app. Listen to your customers and try to meet their needs. Provide 24/7 support for your end-users. Growing a business is not a one-time process. It never ends. Making a perfect app is not something you can do overnight. It will last for a lifetime.

Consider Inoxoft your trusted partner

Inoxoft is a mobile application development services company with certified developers on board and a forward-thinking mindset. We can engage in on-demand delivery app development per your requirements. Our team shows excellent skills in engineering and knowledge about how to make a geolocation app. Lately, we have created a quality on-demand fuel delivery app that became really popular in the U.S. market.

Consider Inoxoft as your development services provider. We can teach you how to monetize an app and provide you with mobile app maintenance services.  If you need quality and dedication – contact us and let’s talk!

Learn more: how to build an MVP

Final Thoughts

Asking Inoxoft how to make a location-based app gives your startup valuable insights as to GPS location app development. Here, you are able to think about technologies, steps to achieve your goal, and the choice of a partner. But, most importantly, it’s a guide for you to use. Succeed with the freshly-obtained information and let your geolocation app be among the top on the market.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to create a location-based app?

  • Set your goal
  • Be innovative
  • Find a software services provider
  • Design a prototype
  • Decide on a tech stack
  • Design an MVP
  • Grow and advance

What is GPS location app development?

A geolocation app is a type of software that uses geographical data and information to provide location services or information to the end-users. 

You can use geolocation to meet different needs and requests. For example,  in healthcare, while searching for objects indoors, in entertainment, working environment, for personal purposes, and more.

What features are there in location-based app development?

  • Real-time location 
  • Online and offline maps
  • Different places
  • Outdoor and indoor navigation
  • Travel time estimation
  • Ratings and reviews