Geolocation has been around from quite some time now. It has become popular to a point where all modern-day smartphones and computers have it incorporated. Geolocation enables determining the current geographical location of a device. A user with a smartphone can check in to any hotel, cafe, restaurant, office, or any place and share his/her current location with whomever they want. Mobile application development making use of this technology has grown exponentially in recent years.
Features of Geolocation-based applications
Geolocation apps often provide a feature that offers points whenever users share their check-ins in order to keep them hooked. This helps in creating a sense of competition among the users and prompts them to use the application more and more and share their check-ins regularly. In return, users are offered with some perks like discounts on food and beverages. This results in increasing brand awareness for companies who offer such coupons and discounts and will also attract new customers for them.
Another feature that geolocation apps provide is for retailers. Retailers can utilize geolocation to analyze the sales activities in their stores. They can also fetch customers’ feedback and get information about the demand for a specific product in certain areas or shortages in their businesses. This information helps retailers in increasing the success rate of their stores.
Android applications particularly have geolocation incorporated in them. Android app development companies are on the rise due to such demand. To understand the development of geolocation applications, it is imperative to know how they function.
The functioning of Geolocation-based applications
The three basic functions of geolocation apps include establishing the current geographical location of the user, sharing the location with others, and connecting one location to other locations of different devices around the user. Every modern smartphone produced in today’s time comes with a GPS (Global Positioning System) chip. The GPS chip fetches the information regarding the location and the time sent by the satellites. This information is used to locate devices.
In order to get an accurate location of the device, the data is received from a minimum of four different satellites. There are chances when the GPS is unavailable for some particular reason. In such cases, the smartphone’s Cell ID comes in handy. It helps by comparing the database of the station with the user data.
The GPS tracking and the Cell ID, both these methods are sometimes used in combination to enhance the precision. On top of that, Wi-Fi technology is also used to locate the user. Using the RSSI (Receive a Signal Strength Indicator) is another way to improve the accuracy by a great margin.
There is also a Google Maps API for Android that enables advanced features, provides amazing performance, and is touted as an important tool for geolocation.
If we talk about Geofencing, there are three kinds of it: dynamic, static and combined. Dynamic geofencing determines the location of the user in the changing stream of data. Static geofencing determines the location of the user from a certain point like a theatre or a cafe. Combined geofencing is about interacting with other users such as checking in with the applications offered by different social networks (eg. Facebook).
Developing Geolocation-based applications
Developing Geolocation Android applications requires considering a few crucial things. Each application works with the smartphone’s OS by making use of the APIs. For integrating geolocation in mobile apps, there are two distinct APIs that are generally used. The first API is used to locate the user or a specific object when the user manually enters the address of the device. The second one is used to find nearby stores, restaurants, cafes, etc. around a particular location.
Android apps are integrated with geolocation by using Google Play Services API. Either IntelliJ IDEA IDE or even Android Studio IDE is used to develop the Android application.
How much does a Geolocation Android app development cost?
Typically, a geolocation-based Android application costs $10,000 – $35,000 approximately. Developing a geolocation mobile app takes 400 hours, more or less. Mobile app development companies have to hire skilled Android developers who can implement these features into mobile applications and create them within the set budget.