The Right Way To Make A GPS Application

The Right Way To Make A GPS Application
Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Nowadays we're not afraid to get lost in a strange city, and we don't have difficulties looking for a certain place. Moreover, we can forecast the weather, monitor earthquakes, preventing transportation accidents, aid search and rescue efforts, and that's not the whole list. We should thank the geolocation feature for such benefits. GPS today is a fundamental element of the global information infrastructure. GPS technology is crucial to develop hundreds of applications to make modern life more comfortable. Geolocation apps affect every aspect of modern life, from looking up directions on Google Maps to hailing a taxi by Uber. They can boost the productivity of farming, mining, construction, package delivery, etc. 

As you see, GPS apps have become a background for many successful businesses. What about you? Would you like to develop an app with similar success?

We'll discuss in our article how to make a GPS app. So, let's start.

Geolocation Technologies

First of all, you should know about different geolocation technologies to choose the best. There is a wide range of technologies to create software for location-based applications. Let’s review the details of each technology as all of them have unique purposes, benefits, and drawbacks. 

There are two types of location-based services – outdoor and indoor.

Outdoor Geolocation Technologies

Outdoor navigation is based on satellite imagery and GPS signals. It allows users to position themselves, show genuine routes, and reach destinations.

GPS

All smartphones today have an in-built GPS module that enables users to get access to the Global Positioning System (GPS). The system catches out information from visible satellites and identifies your location. To do this task, GPS needs to get data from at least three satellites. However, it's not a problem, as the sky is full of satellites nowadays.

Pros:

  • the location is detected no matter where you are;
  • the location can be determined with an accuracy of about 15 meters (50 feet) as the system accurately calculates the coordinates.

Cons:

  • GPS is a huge battery drainer.

Cell-ID

This technology allows the application to get information from the local cell towers. 

Pros:

  • the device’s location can be determined by cell towers close to the phone;
  • the best solution for megapolises with a large number of cell towers.

Cons:

  • cell phone coverage can be weak;
  • the speed of data display depends on the number of devices used in the area by this tower; 
  • a weak coverage outside of megapolises;
  • the accuracy is lower than that of GPS;

It depends on the distance to the base transceiver station.

A-GPS (Assisted GPS). 

This technology combines two – GPS and Cell ID mentioned above. Such integration allows it to provide a higher level of accuracy compared to just Cell ID or solely GPS. If you are going to create a GPS app with highly accurate data, choose A-GPS.

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi positioning collects data from the Internet and shows huge accuracy (at about 25-50 meters) due to the maximum range of Wi-Fi access. 

Pros:

  • works with high density in urban areas;
  • drains battery slower than GPS;
  • more precise compared to Cell ID as Wi-Fi covers smaller areas.

Cons:

  • the necessity to have access to a nearby Wi-Fi spot;
  • Wi-Fi covers smaller areas.

Indoor Geolocation Technologies

Indoor location technologies exist to build accurate navigation inside a building.

Geofencing

This technology is based on GPS. It determines the closeness of a user to a particular point. The main principle of this system is when a mobile device enters a virtual boundary, some programmed action is triggered. It works as the integration of GPS, cellular, and Wi-Fi data. Geofencing is used mainly in the advertising industry to provide users with relevant ads and offers, local services and goods. 

This technology is less accurate when you need to see your current location, but it is helpful when you want to bring people to the store from the street.

iBeacon and Eddystone

iBeacon was developed by Apple, and Eddystone is one of Google’s services. These technologies operate based on Bluetooth Low Energy signals (BLE). 

The main pro is that they have highly accurate features for indoor navigation. However, they work only in addition to the core functionality. In other words, they do not deliver offers by themselves but send out the identifiers. In turn, these identifiers trigger actions in custom-designed mobile apps for iBeacon/Eddystone.

GPS App Basic Features

GPS applications are presented in many industries, but the key focus should lie on the features of your geolocation app. The main of them:

  • Map Integration;
  • Social networks integration;
  • Location Tracking;
  • Rerouting;
  • Voice Guide;
  • GPS Coordinates for Fitness and Health Applications;
  • In-app messages;
  • Payment services (advanced feature).

GPS App Development Process

The below checklist describes the steps of the development process:

  1. Conduct market research and find opportunities for app development.
  2. Come up with a unique idea for a GPS app. 
  3. Study the most popular geo-based apps, their strong and weak points. 
  4. Decide on the features for your future app.
  5. Use GPS application MVP, which is aimed at running a test development process of the project idea to show you potential drawbacks and demonstrate an accurate budget for developing an app. 
  6. Make a plan of your project, including such things as tech stack,  timetable and date of release, requirements, team members, etc.
  7. Promote and advertise. SEO is probably the most effective approach for getting users to come to you. 
  8. Build a reliable software development team. It's the engine of your project. This step is crucial, as a team of experienced, and skilled IT specialists mastermind your project and take care of the technical side of your app.
  9. Work out the technical side of the project, choose the most suitable geolocation technology, implement all the must-have features you have chosen for the app, decide on functionality and choose tech stack.
  10. Create a unique but simple UI/UX design of the geolocation software.
  11. Deal with Security Matters.
  12. Test and Launch the app
  13. Ensure ongoing development, support, and upgrade

Final Thoughts

New ways of using GPS are invented every day, and the GPS applications are limited only by the human imagination and desire to make our lives more comfortable. 

Now, you know of geolocation technologies, industries to apply them, and the main steps to build a GPS application. If you're interested in improving the interaction with customers and ensuring the sending of information to the user in the right place at the right time, develop your GPS app and get your profits to grow.



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