So what exactly is a location-based application? And how do you go about building one? We will look at all this and more in this guide. Let's begin!
Location-based app development - what is it?
Almost everyone has a smartphone these days, and more than one billion people use Google Maps every month!
Location-based apps make life easier for users in many different ways. This is the reason so many companies want to build location-based apps.
Location-based app development involves location service APIs and maps to provide useful services. This is often done using Google Maps. The purpose of a location based app is to help users navigate and find things easily.
Why make a location-based app?
There are more than 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world. Location-based apps provide incredible value in today's modern lifestyles. People can use a smartphone and their favourite location app to find what they need. Be it food, a hotel or a friends’ place, these apps point us to right direction.
Is there a demand for location-based apps?
The answer is yes! Location-based apps are incredibly popular and it's definitely a mainstream. Nowadays almore than 3 million apps in the most every business is using geolocation in their custom apps. From fitness applications and social networks to navigation and food delivery - everyone has a location-based app. Let's take a look at the main fields where location services bring additional benefits:
Marketing campaigns rely on geolocation tools to reach potential customers. Location data can help deliver custom promotions to users in a certain location.
Location information helps customers get real-time information about places near them. Businesses can provide information about events and promotions.
Maps help businesses get local reviews and recommendations. Customers can leave feedback and even link to places on the map.
More than 79% of social media users have left a geo-tag on their posts. Locations and reviews can be shared easily on social media. This helps with brand recognition and popularity. Social media also comes in handy for marketing and promotions.
Location-based app types
Location-based apps open up new opportunities for marketing and lead generation. As a result, there are many different kinds of location apps out there. Here are some popular versions:
1. Travel apps
Travel apps like Airbnb are quite popular. People choose locations they want to travel to. Depending on the app, they can get the route, hotel recommendations, and even tour guides. Learn how you can build an app like Airbnb on our blog!
2. Location-based e-commerce apps
A lot of e-commerce apps also include location-based services. These come in useful for delivery, shipping, and tracking customer locations for better service.
3. Location-based services app
Location information can help users to locate and obtain services near them. According to Google, "near me" searches increase by 146% every year! Whether it's a salon, bakery, or hardware store, location apps help businesses provide local services to customers.
4. Location-based dating app
Dating apps like Tinder use location-based data to help people find potential dates near them. Find out how you can build your own Tinder-like dating application!
5. Navi apps
Navigation apps use location data to guide users to their destinations. Google Maps provides navigation data, information about businesses, and even local recommendations.
6. Social media apps
Social media apps include location tags that users can add to the content they share. Location filters are extremely popular on Snapchat and Instagram!
7. On-demand location-based apps
Booking a taxi or ordering food, user location data is vital for on-demand services. Apps like UberEats and Lyft rely on location to deliver food and send taxis.
8. Location-based fitness app
Most fitness apps use location data to track various outdoor activities. Most fitness apps include location-based reminders and tracking for swimming, running, and cycling.
9. Location-based advertising app
Location-based advertising apps rely on location data to run their marketing campaigns. This helps target audiences easily based on where they live.
Benefits of location-based application development
Location apps are so mainstream because they are incredibly valuable for businesses. They let brands provide value to customers in a variety of different ways. They also help customers quickly locate the goods or services they need. Benefits of location-based apps include:
Fast and accurate services
Location-based data helps businesses deliver their services exactly when and where they're needed. This builds trust and reliability among customers.
Better search and suggestions
Location data helps improve search results for users. It also helps brands target their ideal customers with useful discounts and promotions. More than 90% of smartphone users have seen an ad that references their location!
Location data can help businesses provide virtual tours to potential customers. Customers can take an interactive tour from virtually anywhere in the world.
Location data helps you send personalised promotions and discounts to target customers. 80% of users prefer a personalized customer experience.
Real-time updates and information
Location data helps keep customers and businesses informed. You can send real-time updates of events to customers near you.
When building a location-based app, it is important to use both location and mapping devices. You can do that via the following:
Each smartphone comes with a built-in GPS. 90% of smartphone users keep the GPS function turned on! GPS signals are fast and accurate but they aren't always available.
WiFi helps identify location in the same way as GPS but covers smaller areas. WiFi works great with Google Maps and RSSI.
GSM data can also identify the geolocation of a user. Phones can identify the cell tower they are closest to.
Important features of geolocation applications
Geolocation applications use the data from all three - GPS, WiFi, and GSM - to triangulate a user's location. Key features of geolocation apps include:
- GPS coordinates
- Location tracking
- Map integration
How to get started with creating a location-based app
App development is a multi-step process. Before you get started, it is important to do the following:
- Conduct market research
- Define your app type
This will make it easier to go ahead with development. Remember - app development requires time, effort, and financial investment.
Step 1. Define your geolocation features
Your geolocation features can vary depending on your app type. You can choose between GPS, WiFi, Maps integration, and location tracking.
Step 2. Choose your tech stack
Choosing the right technology for your app is important. Do not rush this and always get a professional opinion when choosing your location-based app builder.
Step 3. UI and UX design
At the end of the day, your location-based app is a smartphone app. This means that people will use it on a daily basis. Your app must be robust, easy, and intuitive to use.
Step 4. Security
Data protection laws are becoming stricter worldwide. Access to user and location data is a privilege that must not be divulged. Your app needs to protect your customers at all costs.
Step 5. Figure out costs
App development, testing, and deployment are expensive processes. You should always have a clear understanding of how much you can afford to invest. Keep in mind that a lot of factors determine how much your app will cost.
How much does it cost to make a GPS app?
How much your app development costs depends on a lot of factors. These include your location-based app type, geolocation technology, and others including:
- Your development team
- The features you want to include in your app
- Your app development platform
- Your tech stack
- UI/UX requirements
- Your location! App development costs differently around the world
Regardless of these factors, location-based app development is a significant investment. Developers charge a lot, and costs rise with each feature you include. A custom location-based app can cost anywhere between $20000 to $150000.
Is there a cheaper way out?
Sure! That's where NoCode technology comes in. It's 2021 and you don't need expensive development teams anymore! Building apps with NoCode is not only cheaper but also a lot faster than traditional software development. Learn more in our complete guide to NoCode app development!
Location-based app development: Final thoughts
Location-based apps provide incredible value to both customers and businesses. 90% of smartphone users utilize location based services on their phones. Users can locate and access local services in real-time. Businesses can provide their goods and services quickly and accurately. Location apps also help live updates, custom promotions, and real-time data for a wide range of uses. The location-based app industry is booming. Building a custom location app for your business is definitely a good idea!