Location-based services: Five business ideas for your mobile app

Android / Business / iOS / Mobile / Tech
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Willing to follow suit, but don’t have any clue about how to capitalize on LBS? Here are five mobile app development ideas for your location-aware solution.

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If you’re not up on this hot trend yet, location-based services (LBS) are services delivered through a mobile app that identifies a user’s current location via GPS or Wi-Fi.

Location-based apps have become a solid foundation for an array of loyalty programs in retail, with such high-profile brands as Coca-Cola, American Eagle, and Meat Pack among the early adopters of this marketing strategy. By relying on location-based apps, they’re making strides in retaining existing clients, enticing new ones, and in turn, significantly increasing the volume of sales.

Willing to follow suit, but don’t have any clue about how to capitalize on LBS? Here are five mobile app development ideas for your location-aware solution.

Mobile dating apps

Online dating is getting rid of its stigma. According to the Pew Research Center, more and more people of all ages are using mobile dating apps. And Tinder, a perfect example of location-based services, owns the lion’s share of that usage.

To be able to rival Tinder, expand your location services by matching users based not only on the neighborhood they live in, but also on the places they might have encountered earlier: at a restaurant, concert, film festival, workshop, or in the street.

To deliver an outstanding user experience, you could harness the power of AI that would thoroughly analyze profiles and social media actions to help users choose the most optimal avatar. Also, enhance your dating app with image recognition and introduce picture-based search so that people could find a match close to their “beauty icon”.

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Location-tracking technology can also be a foundation for your event app.

Entertainment apps

Both iTunes and Google Play boast a slew of mobile apps in the entertainment category. But with users becoming choosier than ever, how do brands stand out?

For example, Snapchat, a multimedia messaging app, has recently introduced Map Explore, a location-based feature that updates users on what’s happening on their Snap Map. That includes notifying about breaking news and upcoming events globally, as well as showing the places where a user’s friends are hanging out.

Location-tracking technology can also be a foundation for your event app. Except for reporting on the venue infrastructure (seat layout, parking, fan zones, etc.), you can spot users’ location and inform of event-related shops, nearby cafes, or upcoming events in their hometown or neighboring areas.

Taking it up another notch, you can pair your app with an advanced recommendation engine. Collect and analyze user data — previous in-app behavior, search queries, and social media posts — to offer events that users are likely to visit in the future.

Emergency apps

Our world is not as safe as we’d like it to be: a number of terrorist attacks and natural disasters are happening daily, claiming thousands of human lives. There’s hardly a solution to put an end to that, but technology could certainly improve the situation. And that’s the next idea for your mobile app.

By analyzing breaking news, weather broadcast, and users’ real-time testimonials, a location-aware app could timely notify people about extreme weather conditions like an approaching hurricane, earthquake, tsunami, snowstorm, and more.

Other must-have functionality of such an emergency app includes sharing disaster preparedness tips, displaying the emergency shelter map, uploading disaster photos and videos, “family plan” notifications, and social media integration.

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Personal safety apps are another type of location-based apps designed to give users peace of mind.

Personal safety apps

Personal safety apps are another type of location-based apps designed to give users piece of mind.

Whether an individual is going to a late movie, on a blind date, or on a first trip alone, the app will track their location until they reach a particular destination. And when danger arises, users can tap the SOS button to automatically notify friends, family, or the police and send them the location details.

Such mobile apps are also a great way to track the location of elderly or disabled people and connect them with guardians in case of emergency. Besides introducing the SOS button, think integration with a taxi service so that users would rapidly take a cab when needed.

Also, help your users feel comfortable by pairing your app with hotlines for safety and social health advice, for example, the way Circle of 6 does it. The app connects users to all national hotlines ready to provide psychological help 24/7.

Task management apps

One more area where location-based functionality could give you a competitive advantage is task management. Apart from creating long lists of to-do tasks like “watch film X” or “buy a new coat”, you can connect them to particular locations.

For example, when the app spots the user near a shopping mall, it can send a notification about purchasing that coat. And when they approach a bank, the app is to inform of paying the bills.

You can additionally empower your app with navigation functionality, which means listing location-based tasks planned for a day according to the most optimal city routes. In turn, users won’t lose precious time being stuck in a traffic jam or doing extra laps.

What’s next?

Location tracking continues to pick up speed — with its areas of applications going beyond gaming and cafe suggestions. By enhancing your mobile app with location-based tech, you can engage users, boost customer loyalty, provide help in case of emergency, and more.

Whether you decide to capitalize on one of the ideas featured in this article or come up with your own, reach out to seasoned mobile app development experts able to deliver a custom, industry-specific solution to address your specific business needs.

About the author: Yana Yelina is a Technology Writer at Oxagile, a leading-edge mobile application development company with more than 50 successful mobile projects under its belt. Oxagile provides mobile apps of any complexity: from award-winning B2C applications to heavy enterprise-grade solutions. You can reach Yana at [email protected] or connect via LinkedIn or Twitter.
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