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July 16, 2021

How to Build a GPS App: Tips on Location-Based App Development

July 16, 2021

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Location-based app development is one of the leading trends now. The main goal of geolocation apps is to improve user experience and expand the capabilities of mobile applications. On top of that, this feature also serves as the main source of new ideas for marketers and programmers, and the popularity of such niche apps as Uber can prove this fact.

Let’s get down to the statistics.

In 2019, US marketers confirmed that location-based apps could drastically increase sales, promote customer base development, and increase customer engagement.

Fast-forward to 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic changed the world we live in. The pandemic influenced in-app location opt-ins worldwide. Because of the global coronavirus outbreak, people started relying more heavily on in-app location tracking. Applications related to the medical and fitness industries registered the best location opt-in growth rate among all checked industry verticals.

As you can see, GPS location app development is extremely popular today. And if you are going to invest in building a mobile app with a geolocation feature, this insightful post might put to bed your doubts as we are going to cover the following aspects:

Analyze the market;
Review the main types of location apps;
Analyze a step-by-step guide on how to build a geolocation mobile app;
Define the key features of a location-based app.

We will analyze all the nuances of such a complicated process and explain how to avoid the challenges that might influence the development process. We at Interexy have experience in building geolocation apps and know how to build an app that can improve the interaction with your customers and push up sales. If you are eager to find an experienced and time-proven software development team, don’t hesitate to contact Interexy.

Table of contents:

a place finder app

General Market Overview

Before we get down to the location-based app development tutorial, let’s analyze the market. So far, the geolocation trend is now the central part of app development. Statistically, over 154 million US users access Google Maps on an ongoing basis. Over 23 million users prefer Apple Maps. Such apps help connect businesses to their potential customers. Apps that include weather, navigation, or social media services depend on location services. 

Making a location-based services application requires using specific location services. So let’s take a deeper look at all these services:
GPS. This is a well-known location technology that uses satellite signals to determine the location. All smartphones are equipped with a GPS module.
A-GPS. Assisted GPS generates information from the satellite and the server and sends the data online over Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
BLE means Bluetooth low-energy technology. It’s a helpful option used to determine geolocation for GPS app development.
Wi-Fi. It’s a must-have tool for geolocation app development, which works in two ways — via GPS Maps or RSSI.
Geofencing — a well-known locating technology with a radius of coverage up to 500 meters.

online booking

What Are the Main Types of Geolocation Apps?

The main goal of location-based apps like Facebook, Uber, or Airbnb is to make our life easier and more comfortable. Today, we can quickly order food with a smartphone and see the driver’s movements to our home in an app. Such solutions make our life more exciting!

Let’s get down to the main types of geolocation apps. This information might help you make the right choice when building your startup:

Maps and navigation

It’s the most popular type of location app. The most vivid examples are Google Maps, MapQuest, Waze, etc. However, statistically, 41% of US drivers get lost because mapping apps show the incorrect physical location. And this surely leads to losses for logistic companies. That’s why before investing in this project, you need to be doubly sure that you are dealing with experts in this area. 

We at Interexy have many years of experience in this area and know how to create a location-based app accurately. 

Geosocial applications

The main goal of a geosocial service is to help find friends by checking in to the service, announcing your presence in a certain place. For example, Facebook and various dating apps come with this feature.

On-demand services

On-demand apps connect users with different service providers and vice versa. Simply put, such apps allow users to order any kind of service and get it in minutes.

Fitness trackers and health applications

It is also known as an activity tracker — an app that monitors your fitness or health-related metrics such as calorie consumption, distance walked, heartbeat, etc.

Augmented reality (AR) and games

AR is the integration of audio content and game visuals with a user’s environment in real time.

Finding services, recommendations, and discounts

These are commercial mobile apps that can bring you a broad selection of local deals with profitable discounts, services, or recommendations every day. In addition, such apps are usually customizable to fit the needs of a particular user.

Travel apps

Mobile travel apps usually pursue one goal — to help travelers book hotels and manage their trips properly.

GPS apps for weather forecasting

As the name suggests — such apps provide you with detailed weather forecasts in your region. As a result, you’ll be immediately notified if the weather changes.

Location-based apps to enhance business

Such mobile apps can drastically improve your business. For example, such well-known retail stores as Target or Walmart are already using geolocation apps to improve the in-store experience. For example, the Momo app (a Chinese app that allows users to top-up airtime, make online purchases, and pay bills) sends push notifications about current discounts and gift certificates.

Location apps to notify of dangerous situations

The main goal of such apps is to notify users about weather disasters or dangerous situations. The best examples are FEMA, AccuWeather, First Aid, or Red Panic Button.

online reservation

A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Functional Geolocation App

Creating a location-based application requires time, experience, and the use of special location services. So, if you invest in this project, you need to be doubly sure that you are dealing with real professionals in this niche. 

This is where the service of Interexy might come in handy! We have many years of experience in software development, always follow the latest trends in this niche, and know for sure how to make a location-based app that will let your business grow!

Let’s get down to the main steps to follow to develop a location-based app.

  1. Explore the market and analyze competitors.

Market exploration is a mandatory task before building an app. You need to analyze your competitors, check what features and technologies they use, etc. You can either do it yourself or contact a software development company. However, you can’t skip this stage as this research will help you build the right app suited to the needs of your targeted audience.

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  1. Find a capable software development team.

Remember that the success of your future mapping, tracking, or location-based social app depends on developers that will be working on this project. So your end goal is to entrust this task to experts in this niche. Create a wireframe of your future app

Remember that wireframing and UX app design are crucially important aspects to consider for app development. You need to visualize your app and fix all possible bugs before the development process. Before you bring your idea into reality, you need to build a wireframe, which might help you determine the market performance and potency of your app.

  1. Design your location-based mobile app

Create a visual prototype of your app in a few ways to validate your idea. Remember that UX/UI design should be intuitive and clean. A location-based app is a mobile app that must possess a user-friendly interface. When you finally establish different wireframes, it is time to pitch these ideas to investors and test them with your potential customers.

  1. Prove GPS app concept with MVP

MVP (or Minimum Viable Product) is of prime importance for building location-based applications. When following this development technique, you’ll introduce a product with basic features. This is enough to get attention and test your product. After you get sufficient feedback from real users, you should start working on a final product.

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  1. Proceed to coding

After you get user feedback, you can move on to the second stage of app development and add other significant features to your geolocation app. Always consider the opinion of your users. Make sure a chosen software dev team has iOS, Android, and web programmers. Your future app should be compatible with all the most popular platforms.

  1. Never ignore testing

Sometimes, this stage is neglected because unit, integration, or system testing are complex and time-consuming. But it’s a huge mistake. The main goal of testing is to polish your app to perfection (make sure there are no bugs and the app won’t fail at the worst possible moment).

  1. Release

Make an official release of your app in the Apple Store and Google Play Market. In doing so, you make your app available via different websites and stores.

To get professional advice on how to start, drop us a line! We at Interexy have many years of experience in this area and know how to build an app that will surely improve interaction with your targeted audience!

online map

Core Features for Geolocation Mobile Application

Now is the time to move on to discussing the basic location-based app functionality. To make sure your product is functional, you need to integrate the main features. They are as follows:

A map view

When users click on a “map view”, they will see various locations marked with blue dots. For example, such apps as Instagram and Snapchat come with a map view that enables users to add geotags to their posts.

User location detection

Simply put, an app shows the exact localization of a user with the help of geolocation functions and trackers.

Route mapping

This feature allows users to map a route. Moreover, it also allows devices to do route tracking based on geolocation coordinates.

A “places near me” finder

It’s a navigation tool developed to help people get to a specific location. It shows places near the user’s current location based on a chosen category.

Location-based notifications

These are push notifications that are usually shown when a user passes by a specific place in real time. Overall, it’s a helpful reminder that allows users to visit exciting places on their way to certain locations.

A location history section

The main goal of this feature is to show what places you have already visited. It’s a cool reminder that saves where you go with every mobile device.

location history

Interexy’s Expertise In Geolocation Mobile Application Development

We have many years of experience in this niche and know how to build a GPS app that works! Let’s get down to case studies.

One Rover 

Recently, we’ve built a geolocation app for the One Rover platform, a leader in Rideshare cost savings. The main challenge for our team was to build a scalable mobile solution in a competitive marketplace. Geolocation was one of the main functionalities that were added to this ridesharing app. Interexy was responsible for software development from scratch, beginning with the technical specification to the release. All in all, we built an app that has the functionality to request a ride. Users of the app can choose a location and destination and get an on-demand services provider to meet these needs within the shortest time frame.

routing of delivery

Final Thoughts

Now you understand all the peculiarities of building a location-based app. So now, when you finally know how to make a GPS app, you have to implement this idea and enhance interaction with your customers. If you are still hesitating or don’t know where to start, drop us a line! We’ll help you tackle that challenge and build an app that can surely meet your business needs. With Interexy, you can easily mobilize your business with our professional and next-generation app development services! Trust your ideas to a reputable and trustworthy software development partner!

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