A Complete Guide on Location Based App Development in 2024

While using some mobile applications, you might have encountered seeing this pop-up message on your phone screen “Allow access to the device’s location”. Why do you see this, and why does it important to grant access to your device’s location? Allowing device location offers benefits, such as

  • Find places nearby your location
  • Getting location in unknown regions
  • Get notified of the best places near your location

According to a report by AlliedMarketResearch, the location-based services market will reach $318.64 billion by 2030. So, being an entrepreneur, if you are thinking of entering the location-based services market by developing an app, this is the right opportunity.

If this is so, you might have these questions.

How to create a location-based app
How does location-based app work?
Which are the popular location-based apps in the market?
How much does it cost to create a location-based app?

Hold on there; we will get you covered in this blog post. Keep on reading.

What is Location-Based App?

Location-based apps allow organizations to provide services near their immediate geographical location to customers. These location based mobile apps are an important geolocation tool that accelerates the process of locating a nearby person, place, or service.

Wi-Fi, cell id tower info, signal strength indication, and satellite signals/GPS (Global positioning system) are the geolocation technologies that transmit the location information for these applications. They often provide user information, guidance, and advice about a site or service around them. In fact, it is even possible to determine the altitude or proximity above sea level with a good battery life of location-based application development.

How Does Location-based Apps Work?

Use geolocation apps and contribute to geographical details regarding the whereabouts of your unit. It can be a smartphone-based on iOS Apple or Android, a health GPS tracker, or something that has a GPS chip or links (like IoT devices) to Wi-Fi or cell tower data.

You may use details about the location of cellular network stations (GSM, UMTS) or Wi-Fi connexion points to locate the location of a mobile owner.

For example,

  • User identify, requests, and share location attributes with other mobile apps from their account
  • Use geolocation apps that determine the distance of objects and factors
  • From one stage to the next ones, in-app google maps create a location-based optimum route and options

But how to create a location-based app?
Let us study the step-by-step process for developing location-based apps.

How to Build a Location-Based App? Step-By-Step Approach

Doesn’t matter whether you want to build an app for the iOS Apple app store or for the Google app stores, below are the steps you can take to launch your location-based service company when concerning how to make a location-based app.

  1. Identify Market Opportunities

    The very first step to create location-based apps is to identify market opportunities and the purpose of your app, and for that, you need to just answer questions such as,

    • What type of app and categories would you create?
    • Who is your target audience and influence?
    • What issues do they have and what can be the task and marketing strategy?
    • How can the app performance help them on a daily basis?
    • What are the tools and methods that you can use?

    All questions answered? To get more ideas on geolocation features and geolocation capabilities that can be expanded, take a second glance and review rivals, giant retailers & the market leaders in location-based apps.

  2. Search for Software Development Company

    To make your location-based app competitive and profitable, you need to find a mobile app development company. You can search the tech stack (technology stack), portfolio, and references from previous customers. Then search for the right price and cost combination for software development services.

    Also, make sure they provide UI/UX design services because a location-based directory app must have an outstanding UX design to please the customers.

  3. Decide on Features

    If you want your location-based app development as a minimum viable product at first, you need to create a mobile app from scratch with a basic location-based features and keep it to a minimum like,

    • Map view GPS technologies,
    • User location detection,
    • Location-based notifications,
    • Location history type, etc.

    Once you verify your concept, you can think about features for your geolocation app development, such as

    • Set the radius,
    • User ratings, comments & feedback,
    • Eddystone, iBeacon
    • Search user’s location by google photos,
    • Parking space finder or nearest apartment finder,
    • Updates on traffic jams,
    • Integrate API like Foursquare, etc.

    Do you have an app idea and looking to get a cost estimation? Check our mobile app cost calculator, fill in the data, and get a personalized cost quote from our app consultants.

  4. Measure Data Safety

    Users love to share locations with other people but are afraid to be tracked by scammers! This does not let you go anywhere if you don’t fix it. In location-based services apps development confidentiality is the highest priority, so you need to focus on GPS data protection instead to wonder about power consumption. Follow the below measure to create a location-based geolocation app secure.

    • Get at least two or multi-factor authentication for data safety
    • Encrypt communications and some interaction
    • Use an SSL certificate – Network Security Configuration (Android), or App Transport Security (Apple)
    • Encrypt sensitive user data on user devices with algorithms like AES-256 or RSA

    You can also consult with privacy concerns and data protection lawyers for more security precautions and legal regulations on products.

  5. Develop

    It’s time to act after you weigh all the aspects!

    The mobile application development company will create a location-based digital version of the software. The most time-consuming and substantial part of creating an app that uses geolocation is – engineering and establishing wireframes! We advocate using agile product development methodologies to make the project effective and predictive.

    When the software or location-based app is ready, the testing needs to be held to debug and remove the glitches to increase product quality. You are ready to publish your location-based app in app stores.

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Essential Features of Geolocation Apps

Let’s check some of the basic features that you should consider in your location-based mobile app development.

Features of Location Based App

  1. Real-Time Tracker

    To track in real-time the location of your items online (vehicles, individuals, computers, bikes, or food), you can decide to integrate various maps into your location-based app such as,

    In addition, you may provide your location-based app users to view additional monitoring object information including its speed, correct address, and travel history.

  2. Notifications

    Another geolocation MVP feature is location-based notifications. This helps to get immediate alerts about location tracking items or persons in various situations such as,

    • Know if the using GPS tracking object enters or exits a geo-zone
    • Know if the object or person is speeding or have an issue
    • Know if the object gets stolen in real-time

    You can provide your users with a facility and the possibility to get notifications to iPhone, Android, or Windows devices, via e-mail, mobile app, or SMS.

  3. History and Reports

    To create a location-based app, this geolocation feature can be proved as a savior as it lets you download and check user location history files in various formats like XLS, PDF, CSV, TXT, etc. The file also provides separate statistics by date and the name of the GPS app tracker is recorded, including driving hours (let suppose, you’re in the automotive business bottom line), exits, distance traveled, and fuel usage.

    A location-based app user can benefit from this location feature in case they need to find the same location again in near future, but don’t want to remember it. They can go to the history section and easily draw the route again.

  4. Geofencing

    The Geofence function helps users to set regional boundaries around regions that are of special interest to them. Users can receive automatic alarms as the entity approaches or exits boundaries that are marked.

    For example, if the geofence is used with child geolocation services, parents will mark the particular location area and it will notify parents if a child leaves a designated area/coverage area and goes to problem areas.

  5. POI Tools

    POI is short of Points of interests. But how can it interest you and your users? By adding markers at places!

    This feature lets your users mark the location, such as gas stations, hotels, restaurants, etc. They can call a location in need, add a definition, things, and description, and can measure distances on the map functionality between locations. This feature is completely customer-oriented and helps you to gain customer loyalty.

  6. Route Planner

    Need to create a location-based route each day without passing the wrong buildings and trees? Route planner lets field service providers and distribution firms optimize the routes each day for their drivers. Whether they want to have consistently estimated time arrivals and maximize customer loyalty or get the most effective way along a multi-stop delivery route. Well-planned roads ensure that the drivers waste less travel time, which decreases the costs of gasoline and can increase both on-site time and the number of stops a driver can make in a day.

How Much Does It Cost to Create Geolocation Applications?

The approximate cost of creating a location-based application ranges between $25,000 to $35,000.

Certainly, the above-provided cost for the GPS app development depends on the hours required to build the app, complexity, features, and location of developers you hire. Most basically, the hourly cost is $50 for a simple geolocation app development. The developer’s hourly rate may vary depending on the location and experience.

However, the above cost is calculated using the following formula.

Formula to Calculate Geolocation App Development Cost:

Total App Development Cost = App Development Time x Cost Per Hour

Let us take the $50 hourly rate of a developer you hire. We will take the following hours given in the table for calculating the cost. As per the formula, to get a cost, let’s check the following example.

Total cost of app = $50 X 500-700 hours

Hours it can take to create Geolocation apps:

Simple AppMedium Complex AppHighly Complex App
250-400 working hours500-700 working hoursMore than 700 working hours

For a detailed breakdown of cost, you can read our blog for mobile app development cost.

Get Exact Cost for Developing Your Own Location-based App

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Benefits of Location-Based Apps to Businesses

For a variety of firms, one of the key reasons why location-based apps drive a pattern is largely due to their commercial benefits. In these geolocation apps, the simplicity and usefulness of location-based apps-like have opened new avenues for individuals. Wondering how? Take a look at the below benefits of location-based apps to businesses.

Benefits of Location based app

  1. Source of Database and Information

    Users and businesses are informed by a GPS-enabled app about their position, nearby objects, or the best route to a target. The Fast-Mall app, for example, gives shoppers an immersive Google map of stalls, bathrooms, restaurants, and parking spaces. The positioning service also allows consumers with only a few taps to locate a baby stroller based on the information.

  2. Accurate and Fast Services

    Major stars like Uber have significantly benefited, as geolocation technologies help businesses to recognize every consumer’s exact position. This point gives them the ability to reliably send their labels or goods in no time, and that is one of the greatest advantages that will further improve dynamism, consumer confidence, and workflow.

  3. Easy Search and Shop Suggestions

    With the available location data option, companies will analyze consumers’ actions and give fantastic shopping tips & shopping experience. When they have simple images of the purchasing pattern of consumers, in such cases they will provide consumers with individual discounts. When people check in their smartphone for facts, content, or something, the app can help brands sell their navigation services to the local market as recommendations.

  4. Virtual Tour

    When companies use navigation with virtual and superimpose virtual elements, it gives a greater and more immersive user experience. So, it is a perfect use of fascinating and impressive geolocation capabilities, depending on the venue and transparent reason. In the end, it enhances customer loyalty in comparison to traditional methods.

  5. Real-Time Offers & Loyalty Programs

    Businesses can synchronize the location-based app with their internal social networks, navigators, guides, and company systems to deliver real-time promotional deals and details to customers. This encourages organizations to communicate and engage with their target audience to deliver improved consumer experiences. Businesses can quickly gain useful knowledge about their clients’ actions and schedules offer depending on that.

  6. Improved Communication

    GPS location app allows users to pin a location on a map or leave reviews and share it with each other. They also allow photographs and videos to be geotagged. So, don’t miss this internet connection aspect if you are thinking about how to make a GPS app that helps users to find interesting locations.

  7. Free or Low-Cost Marketing Tool

    Relative to many conventional incentive marketing campaigns and marketing strategies, creating a location-based app marketing plan or mobile advertising is extremely inexpensive even in the absence of marketing specialists. Location-based messaging platforms are often geographically targeted, so you realize that you are referring to consumers who are within walking distance of your goods or service. With such a business strategy, you can observe the greater profit over time.

  8. Personalized Experience

    Another advantage of mobile applications focused on locations, known as geolocation applications, are an ideal platform for smartphone ads. They allow companies to give consumers marketing details, promotions, and coupons with the push notification. This means that organizations will have a tailored geolocation service in smart cities that would be focused on consumer interest.

Popular Industries Using Geolocation Services

Let us know more about the industries that are using geolocation services to make their application better for their users.

Popular IndustryLeading ExamplesGPS Features They UseResults
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • IKEA
  • GPS route tracking (user’s location tracking)
  • Indoor navigation components
  • Convenient pickup or delivery location
  • Track your orders and the direction being delivered in real-time
  • RepairPal
  • GasBuddy
  • Witness Driving
  • Fleet management
  • GPS pin
  • GPS-enabled directory
  • Sensors
  • Track the vehicle’s location with a mobile application
  • Inform passengers about delays and arrivals
  • Augment the basic app functionality of a car and ensure speed
  • Booking
  • Airbnb
  • Marriott
  • TripAdvisor
  • Geo-fence
  • Google Maps and Map view
  • Location-based mobile notification
  • Find a hotel nearest your current location with so many languages
  • Enables last minute booking by locating technology component (depending upon the choice)
On-Demand Services
  • Uber
  • Zomato
  • GetTaxi
  • Bookmyshow
  • GPS pin and location tracking
  • Navigation
  • Places near me finder with Wi Fi
  • Pair passengers with nearby drivers
  • Monitor and estimate the duration & amount of travel in real-time
Social Media & Dating
  • Happn
  • Tinder
  • Instagram
  • Snapchat
  • Geotags
  • Mapview and satellite imagery
  • Location-based mobile alerts
  • See the people nearby with location and category
  • Connect with people based on your location across the globe
  • Strava
  • Nike+
  • Runtastic
  • Geolocation option
  • GPS coordinates
  • Satellites & Mapview operating system
  • Track and determine the location in real-time with a geolocation application
  • Find the nearest fitness studios or personal trainers
  • Connect with fellow runners & make changes in location as you want
  • Pokemon Go
  • BotFighters
  • Dragon Quest Walk
  • GPS signal deviations, spoofing, and bots
  • GPS receivers and Sensors
  • Locate other players and join them (for iOS and android)
  • Pawscout
  • LugLoc
  • GPS pin enabled wearables
  • Geotags, wifi, and re synchronization
  • Google maps and map views
  • Increased capability and transparency to keep an eye on luggage
  • Track user’s position and location

Top 10 Geolocation App Ideas

Need unique ideas for your location-based service business? Not to worry! We have a map. Let’s take a look.

  1. Fitness & Health Tracking Apps

    As more and more people become aware of their health, these location-based fitness applications and health applications go as far as predicting the pace and the movement only with the aid of monitoring the live location. Most importantly, this enables users to communicate with employees, family members, close groups of friends, and local communities. Like they can share live background posts, status, social level, lifestyle, routine, etc. Its GPS development functionality tends to input data to create and keep track of their walking, cycling, running trails, and search fitness studios or personal coaches.

  2. Gaming Apps

    We all know the craze of Pokémon Go with the locating technology. There’s something really fascinating about the game that allows the player to reconstruct the environment in which they exist. So, don’t miss out on such thrilling app ideas where its geolocation feature has achieved great popularity and tends to use location trackers & improve the game for passionate gamers.

    Another Use CaseScavify Hunter

  3. Dating Apps

    Creating a location-based dating app nowadays has become an outstanding and most necessary business idea for millennials. GPS geolocations have also increased the way different dating apps work. By combining the GPS functionality, the user can develop and build a dating app. It also tends to incorporate other geolocation functions like ‘Girls around me”, “Boys around me” with a range of distances.

    Example – Tinder
  4. Safety Tracking Apps

    Worrying for your loved one is obvious, but location-based apps will not let you worry. Geo-targeting appears to provide the location of a person’s identification and monitoring, and it appears to display the communication-based message on their web version. It can be a quick email, or it can be push notification systems that are geo-targeted. It allows the operator to target users anywhere on mobile devices and you can save the lives of people along with money.

    ExampleRoad iD
  5. Weather-Related Apps

    Is your city’s weather also moody like most of the humans? Then weather forecasting applications trend is perfect for your business interest as it can be a savior for people. These location service apps will provide users with data and information on climate and with the geolocation system that can further present the user base with an accurate and precise weather forecast based on the user’s current location.

  6. Tourism Apps

    Is your city or country a great place for tourism like Western Europe, Germany? The location-based travel app that is paired with AR can be used to provide consumers world wide with guided tours. Just imagine wandering through a city and finding all the up to date street details right on your mobile device about the sights and local firms – isn’t it a smart way to make a location-based app for your startup ideas? The geolocation settings screen trend also makes it possible for the location-based application to present driving instructions or alert passengers about possible travel, events, and business trip.


    Also read: How to Build an App Like Airbnb? Process + Cost Estimation + Technology Stack + Alternatives

  7. E-commerce Apps

    Another app idea on our list is e-commerce apps! The location-based software helps to map and help individuals buy commodities on delivery apps (mobile apps). This is the geolocation functionality that helps the user to know when the item will be sent and know whether it is in transit or lost or in the issue. Also, if there is an eCommerce app that tends to charge extra for delivery services, then with the aid of this GPS geolocation function, they can also measure a lot of aspects and add up the chance of mechanics to answer your question.

  8. Social Media Apps

    People say we live in a digital era, we say we live in a digital social network! You hardly meet a human being nowadays that is not on social networks. The greatest use case is Facebook, even if the GPS geolocation features of this location-based settings app are not the priority, this social networking app is dedicated to creating the best user interface possible with the GPS functionality combination.

    Another Use CaseInstagram
  9. Locate via Photos Apps

    This is the coolest geolocation technology we have. Tell us, how many times have you seen an image of something that was really appealing and splendid, let’s say, a t-shirt? You go online and start searching for the nearest store, but you are not able to locate the perfect location details, unfortunately. Now what? Geolocation then presented them with one of the easiest ways to find a photograph of their area with location apps. In order to locate and find pictures with desired shops, advertisers can use the app.

  10. Indoor Apps

    Here, we’ve come to the last but the most effective app idea – Indoor navigation location-based apps! We have seen location-based apps only for outdoor purposes till now, but who thought we could use geolocation even for indoor purposes? There are web apps for hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, that have proved anything can happen and use geolocation even for Indoor goals. Indoor geolocation helps visitors and shoppers to navigate around with their mobile apps like a venue, local bathroom, dining hall, sauna pool area, and whatnot!

    ExampleGoogle Indoor Maps

Looking to Hire Experienced Location-based App Developers?

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FAQ About Location-based Apps

  1. What are the predictions of global location-based market service size?

    As we discussed, the total services market potential of location-based services in terms of the mobile application will hit $183.81 billion by 2027, rising at a CAGR of 26.3 percent.

  2. How do I integrate GPS into an app?

    Here are the steps to consider for paving the path when integrating GPS signals into an app for Android.

    • Download Android Studio
    • Install the Google Play services SDK
    • Create a Google Maps SDK project or alternative to google maps
    • Set up a Google Maps API key, Google Places API, Foursquare API Facebook Places, Yelp API, Google maps directions API, or Google Distance Matrix API
    • Look at the code and HTML5 geolocation
    • Connect an Android device (mobile device)
    • Deploy the GPS module and run your geolocation apps
  3. What industries utilize GPS-based apps the most?

    Retail, weather services that show weather forecasts, on-demand services, location-based services, automotive, transportation, restaurant, logistics, fitness, social media, dating, games, and IoT industries are the main players that use a GPS app the most.

  4. What apps use location services?

    Mobile apps like, Walmart, IKEA, Starbucks, RepairPal, GasBuddy, Witness Driving, Booking, Airbnb, Expedia, Waze, Marriott, Uber, Zomato, UberEats, GetTaxi, TripAdvisor, Bookmyshow, Happn, Tinder, Instagram, whatsapp, Snapchat, Messengers, Strava, Nike+, Nike Running Club, Runtastic, Paw Scout, Pokémon Go, BotFighters, Dragon Quest Walk and Yahoo Weather are few of the most famous examples that use location-based services.

  5. What are the main types of location-based apps?

    • Geosocial applications and navigation
    • Google Maps and Apple Maps (Apple MapKit)
    • On-demand client service treatment
    • Fitness apps and fitness trackers
    • Augmented reality and games
    • Finding delivery services, recommendations, discounts
    • Weather apps
    • Coupon and food discovery apps
    • Travel apps
    • Photo location finder apps
  6. What technologies are used to create a geolocation app?

    • Use GPS technology
    • GPS coordinates & GPS modules
    • Cell ID & cell towers
    • Assisted GPS (A-GPS), or use BLE Beacons locating technology
    • Wi-Fi access points
    • Bluetooth identifiers (Bluetooth low energy and high energy)
    • Geofencing (geofencing)
    • iBeacon and Eddystone
  7. What is the Geolocation app creating process?

    • Identify the location-based services market, business listings (each listing with basic information), and opportunities
    • Study competitors, market leaders, and select GPS technology stack
    • Find professional developers and geolocation mobile app development company
    • Make location-based mobile app feature lists destination
    • Make sure the self-portrait location data is safe and encrypted in location based applications
    • Create a location-based prototype sphere, app design, develop, test, and deploy
  8. What is the best platform to build a location-based app?

    We, at Space O, have the most proficient developers for iOS, Android who can help you with every industry-specific solution. Our developers have hands-on experience in fields, serving all types of businesses from startups to enterprises. Judge us before you decide based on our work here.

Develop Your Custom Location-based App

On final thoughts, don’t you think GPS app development focused on location seems like a smart idea? The need for different location-based services could also rise as smartphones are everywhere these days.

So, if you want to create a location-based app, just popup with realistic business units, think of incorporating unique geolocation functionality, and take care of gps data safety. Location-based apps will really do incredibly useful stuff for individuals! Also, we are just one contact away, so if you feel stuck and need GPS and Location-based mobile app development services for your consumer business, contact us at any time. Our expert team will get back to you soon. Good luck!

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Rakesh Patel

Written by

Rakesh Patel is the Founder and CEO of Space-O Technologies (Canada). He has 28 years of IT experience in business strategies, operations & information technology. He has expertise in various aspects of business like project planning, sales, and marketing, and has successfully defined flawless business models for the clients. A techie by mind and a writer at heart, he has authored two books – Enterprise Mobility: Strategy & Solutions and A Guide To Open311

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