The Official BlackBerry Developer Blog posted this morning about an update that is available to developers. This brand-new feature they introduced is able to get a location fix in seconds using the nearby cell tower information. The new Geolocation service is part of the Locate Service and it free to developers. Read on..
This is going to be a great improvement for user experience. For instance a user is in a hotel, building, or area that does not have GPS available. However the app would still be able to guide them to the nearest coffee shop, restaurant, or any other point of interest nearby. The accuracy of the Geolocation Service may not be as accurate as using GPS, but it’s a start and perhaps give them an idea of where it is as the GPS becomes available. If extreme accuracy isn’t an issue, then this definitely be an extreme advantage as it’s simple yet effective for the user without waiting for a GPS fix.
The Geolocation service joins the capabilities in the Locate Service for the BlackBerry Application Platform which includes;
- Reverse geocoding capabilities to convert a user’s latitude and longitude to an address.
- Integration with BlackBerry Maps Service offers a variety of app features ranging from navigation directions to POI recommendation. BlackBerry Maps Service compliments Locate Service by providing map displays that can be invoked or embedded to indicate a users location.
- This service requires BlackBerry device software v5.0 or higher and a wireless plan with a carrier that supports these capabilities.
To take advantage of the Geolocation service, you simply need to ask for a location fix via your LocationProvider or BlackBerryLocationProvider using the appropriate Criteria, or BlackBerryCriteria for the Cellsite mode.