More Ways to Use Maps and GPS in Your Apps

Grittier Galaxy

The best mobile apps are those that take advantage of the format they are on. These are the apps that not only suit the mobile format and can be useful on a daily basis, but also the apps that use the various hardware features of the devices they are installed on. If you can find a way to make the most of the gyroscope, the camera, the mic and the GPS then you will not only make your app more impressive and feature rich, but also increase the likelihood of getting it featured by Apple.

Maps in particular have a great range of uses and if you can come up with new ways to make the most of them as a developer, then you’ll be sure to deliver a useful and unique product. This is something that many developers actually overlook too and there are many uses for maps in apps that haven’t yet been exploited.

To show you just how versatile maps are in app development and to help you find some inspiration, let’s take a look at some of the less obvious uses for maps in iOS.

Games and Fitness:

The full promise of augmented reality has not been realised yet, but when it is it’s expected to become a big part of our lives. One area where we already can make use of augmented reality is in gaming and fitness apps that use the GPS in order to find out where you are and how fast you’re moving which can then trigger events on the screen.

A great example of this is the fitness game ‘Zombie, Run!’ which challenges users to run away from zombies as a way of burning calories. The game knows where you are and how fast you’re moving, allowing the sounds of zombies to get closer through headphones as you slow down – a great motivator when you feel like giving up! Endomondo meanwhile is an app for joggers that tracks your running distance and speed in order to help you improve your fitness, while there are tons of ‘geocaching’ apps out there that enable users to find packages hidden and logged by other enthusiasts.

And there are many other applications for this kind of technology too. How about a Crystal Maze type game? Or a treasure hunt? Or a race against an imaginary opponent?

Of course one of the biggest uses for GPS is navigation – and sat navs are now something that many of us rely upon to get around. But there are more specific uses for navigation too that some developers are starting to take advantage of. A shop with an app for instance could include navigation to get to their store, while you could also use navigation on two devices to help people find each other, or even to control an imaginary character in a game taking cues from real-world environments.

General Interest: Maps can also be used to show up particular hot-spots on a map that might be useful for fans of a particular hobby or niche, they can be used to teach us about the world in an educational context, or they can be used to test our knowledge of an area – perhaps for brain training even.

So if you’re struggling for ideas for your next hit app, or you just want to give your existing app some useful and exciting new features; think about how you can use the maps and don’t be afraid to get creative!

Today’s featured writer, Nancy Baker, is a freelance blogger who is currently writing for Being a tech enthusiast, she enjoys sharing her views and opinions on the latest iOS apps that hit the market.

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