Geolocation Apps: Defying Guide

Foursquare is probably the first mass startup tied to geolocation. It would seem that what else could be invented here except restaurant searches and dating, but in 2016, Pokémon GO made the world take a new look at the potential of apps that use data on where the user is now. In this article, we’ll offer geolocation app ideas to help you see that this field has enormous potential.

What is geolocation?

Geolocation is geographical data (latitude and longitude) about a device’s location. Geolocation applications are applications whose functions are based on the user’s location. For example, in the city center you will be offered some cafes, and in the suburbs they can say: “It will take half an hour to get to the nearest establishment”. Location data is obtained using GPS or cellular and Wi-Fi network data.

Read also Best Geolocation Apps

Geolocation: maps
Geolocation: maps

Applications with geolocation can be divided into:

Startups with geolocation to search for various places and services:

restaurants, public transport schedules, doctors, massage therapists, and so on. For example, the application with geolocation Zomato allows you to view the menu of the nearest restaurants, photos and reviews, which is very convenient when you are in an unfamiliar city and do not know where you can have a good meal:

Applications with sending notifications to certain locations:

applications that are part of the loyalty programs of various companies or services that allow you to earn points when you visit certain locations and then exchange them for discounts or gift coupons.
For example, the geolocation startup Shopkick rewards users with points when they visit certain stores. And if you’re already in, you’ll probably want to buy something. Shopkick works with 270,000 retail outlets – quite an impressive number. And large services of this kind use BLE tagging technology in addition to the user geolocation we already know. This makes it possible to locate the user more precisely, right down to the room or shelf he approached.

Startups with geolocation to find people:

these can be both apps for tracking the movements of family members, such as when they come home late, and apps for dating and finding company for sports, dancing or traveling together. Tinder-Like apps with geolocation probably lead the way here.
Hppn, on the other hand, is something new. It lets you write to users you’ve crossed paths with in the real world today. The service easily analyzes your route and if someone with the same app as you crossed your path or took one public transport, you will know about it and you can contact him or her.

There are also geolocated games, such as Ingress and Pokémon GO. We talk about their development in the article “How much does it cost to develop an app like Pokémon GO”.

Navigating your way through Pokémon Go
Navigating your way through Pokémon Go

Now let’s take a look at geolocation app ideas for Android and iOS.

Based on the basic types, we breinstormed the following ideas for applications using user geolocation:

1. An app with geolocation where content is only available in specific locations (SnapChat + Pokémon GO).

Users and brands can create messages, add photos or offer discounts that are only available in the specified locations.For users, it’s an opportunity to recommend interesting locations to friends or remind them of a memorable event like a graduation or a trip together. Brands can use it to attract visitors to certain network establishments (for example, those that are less popular) or notify them about special offers with a limited validity period when they are nearby. Startup Drop Messages offers similar functionality: it uses an Instagram location specified for a photo to show users photos of friends and send notifications that they’re nearby now.

Approximate Location on iPhones
Approximate Location on iPhones

2. An app with geolocation to automate tasks.

People like having boring chores done for them. But in practice these activities are often tied to a specific location, for example you call home when you get home from work, or every Thursday you go shopping at a certain store.The IFTTT service knows how to trigger certain tasks in Android and iOS based on the location of the device, but the recipes that IFTTT uses aren’t very clear to average users. The Trigger app allows you to send notifications when you leave work. Its interface is more friendly to regular users, but so far it only exists on Android. So an all-encompassing app using user geolocation to manage tasks is still not on the market.

3. An app for finding groceries in a supermarket or mall.

The shelves of modern stores are overflowing with products, and not all special offers and discounted goods can be placed in plain sight.

With this app, brands can:

– Offer products based on previous purchases;

– to remind about repeated purchases, such as bread or washing powder;

– Notify about special offers and discounts on customer-relevant goods.

When visiting stores, users often use their smartphones to check their shopping list, and this is exactly the moment when you can capture their attention with an app. But in this case, as a rule, the geolocation doesn’t work, in a room to get a good signal is possible only at the window, so BLE helps to solve this problem.

4. The application with geolocation for notification of dangerous situations.

Unfortunately, the modern world is not as safe as we would like it to be, and natural disasters, technological accidents and terrorist attacks happen quite often. An app that sends notifications about such incidents lets people know about possible dangers nearby and, at the same time, filters out negative news, reporting only what is happening in the immediate vicinity. Such an app can collect data by analyzing news headlines on regional websites.LastQuake (France) and FEMA (USA) offer information about limited types of events (earthquakes and weather disasters, respectively), but no comprehensive solution using user geolocation exists yet.

5. An app with geolocation for vacation planning.

Today there are many mobile guides for tourists and applications for finding food, accommodation for the weekend and all sorts of fun activities. However, planning a vacation in a new city falls entirely on our shoulders. And now imagine an app with geolocation for Android and iOS, which itself plans a vacation (choice of route, hotel, tours, cafes and restaurants for each day) in accordance with your budget and preferences. All you have to do is follow the plan.

There is also a place for brands in such an app: they can be charged for advertising and receiving priority if the user states that he prefers establishments of the appropriate type (for example, hostels or four-star hotels).


Apps using user geolocation aren’t limited to finding popular restaurants nearby. To find an original idea for your geolocation app, think about which of our daily activities are related to a particular location and how we can increase their effectiveness.
Geolocation has great promise for retail stores and small businesses. For example, in the wake of the popularity of Pokémon GO, many cafes used symbols and game lures to attract customers. But because geolocation games are a channel they have no control over, businesses need to find their own ways to engage with their target audience – and geolocated mobile apps are now providing that opportunity.