Depending on where you look, and who you listen to, there seems to be only one conversation regarding the proper use of GEO-FENCING in mobile apps: As a web connected data collection/delivery tool for location based ads/deals/etc.
Now to suggest it’s not that in most circles, would be obtuse! So, I won’t argue that this usage of the technology, is indeed the most ubiquitous form of GPS integration out there. But what I will do, is direct your attention away from the obvious, and take a trip down another road (much less traveled and discussed, mind you).
For this trip however, you must put on your thinking cap for a bit….and chase the logic down a path that might not make sense at first glance.
You see, we’ve come to believe that a smartphone only has value if it has a web/service connection, and can process data all across the web in real time. And surely what value does the phone have if you can’t use apps, make calls, text, sms, or Skype? But I can tell you, there is more value in today’s smartphones than most people give thought to!
Case in point, is Samsung’s Galaxy S5, complete with 11 “native” sensors: GPS, Accelerometer, Gyroscopic, Proximity, Compass, Barometer, Hall, RGB Ambient Light, Gesture, Fingerprint, & Heart Rate Monitor.
Every one of these sensors can not only function perfectly WITHOUT cell service or web access, but each sensor alone is now the backbone of all together new business opportunities taking shape for 2015 and beyond. Everything, from backwoods hiking apps with embedded topography, survival tips, and waypoints, to diabetic apps monitoring blood glucose levels, and even wearable technology apps that are keeping tabs on heart surgery patients (pre & post op), each of these new businesses are using the power of smartphone sensors to redefine how we do things.
So it goes without saying, that developing clever ways to use GPS/Location Services WITHOUT having access to cell service or web connections, can most certainly provide a “different” level of value that should not be overlooked. And I’m talking about getting really creative here, by using math, special algorithms, and downloadable “data chunks” that provide increased functionality throughout the app’s lifecycle. But wait, did I say “downloadable”? Doesn’t that indicate a “web connected” application? Well, no. No it doesn’t.
Of course, your smartphone will have to have web access via Wi-Fi connection or cell service to download apps (unless you sideload apps via USB), but the apps you download do not have to be dynamic. As app updates (data chunks) are run from the app developer, new functionality can be downloaded and embedded into your app, while still keeping your app purely static (and secure).
The app updates (data chunks) that are run by the developer, combined with embedded functionality and algorithmic controls inside the app, can provide an impressive “dynamic like” experience for the app user. Again, with app users remaining secure in the fact, that their information isn’t being shared to and by third parties.
Now doing things this way begs the question, why? And you’d be right in asking that, because most apps have access to the internet via web connection, some even maliciously harvesting and sending your personal data without you knowing. On the flip side, an app without a web connection (or “Full Network Access” permission) cannot breach your data, and send it somewhere (or to someone) you didn’t approve!
In the next lesson, I will show you the code for building this “hybrid-ish” app structure, and the “dynamic like” power that lies within. You’ll also get a glimpse of the code behind UBER DASH™ Mobile, and how I use Geo-Fences, algorithms, and events that trigger really cool displays and animations!