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Introduction to GPS
Navstar GPS, commonly known as GPS, is a radio navigation network based on satellites. This is acquired by the US government and governed by the US space force. The project began in 1973 by the Department of Defense as they dispatched the first model spacecraft in 1978 followed by 24 satellites in 1993. At first, it was only open for military intentions, but later on from the 1980s, the civilians were allowed to use it.
This satellite-based navigation provides geological location, data, and time to the GPS recipient on the globe. The radio navigation system fails in certain circumstances or obstacles such as cliffs, and blocks.
An interesting study in the USA proves how dependent humans have gotten on GPS. According to a statistical study held up in 2018, 54% of people between the ages of 18 and 29 use their smartphones to look up for maps and other locations.
This dependency on technology has also caused a makeshift in the commercial sector where its market size is estimated to grow exponentially. Back in 2015, the market size for GPS was around 27.2 billion USD. This figure rose up to 32.1 billion USD in 2016 and was expected to stand at 37.9 billion USD in 2017. As of 2025, the estimated market size of GPS could be around (or more) than three times of what it was in 2015.
The GPS network works independently without any telephone or internet. The user doesn’t need to disseminate data and provides information to the public, military service, and commercial vendors all across the globe. The Government of the United States developed this network and provides this service to everyone who is a GPS recipient.
To help reduce power consumption, Android 8.0 restricts the applications to obtain the user’s recent location. The application can only acquire the geolocation of the users for limited times an hour.
The location is retrieved only when the application depends on signal detection while working in the background.
The system segregates between foreground and background apps on the basis of the following aspects:
- If the activity is visible no matter if it’s paused or running, it is a foreground app
- If another foreground application is connected to the app by using or linking any other apps, it is a foreground app.
The location update behavior for a foreground app in Android 8.0 is similar to the one in Android 7.1.1.
Coordinating the location of your application
If your application running in the background cannot work on infrequent location updates, you can try on the following actions for frequent location updates:
- Try shifting your application from background to foreground.
- By using startForegroundServices, the app will appear on current notification because of the active status.
- Try Geofencing API for minimizing power consumption.
- Utilize passive locale listeners, it will help in receiving updates faster if the foreground apps request the location update.
Restriction of usages in Apple and Android
Privacy settings are useful in iOS and iPadOS for controlling and managing data on your device and limit the access as per your requirements. Facebook or other social networking sites ask your permission to access the camera and contacts for a better experience. If you want to grant access for certain information, you can permit it; if not, simply decline the request. Declining a request for basic data may create some obstacles in the application.
In the settings, you can find the applications that are using your information as well as grant or revoke the permit of further access.
Signing in iCloud provides access to applications by default. You can see and manage applications that can use iCloud and restrict apps to further usage in Cloud settings.
Devices provide location services with your due permit to applications and sites to utilize the data from GPS, cellular, Bluetooth, and Wifi to distinguish your approx location.
How to improve the GPS location?
The accuracy rate of GPS depends on the satellites visible nearby, locating them can take some time. Accuracy gradually improves with time. To improve GPS accuracy in your device follow these steps:-
- Keep in mind that for better GPS services, you have to set the date, time zone, and time in your device or prefer automated feed of this data.
- Mountains, buildings, walls, and other obstacles can reduce your GPS accuracy. The device will need WiFi or cellular data for your current location until you get visible satellites.
There are websites that offer services or products that need your geological location for their commercial use. Websites and apps, such as Swiggy, Zomato, Uber, Ola, Jugnoo, and many more, track your location to enhance the quality of the services.
The food delivery apps have been charged for adjudication. These apps deliver products from unauthorized outlets and let the location data to be accessed by these unlicensed firms. This can be dangerous and violates the privacy of the recipient.
Most of the applications use your device information and do not keep that to themselves by violating privacy norms to cater to profits. These data are being used to analyze customers’ requirements and are sold for that purpose.
How is GPS used
There are some popular applications that use GPS to provide or receive location from your loved ones. You can get information about people and know various other location-related aspects that might encourage conversation.
These applications enable you to track down your friends and connections. You can also organize an event at a location and can keep an eye on your friend’s current location.
Having said that, some of such applications also aid food delivery services and provide information about nearby restaurants and eateries. These specific ones use the location of your device to suggest eateries that are near you.
So, in day-to-day lives, these provide daily mobile ordering assistance and also lets you place pre-orders as per your need. However, most of the applications protect the data and information received from your device and only use it to deliver amazing customer experience.
Real-world examples of GPS-based businesses
Over the last decade, the commercial sector has grown leaps and bounds with the use of GPS technology. A lot of global companies have based an entire fool-proof business structure with the use of GPS as the primary.
Let’s take a few examples.
Uber is one of the largest cab aggregators in the world and is present in almost all major countries. Ever since its inception, it has worked with GPS as the primary infrastructure. However, owing to a lot of consistency errors in the technology, the company has worked on improving the performance to a whole new level.
The company uses GPS locations to pick up passengers and drop them safely to their destinations.
When it comes to local restaurant and food outlet chain aggregators, Zomato deserves a mention. It started in India and is now present in 24 countries around the world. The company uses GPS for its smartphone app and website to detect customers’ locations and suggest eateries nearby.
However, Zomato even delivers food via its large number of delivery executives, all with the help of GPS location tracking.
How is GPS helping businesses and industries?
GPS is a radio navigation system that is connected through satellites. It is very useful for private and commercial apps. GPS plays a key role in today’s business models. This advanced technology is widely used to enhance industries and businesses. With GPS, one can retrieve location and can use it to provide a better customer experience.
Here are a few key points that will keep your business afloat in this competitive era with GPS:-
- Efficiency– GPS helps to navigate your destination and relocate your route if lost. This will help a lot if you travel to an unknown place for business work. It will save you time and will enable you to reach the place on time. The features on GPS also enable traffic locations and help to increase efficiency and generate revenue.
- Control- GPS empowers an unparalleled degree of control over mobile units from a fixed location. Service or product delivery companies track down their delivery destination and ensure the consignment is delivered on time. Industries also use this to locate their workers and employees to ensure they do not misuse the company’s assets and stay focused.
- Scheduling- GPS is helpful in scheduling routes for delivery and helps in accessing the data of the delivery person. It is also used for scheduling a business meeting as it locates and guides the other employees to reach the destination in time.
- Services- Industries and businesses can use GPS to improve their present services or develop a new one according to their client’s needs. A business that is based on the web can provide coupons of the businesses that are in close proximity to the client’s geological location. GPS also helps to recognize service, products, or events that are near to one’s location. This also helps businesses deliver their services in the said period of time.
Plugins & third-party solutions we recommend
If a customer can pay for plugins and solutions, transistor software provides the best assistance. Transistor software is being used since 1998 and is known for providing web engineering, mobile engineering, architecture, and tutorials to companies all over the globe.
After researching and field testing for six years, they used the knowledge and infused it to a cross-platform mobile framework with Background fetch plugins and Background geological plugins. They also provide full-time assistance with plugins.
They provide React Native Background Geological, Cordova geological, and Flutter Background geological licenses at affordable costs.
The transport tracker uses a bunch of applications that track a moving vehicle and pictures them on a map. This solution is mainly based on the shuttle bus tracker at Google I/O.
For this, you will need a Google Maps Platform Premium license. This tracker will help you locate your vehicle from any centralized location.
The transport tracker comprises of these elements:
- Datastore: Firebase delivers actual-time data sync to the map and backend.
- Vehicle Locator: This is an Android application that utilizes the location in the Google Play Service location APIs to register its locale to the Firebase Database.
- Backend: The backend, which is built-in Node.js, helps in processing the location from firebase and predicts the traveling time with the help of Directions API.
- Administration overview: The web interface provides an overview of the vehicles that are tracked and displays it in a map with the help of Map static API. This uses the location information from the firebase.
The Android Arsenal geolocator software makes it convenient to store user location updates
and geofence events with less effort.
- It supports and runs Android
- It provides geological location updates
- If the app is eradicated, it will send you updates
- It also enables to receive information bin background
- It also provides geofence updates
Hyper Track Live
Hyper Track Live is open-source for Live locale sharing created with HyperTrack. Developers can build live location sharing apps in minutes by using HyperTrack Live Source code. You can use the OS repository for iOS.
This application is available on Google Play Store for the HyperTrack users. The 23 characters’ short secured URL is used to exhibit live location with accuracy, bearing, recency, and speed. It indicates the flow for the users to share their location with their friends and family through any messenger application.
Pros and cons of third-party libraries in your app
Everything comes with a set of pros and cons. Third-party libraries offer comfort and liberty for app development. Still, there are always two sides to a coin. Let’s see it’s pros and cons:
- The libraries are created by expert developers. They will certainly provide you with a domain that is suitable for you.
- It is cost-efficient and helps in cutting down manual expenses. This is very helpful in building mobile applications.
- Most of the paid libraries provide excellent support services. They are ready to assist you anytime and your team will get solutions to every problem while interacting with their experts.
- When you have 100s of libraries in the application, management becomes a big problem. When you use open-source libraries, it further makes the whole situation confusing and distressing.
- Sometimes, the third-party libraries confuse the users regarding the functionality. They do not make it clear about who is providing functionality, third-party libraries, or the app developer.
- There is always a risk of bad intentions of a third-party. Sometimes, a third-party library developer can instill unwanted codes in your application without informing you.
How to create a location-aware app?
In order to create a location-aware app, one needs to go through the client’s requirements. The following features are needed for the location-aware app:
- Determining the current location: When you want to add location services in your application, the first thing you need to know is the user’s real-time location. There are numerous benefits of information. Many food delivery applications use this information to suggest dine-in restaurants, takeaways, and eatable shops nearby. They also show the routes and help you reach there in less time.
- Maps: Maps are important to add on for your application. Many applications, such as Ola, Uber, provide a map with the boarding location and destination location.
- Places: Providing the details of the places nearby with addresses will help the user identify and know more about the place. They can even provide ratings and reviews based on their visit.
- Calculating Travel Time: Providing estimated travel time brings transparency and the customers can plan things accordingly. For example, if someone orders food and is starving, that person needs to know about how long he/she needs to wait for the food. Food delivery and taxi applications do need this for keeping transparency between the host and the client.
These features are quite important when developing a location-aware application.
The right way to create a geolocation-based app
With advanced technology, geolocation turns out to be one of the most important aspects of running a business.
A modern business needs modernized solutions and the most advanced technologies working to provide you and your business with a global reach. Food applications, taxi services, shopping sites, every business needs a geological app.
Here are the insights that one needs to look after when creating a geo-based app:
Choose the right technologies for a contemporary app as it helps to provide a smooth user experience and can resolve customer problems within a few clicks.
Try to solve major problems such as battery consumption, the accuracy of location, data encryption, low user engagement, approvals from the app store, and privacy concerns.
- Battery consumption
- Accuracy of location
- Data encryption
- Low user engagement
- Approvals from the app store
- Privacy concerns
Future of GPS
By 2017, Earth had 31 operational satellites up in space to ensure the proper functioning of GPS. However, as the world moves close to the advancement of this sector, that is GPS III, we will see new satellites being deployed, which will further improve the accessibility, accuracy, and uptime. The new constellation of satellites will have a lifespan of 15 years.
The total number of GPS signal receivers was 7 billion in 2017, which is estimated to increase to 10 billion by 2023.
Irrespective of the number of promising technologies that keep coming up to aid businesses, GPS is surely here to go a long way. One proof of this is the fact that even giant companies like Google and Facebook, depending on permission-oriented location tracking to optimize their services and make money.
So, by keeping these things in mind, one can develop geological based applications and achieve desired business goals. Brainvire has been one of the front runners in the industry of wireless mobile technology. The service portfolio here is not restricted within mobile app development, but more advanced services related to VoIP, wireless web-connectivity, phishing detection platform development, etc.