Three New Location API’s Revealed at Google I/O

May 15, 2013 - Written By Benjamin Commet

Google has revealed three brand new location APIs for developers today at I/O. Google claims that these new APIs will not only provide a faster lock on, but improve battery life as well.

The first API is called “Geofencing.” This new API allows developers to draw virtual “fences” around as many as 100 different locations. This can be used to let developers know when a user within their app goes into a certain set area. This can be useful for ad targeting, and can help provide better information for the end-user.

The second and perhaps most intriguing API is “Activity Recognition.” This new API allows developers to use a variety of sensors to determine information about the device user’s movement. Without ever turning on the GPS, this API can determine whether you are stationary, walking, bicycling or riding in a car. This new API will allow for all kinds of new fitness apps that will have little, to no impact upon battery life.

The third and final location API revealed today is called “Fused Location Provider.” Don’t let the wordy name fool you. This API serves a very simple purpose, improving GPS efficiency within apps. With the new API battery consumption by GPS will be knocked down to a maximum of 1% battery drain per hour.

Location based programs like maps and fitness apps have always had immense struggles with battery life. Many of the new wearable – such as the i’m watch – Android based devices use these fitness apps as a major selling point. With these new APIs various devices may now be able to track your runs without draining your battery in only a few hours.

I’m glad Google started off their conference with these new APIs. I think that most users will find that on a day to day basis, they will benefit far more from the improved battery life when using location services then most of the other services debuted today.

Are you excited that some of the massive battery drain associated with using a mapping application will be going away? What new uses will developers use Activity Recognition for? Let us know in the comments below and stick with AH for all our I/O coverage.