15 Hot Ideas for Location-Based Applications with Examples

Rating — 4.6·17 min·August 7, 2023
15 Hot Ideas for Location-Based Applications with Examples
15 Hot Ideas for Location-Based Applications with Examples
Location-Based Application is your chance to meet users’ demands in a better way. Have a look at the hottest Location-Aware App ideas and succeed with one of them!
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Key takeaways
  • A wide range of opportunities presented by location-based apps across various industries, including transportation, hospitality, eCommerce, social networking, healthcare, and entertainment.
  • Location-based apps offer significant potential for innovation and business growth, from improving navigation to enhancing user experiences.
  • Apps with location-based features enable highly personalized experiences for users through tailored recommendations, targeted marketing campaigns, and real-time updates.


You wake up in the morning, check your Facebook feed, and see a post from your friend made somewhere on the Spanish coast. You are envious and open the weather forecast app. It already knows your location and disappoints you with a rain alert for the day. You decide to take an Uber to work, and the car arrives exactly at your front door, even though you didn’t even enter your address. You choose to go out for lunch, and Yelp recommends several restaurants within a 5-minute walk of your office. That evening, you decide to order some Chinese food. And, yet again, the carrier delivers it right to your front door.

Magic? No, that’s just the power of location-based apps.

And this is something you need to consider for your next successful software solution. Now, the point is to generate a viable idea capable of competing with existing services by harnessing the power of location intelligence.

In this article, we collected the best ideas and successful examples of how well-known companies implemented these ideas in real apps. Get ready for the torrent of inspiration for your geolocation-featured app.

Location-based apps: Before we start…

Let’s clarify: A location-based app is a software product that collects data about users’ current location. This type of app allows businesses to offer customized services based on where the user is or where he is going. Location details are typically transferred via:

  • GPS, or Global Positioning System

GPS is a global system consisting of satellites and small receivers built into every modern smartphone or tablet. The system can accurately calculate the location of a receiver/smartphone by measuring signals from multiple Earth-orbit satellites to determine a relatively accurate location. GPS doesn’t require any connection to a mobile network or the Internet, and it can be used to find a device’s location even if someone is far beyond the reach of cell towers.

  • Cell ID

This approach to determining a device’s location requires a connection to a mobile network. By utilizing signals from several nearby cell towers, a device can calculate the distance to each tower and determine the user's approximate location, depending on the quality of the signal. This process is commonly called triangulation since the signals of the three nearest towers allow a device to estimate its exact location.

  • Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi can also help determine a device's location, especially when cellular service is turned off (when traveling abroad, for example, some users opt to turn off their mobile connections to avoid costly roaming charges). The device can locate itself using the Wi-Fi point the phone is currently connected to.

Now that you have an essential background in geolocation technologies, let’s learn about their benefits.

What are the benefits of location-based services?

Today, it’s hard to find an application that doesn’t have location-based features. Even if you plan to create an app like Instagram - it can’t do without such features. No wonder location-based service apps bring many advantages to both businesses and consumers. Let’s see how they can be beneficial for both parties.


For users:
  • Personalized experience. Users like tailored advertising and content that match their location and preferences. This makes their experience more relevant and engaging.
  • Improved navigation. Location-based services enhance the traveling experience by offering real-time directions, recommendations, and information on nearby attractions, making trips more enjoyable.
  • Enhanced security. Location-based services provide enhanced safety by enabling quick access to emergency services, ensuring help is always a tap away, and add to the security of transactions, helping minimize the risk of fraud.

For businesses:

  • Boosted customer satisfaction. By providing location-specific content and services, you can offer a more personalized experience, guiding customers to the nearest store and offering loyalty rewards to frequent visitors.
  • Insights into customers’ behavior. Analyzing the foot traffic and behavior of customers can help you understand purchasing patterns, peak visit times, and the effectiveness of promotions.
  • Enhanced marketing efforts. You can send timely notifications about offers and events to customers nearby, leveraging user reviews and comments to attract new ones.

Location-based services offer a range of advantages, from enhancing personal safety and convenience to providing businesses with valuable insights and tools for targeted engagement.

15 viable ideas for a powerful location-based app

It’s increasingly trendy and rewarding for businesses to break into any industry with a location-based solution. Analyzing the current situation in the market and forecasts for the next years, we’ve made this list of the 15 best ideas for location-based apps.

1. Navigation and mapping apps

Navigation apps are the hottest type to consider. How often have you been worried about being lost in an unfamiliar city or place? How many times have you been worried about intense traffic and jams holding you up on your way to an important meeting? Yeah, we’ve all been there. And most likely, we’ve used specific software to predict potential obstacles.

Google Maps, a location-based app built by Google, occupies the noble 1st position in the navigation and mapping apps list. In 2023, the app had more than 21 million downloads in the USA only. Waze, an app for route details and travel time calculation, follows Google’s lead.

Maps.me is another popular mapping and navigation service worldwide. Travelers prefer this app because it even works offline. The app locates you on the map using GPS coordinates and provides users with step-by-step navigation to any location.

All mentioned navigation apps work worldwide. However, you can create something more specific. For example, the Clockwise team worked on a route planning solution for public transport in London and urban areas. You can take this as an idea and create something similar in your region or specifically for your company.

Along with outdoor navigation, apps for indoor navigation are blooming. Purple app helps patients of Sarasota Memorial Hospital to navigate through the medical institution effortlessly. Mapsted is another example of a successful indoor navigation app. It primarily targets large malls; however, it may work in any building, making the lives of its visitors easier.

Indoor location-based services may be useful for large hotels or resorts, university campuses and hospitals, malls and business centers, and city councils. Does a local business need a navigation upgrade? Consider this idea as the basis for your next software product!

2. Location tracking and safety apps

Most iPhones and Android devices have built-in location tracking features. Smartphone owners can quickly find it if the device is lost or stolen. But it’s required to have GPS turned on.

Trustworthy apps are now powered with geolocation functionality to detect suspicious activity and protect user data from leakage immediately. For example, once you try to login to your Gmail account from a new country, the application sends you a security alert. Depending on what device you try to log in to, you either get a smartphone notification or an email to confirm that it’s you (or hurry up to change your password if it’s not). It’s all about data protection.

In the case of your family’s safety, specific feature-rich solutions are needed. For example, a family can install one app and connect all members’ devices just to know each other’s location if needed.

Another typical but important case is always being aware of your child’s location. One example of location-based services is the Footprints app — with its help, parents can track their children's whereabouts in real-time. Following the Internet of Things principles, you can even set up geofencing using this app. A user sets up boundaries on a map and gets a notification once this boundary is crossed. For example, the Geocaching app, the largest app for geocaching facilities, uses geofencing to enable users to hide and seek containers, called "geocaches," at specific locations marked by coordinates worldwide.

Industry leaders continue to work on location-aware tools, too. Team Microsoft has developed a Microsoft Family Safety app - a location-based app designed to “create a safe and healthy environment for your family.” It allows filtering digital content, set screen time limits, has a real-time location share feature, and allows viewing location history.

3. Check-in and review apps

Now, people actively use Facebook to let their network know where they had a fantastic cup of coffee or where they ate the worst pasta of their lives. It seems like it is a part of a ritual — to share your location and opinions with your social network. It is hard to believe, but Facebook wasn’t the pioneer here; before the feature was implemented on the most significant social network ever, it was launched by Foursquare. The story started with a check-in feature: a user manually entered, for example, a bar’s name and shared this location with the network. Later, when GPS technology became an irreplaceable feature of every smartphone, Foursquare started using it to provide the exact location and automate manual actions.

Location-based services allow check-in features, sharing reviews and recommendations, and finding exciting places nearby while keeping a record of places users have visited.

4. Banking apps

Sharing your location with your bank doesn’t sound like something new and unusual. However, it creates numerous advantages for both financial institutions and clients. Location-based mobile apps like Revolut use geolocation so one user can transfer money to another who’s somewhere nearby.

A Ukrainian mobile-only bank Monobank allows tipping waiters or taxi drivers to be contactless, and turning on geolocation is essential to make this possible.

Besides, geolocation may serve numerous marketing purposes:

  • Once a client enters a bank, a mobile app can send a greeting and assign a number in a queue.
  • It may help offer a more personalized experience by analyzing a user’s daily location and more.
Has another idea just come to your mind?
Let us know about it and we’ll bring it to life together!

5. eCommerce location-based services

Customers love the principle of “order, pick up and go.” That means they order needed goods online and come to the physical store or warehouse to pick them up and leave. No crowds, no lines, no need to wait for delivery — just a fast and easy way to get what they want or need. A location-based app is essential to collect data about the user’s current location and let them pick up the order from the nearest store. The method works well in apps like the Starbucks app, Walmart's Pickup and Delivery service, and the Amazon Prime Now app. These applications use the user’s location to offer the convenience of ordering online with the option to quickly pick up items from a nearby store or designated pickup point, enhancing the overall shopping experience by saving time and avoiding the hassle of shopping in-store or waiting for deliveries.

However, two scenarios are possible:

  • You can cooperate with a variety of brands and offer pick-up services,
  • Or you can represent your brand, let users order your products, and pick them up from your nearest physical store.

With geolocation, it’s easier than ever to track customer habits. You can find out which shops they prefer and where and when they walk. By recognizing these patterns in behavior, you can target users with personalized offers. This allows you not to waste your marketing on reaching those who aren’t interested in your product.

6. Advertising apps

If you don’t have your own eCommerce business, you can still shake the local market with a location-based service app. You can advertise local brands and provide users with suggestions about the closest places they may be interested in. There is no need to install many different apps — your tool may include significant info about popular shops and restaurants in users’ neighborhoods.

GeoCouponsAlert, for example, reminds users about active coupons for nearby locations. Booky PH uses geolocation to allow users to discover the best dining options around them. It also contains reviews, comments, and ratings from other users, helping users to make informed decisions about where to eat. Additionally, Booky PH provides coupons and promos for discounts, enhancing the value for its users. Building an app similar to Booky PH, you can tap into the profitable market of local dining experiences, offering benefits such as personalized promotions, the ability to highlight local eateries, and the opportunity to integrate location-based advertising.

7. Shipping and delivery apps

On-demand apps have saved lives during global isolation in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Shipping and delivery apps, such as an app like Postmates, or delivery services like Uber Eats, an app like Instacart and many similar services play significant roles in providing users with everything they need. By reaching customers by cars, bikes, or even drones, they fulfill a great mission worldwide.

However, such market-leading apps still need to be available in many regions. A new location-based delivery app may become vital for many cities and even countries. An app to simplify tasks for local businesses and provide consumers with essentials could be life-saving. Analyze your local market and evaluate if there is a similar offer. If there’s not, you have just found your path to success.

8. Uber-like apps

On his X (formerly Twitter), Erik Torenberg, a co-founder of Villageglobal — a venture capital firm — shares valuable tips on idea generation. One of the frameworks he describes says,

Unlock new supply using a fixed physical asset or new digital asset … (as) Uber unlocked new supply of taxis.



Uber is one of the most famous and prosperous unicorns of our time. And we cannot help but add this great example to our list.

Uber has inspired a revolution in taxi services, enabling anyone with a car to earn money by giving others a lift. But Uber’s customers also appreciate one improvement over traditional cab services — the Uber application can automatically determine where you are and send your driver to your exact location. The resulting savings in time and frustration have made Uber so popular among users worldwide.

Still, it is not available in many countries. Besides, ride-sharing services are just one thing your app can provide on-demand. Recently, we worked on Toddy – an Uber-like app for finding the best babysitters nearby. Using the same method, you can offer a solution for finding local plumbers, engineers, and contractors.

You can also build an app like Uber for trucks. Consider this option if you want to enter the market of logistic startups with an on-demand trucking service.

9. Weather apps

Detailed, up-to-the-minute weather forecast apps become even more useful if they know the user’s exact location. This enables more accurate predictions and the opportunity to track any tiny change in weather conditions, which is significant if you’ve ever doubted whether you should take that umbrella.

ApexWeather is one of the most popular location-based weather apps. Providing detailed forecasts based on the person's current location, it found its place on more than 50 million users’ smartphones.

10. Dating apps

Not only do common interests bring people together, but sometimes location does, too.

Location-based services are also a way for people to find friends who share their hobbies. You can help people find romantic partners or companions with an app for geosocial activity. For instance, based on a user’s location, Tinder, an online dating application, provides photos of users nearby and helps people meet in person.

11. Fitness and healthcare apps

Recent years have done their best to demonstrate how important proper healthcare, physical activity, and hygiene are. Keeping an eye on your health and staying in good shape is a must; with a location-based healthcare application, it gets even easier.

Running and cycling apps with geolocation features are the most powerful in this category. An app that detects a user’s location and tracks the distance passed can also easily calculate burnt calories and (even!) build a plan for further development. Such features help Strava, a running and cycling app, engage over 100 million users! The chain is ready: useful app — excellent results — accelerated growth.

12. Apps for travelers

You may have noticed that some of the traveling apps above, such as Google Maps, ApexWeather, and similar apps, may come in handy when planning your next trip. However, there’s so much more opportunity within this field. Location-based solutions can deal with so many routine tasks that we’ve gathered them in an extra block.


  • Public transport tracking apps

No matter if you are traveling to another city or your office, the awareness of where your bus is and when it can pick you up is valuable. Applications like Citymapper provide advanced functionality for this purpose using geolocation data.

  • Hospitality apps

Airbnb has rocked the industry. Since two enthusiasts solved the problem of where to stay when your budget is tight, classic hotels have lost a lot of money. Now, you can enjoy a location-based feature on Airbnb: The service offers you the best stays and experiences nearby. Also, consider building an ERP for real estate with solid location-based features.

  • Apps with local services

When on a road trip, it is necessary to know where the nearest gas station, supermarket, or the nearest public restroom is. Let travelers feel calm and comfortable with your app and win their preference in turn.

13. Social networks and messengers

Users who aren’t fond of dozens of apps installed on their smart devices will appreciate the “all-in-one” app or a powerful social network with geolocation features.

On messengers, geolocation is vital — just two clicks, you can send your current location to a friend and find each other easily in a crowd.

Going deeper into this topic, you can develop many other similar concepts, such as:

  • Build a location-based professional network to empower professional connections and local communities. For example, we have contributed to the development of Creador. The idea was to build a web-based application connecting individuals and small companies with local creative content producers. Check our online marketplace development case if you feel inspired by such an idea.
  • Allow archaeologists to share information about their recent excavations and discoveries in special communities.
  • Help fishermen share the best spots, participate in online fishing tournaments, and so on.
  • Create a tool to help photographers find and share breathtaking locations.

Speaking about photographers, you can build another handy tool for them …

14. Event apps

Everyone would appreciate an opportunity to get detailed info about events nearby. Location-based technologies will be helpful as users look for an interesting last-minute event to attend. Whether it be an exhibition or a loud party — build an event app capable of satisfying any needs.

To start, implement geolocation, notifications, auto-publishing, integration with the user’s calendar, and thoroughly analyze the user’s interests. Check Eventbrite to find out how it works and build something more useful and satisfying.

15. AR apps and games

Imagine combining Augmented Reality, a trend that has changed eCommerce, with geolocation functionality. For example, SkyView, an AR-powered app with geolocation functionality, helps users get to know our universe better and identify celestial objects.

Does the gaming, AR, and location-based combination seem familiar? That’s right, we are talking about Pokémon Go and other similar games. This new type of entertainment only became possible due to geolocation services. Millions of people were suddenly enthralled with a game set in the streets of their hometown. This smartphone game went viral in 2016, leveraging AR technologies and popularizing physical activity. It has won numerous awards and made hundreds of millions of children and teenagers worldwide get up and off their couches. However, there are some technical issues and government restrictions; besides, the app is unavailable in numerous countries.

There is always a place for another catchy game. Use the viable existing concept, work on upgrading it, adapt to local market demands, and launch a profitable app.

Location-aware apps and privacy concerns

Location data is big money. And some of the most popular location-based services use it actively as an additional revenue stream. In this connection, in 2021, with the launch of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a policy requiring mobile applications to obtain user consent for collecting tracking data.

AccuWeather, an app with 2 billion users, was accused of selling personal data. This app has full access to GPS coordinates, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth data and shares it with data monetization companies. This was a blatant violation of users’ rights. Responding to the privacy concerns, the AccuWeather app removed SDK, which made data leakage possible, and released a new app version.

And that’s not the only case. The Weather Channel app obtained user location data illegally and sold it to third-party companies. DarkSky Team tells how many times someone offered them to sell users’ personal information.

We don’t now — and never will — share your location data with 3rd party advertisers or data monetization companies,

says DarkSky


Putting your user data security over anything else is how you, as a future app founder, should act, too.

According to the Deloitte Insights report, a significant majority of smartphone users, 67%, express concerns about data security and privacy on their devices.

For location-based services it is a huge obstacle. People don’t feel quite safe, so you, as a potential app owner, should prove your app’s reliability. Always remember to ask for the user's permission when turning geolocation on. Follow best practices for data protection and say no when someone offers you money in exchange for users’ data.

Check our expert article about risk management in software development to make yourself aware of how you can identify and mitigate risks in the development process properly.

Location-based apps: price and cost

When it comes to custom software product development, two crucial questions may come to your mind:

  • How long will it take to build a high-quality app?
  • How do you develop a location-based app in the right way?

It is hard to answer these questions as the answers depend completely on your app requirements and solution complexity. Fortunately, we can answer them in detail.

Geolocation is not a magic pill that will double your sales or provide you with thousands of new customers. However, when used effectively, location-based services can improve user experience and customer loyalty. In 2024, location-aware apps have huge potential and impact. And the sooner you’ll start working on your idea, the sooner you’ll measure its progress. So start right now.

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