Friday, September 9, 2011
RIM Launched Wi-Fi Geolocation for Blackberry
RIM launched WiFi geo-location service for Blackberry devices. Using Wi-Fi Access Point data that has been collected anonymously from BlackBerrys, this technology can provide location based sharing apps (such as Foursquare or Twitter) a quick location fix globally with minimum bandwidth usage.
This service is a further enhancement to RIM’s Cell-site geolocation service, which has been in service globally for more than a year. Wi-Fi geolocation is faster and more convenient than GPS-based and Cell-site based location as well as uses less bandwidth, though the accuracy falls somewhere between that of GPS and Cell-site. One advantage to Wi-Fi geolocation service is that it typically works even when GPS is not available. For example, when a user is indoors or when a user prefers not to turn their GPS on in order to preserve battery life, Wi-Fi geolocation service is still an option.
APIs are available for devices running BlackBerry 6 OS and higher, though service provisioning may take up to a month.
Developers should not have to care the way OS/Device would give them a fix. They should have just one API with input parameter like 'approximate', 'acceptable', 'accurate.' Instead, it seems RIM requires developers to deal with the whole set of APIs, check device, network, ways device has access to the internet, and so on. Because of this, RIM might see low adoption of their technology.