iPhone 2.0’s Location Based Services powered by the new CoreLocation framework

Apple has created a new framework called CoreLocation for iPhone OS 2.0. This framework is almost certainly powered by Googles ‘my location’ cell tower database and Skyhooks Wifi database as used in iPhone OS 1.1.3 onwards.

From the “Core Location Framework” documentation in the iPhone SDK

“The Core Location framework lets you determine the current latitude and longitude of a device. The framework uses the available hardware to triangulate the user’s position based on nearby signal information. You use the classes and protocols in this framework to configure and schedule the delivery of location-related events.”

Interestingly CoreLocation enables tracking of the user, it possible for the iPhone to receive updates as the user moves around. If tracking is enabled a new update is sent everytime the user moves beyond a set distance (distanceFilter) from the last update. This will enable all sorts of useful applications like realtime map updates while driving and location triggers such as tell me when I’m within 1 mile of one of my buddies.

CoreLocation’s API is location technology agnostic i.e. theres no mention of cell towers, wifi or GPS. However we can speculate that tracking only really becomes useful when GPS is used. For example cell tower tracking is not very good for turn-by-turn driving directions.

The best mobile applications use as much context as they can get from the device, network and user. Knowing the users location is key to reducing keystrokes and letting the user get the information they want with the minimum of fuss – Apple have achieved this in iPhone OS 2.0 – expect some exciting applications in the next few months.


7 Responses to “iPhone 2.0’s Location Based Services powered by the new CoreLocation framework”

  1. Shane Vitarana Says:

    Unfortunately- iPhone apps can’t run in the background. So apps that track your location while you drive are out. Also having the location events running all the time can drain the battery.

  2. mob rule Says:

    iPhone apps can track you if your application is the active application i.e. you would have to start the drive tracking app – I’m not sure if there is a way to keep an iPhone app active bypassing the lock screen.

    The battery issue can also be managed, you can set the time between requests, a smart application could extend the time between requests when it detects the cars trajectory hasn’t changed – the iphone accelerometer could help here. A large accelerometer change on the horizontal (left/right) could trigger an increase in CoreLocation requests and vice versa.

    I personally think Apple will have to re-think the background application restriction – there are too many useful and profitable applications to not do this.

  3. Thana Says:

    Thank you for good information. 😀

  4. iPhone Accessories Says:

    I dont really know to much about application development but as a consumer I iamgine you guys could do some pretty amazing stuff with this

  5. OlsonBW Says:

    You don’t have to worry about the iPhone battery if you are in a car. Just have it plugged in.

  6. txnathrt Says:

    Now that the iphone provides lat & long what is a good service/framework to get the actual map images?

  7. Narendar Singh Saini Says:

    Your battery information is good. I was no idea about this.

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