This is some amazing news for BlackBerry developers and users will soon benefit. We pointed out earlier this month that RIM failed to deliver a few SDK’s and services as promised but now they managed to get another one out the door. This new Locate Service that RIM has just released promises to be the coolest of them all allowing developers to quickly access your location without having to fire up the device GPS. I think this feature will be a big game changer for applications that could benefit from your location but cannot justify polling your GPS for your location. For example, a Twitter client could use to to post your general location without draining your battery or having to wait for a GPS lock.
The new service can get your location in seconds using cellphone towers. This is similar to how the “My Location” service works in Google Maps. This new service works indoors and lets any app get access to your approximate location without having to query the GPS. The only two catches is that this new service only works on OS 5.0+ and requires a carrier that has enabled this feature.
The one thing I noticed is that it looks like RIM has decided not to roll out the crowd sourcing feature that they showed off at DevCon. RIM showed off that they were going to use crowd sourced data to map cell towers and provide locations. For example, the presenter showed a map with RIM employees around the DevCon hotel and another of RIM employees in Hawaii.
Now I am waiting for RIM to implement this new service into BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry Maps… Any other developers excited that RIM has finally released the Location Service?
You can read more about the new Locate service at the links below: