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HOT! Developers Can Now Get Location Without GPS Using Locate Service

BlackBerry Locate Service 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:

6 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. We have been part of the beta test for this. It is working quite well and needs no OS updates on the device itself. Adjustments to a GPS enabled 3rd party app are minimal.

    It gets enabled on a device by a new service book pushed to the device (OS 5.0+).

    Therein lies the problem though, if and when developers will be able to use this will depend on when carriers are going to push this new service book.

    • Why does it need a service book? Can’t RIM just respond directly to the Cell Tower requests? Why does it need a service book to configure it?

      • I don’t know why they had to use a service book.

        The service book somehow installs a new LocationProvider for the GPS API. Passing the correct criteria paramters for a GPS lookup will then use cell tower information instead of GPS.

  2. Now.. I wonder about privacy with blackberry devices.
    Whilst this does indeed bring about a huge convenience and battery is saved, what about our privacy?

    Won’t someone with the right knowledge be able to get or even track us without our knowledge and affect our battery..

    Imagine ur boss, or even the government..

    But of course, terrorists such as those in the terror attack in mumbai not too long ago can be subdued with more ease..

  3. Many apps for BlackBerry already can do this (Poynt, Little Brother, gmaps, Where, etc.) so I guess I’m trying to figure out what’s so new and different about this now?

  4. U dun need permissions to get/retrieve the location…

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