No longer a technology wonder, GPS keeps making inroads into the daily lives of a vast number of people. Many of them, such as cab drivers and truckers, can no longer imagine doing their jobs without being able to use the precious guidance that GPS affords.
One of the most well-known navigation app development masterpieces is a GPS-powered app called Waze, - a community-focused and driver-supported navigation app that has been all the rage of late. The app furnishes a driver with an imprint of the current traffic-related situation in the area and gives them recommendations on how to best reach their destination.
In order to do this, Waze takes into account info on the current level of traffic in the area. It uses information, submitted by other drivers, to warn the user of any obstacles, hindrances and dangers they can encounter, including traffic jams, accidents, ongoing road work and police road closures. The app is a lure both to advertisers, as it sports an audience in excess of 40 million users, and to IT entrepreneurs, as it amply demonstrates the profitability potential GPS can unlock.
How can someone who is considering navigation app development as their next IT investment increase their odds and make an app like Waze?
Identify the Market Segment for Your Navigation App Development Effort and Your Navigation App’s Value to this Segment
The fact that GPS is an awesome technology, capable of unleashing numerous opportunities, can be misleading to someone considering GPS app development.
There are multiple types of GPS navigation apps that, among others, include location-based shopping apps, location-based dating apps, location-specific messaging apps and more. It is easy to get tempted into trying to encompass too much.
Actually, to make an app like Waze, you can shoot for a specific segment, or try to make something comprehensive or generic like Waze itself. Unless you want to build something large-scale, get specific about the target outcome you are aiming to reach. Be careful not to lump together things that don’t complement one another. It is unlikely the users of the vehicle fleet management GPS app we’ve developed would like to see a roster of the fine arts galleries, situated along the routes of their delivery trucks.
The above approach can help you both avoid excessive costs in your navigation app development and lower the often critical time-to-market.
Be Truly Comprehensive Within Your App’s Scope and In Relation to Its Purpose
Some things can only be appropriate for some specific navigation applications and purposes, while others are likely to interest a broader audience. In fact, there are things most people would appreciate to know or be interested in once they are in the area regardless of the navigation app they are carrying.
Consider adding the following types of information if you find them relevant to the purpose of your GPS app:
- The crime rate in the area (for example, the crime rate by day and by night) and related advice (a tourist application, an application for truck drivers).
- Weather forecasts and warnings (any navigation application).
- Public events, impacting traffic (any application).
- Local holidays (a tourist application).
- Disease outbursts (any application, a tourist application).
- Gift and flower stores (a dating navigation app).
- Ongoing or upcoming historical reenactments (a tourist navigation app).
- Tours and ethnic villages (a tourist navigation app).
Make the Map of Your App Available in Offline Mode
The map is central to any mobile app intended for navigation purposes. There are several things you must bear in mind while creating one for your navigation application.
First and foremost, you don’t want to leave your app’s users without any navigational support just when they find themselves in some boondocks with erratic Internet coverage. Odds are this will happen someday if the map of your navigation app has to be continuously downloaded from the Internet. It is imperative that the map be implemented as part of the app and be made available in offline mode.
Secondly, it would be prudent to create a nocturnal version of the map: one with a black background and white lettering, - something your audience would appreciate immensely.
Implement Location Identification and Related Relevant Search
You can help the user by identifying their current location and automatically displaying roads and objects in their vicinity. It would also be a good idea to identify the user’s means of movement or enable them to indicate whether they are riding a car, a bike or just walking in order to display more relevant roads and objects.
To Make an App Like Waze, Make the GUI of Your Navigation App Truly User-Friendly
Navigation software is used in a variety of environments, situations and circumstances, the simplest scenario being one-armed driving. Make the buttons and tabs of your app’s big enough for convenient use in inconvenient situations.
Implement Background Mode
Your navigation app must be able to run in background mode and give voice recommendations to the user whenever required in this mode. Don’t make your users miss turns and drive extra miles simply because they enjoy listening to music while driving.
Implement Two Systems of Units
You may be surprised at how outlandish some of your everyday things may seem elsewhere. Someone used to measuring distances in kilometers can really be at a loss when he or she is given measurements in miles. Make sure you app supports both the Imperial and Metric systems of units.
Implement the Navigation Map With a Slant
A regular map may not be too convenient to use in a moving vehicle. A slanted map is, usually, a lot more usable in this environment. It allows a better and more far-reaching view.
See If Artificial Intelligence Can Make Your App Better
Just like in most verticals and technology areas, GPS-powered navigation is currently, undergoing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) revolution. In order not to develop a product that would be outdated from day one, you must look into the possibility of enhancing it with AI.
So how can Artificial Intelligence render a conventional navigation app more powerful and improve the app’s performance?
There are several possible applications of AI in GPS navigation. With the help of the AI technology of Machine Learning, it is possible to derive insights from the user’s previous experiences associated with various routes. This information can then be used to train the application to offer guidance when the user is considering taking a similar route.
Another great AI-driven feature to add is illustrating routes and, in particular, intersections with photos to help drivers get their bearings.
Ultimately, AI will give your app conversational intelligence, as well as the ability to learn things on a massive scale using the Web. As part of your navigation app, an AI-enabled virtual assistant will promptly answer the user’s questions. In so doing, it will rely on a wealth of information which it has gathered from the Web and which no human knowledge holder can rival.
© 2017, Vilmate LLC
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