Forget Fart Apps — the Sweet-Smelling Growth Is in LBS


pubI’ve been saying for some time that we’re in the midst of a growing trend for location-based services (LBS) and Om points out the actual growth numbers in terms of iPhone apps that use them. Growth in iPhone apps using LBS has increased four-fold in just the past six months. What started with accessing data nearly anywhere as morphed into providing our social networks with text updates first, then real-time pics and videos and now with offering our location while we “fart” and Tweet  all around the town.

I actually can’t remember the last time I entered in my location to get useful data like local weather, movie times or restaurant choices. Thanks to companies like Skyhook Wireless (although I wouldn’t count out Google (s GOOG) in this space), my handset already knows my general location, even without GPS in my first-generation iPhone. We often say that the best tools we use are the ones that don’t get in our way. The rise of location-based services, when paired with the right hardware and apps, make the services invisible but extremely useful.

I wouldn’t be surprised at all in the next year or so to see more GPS radios integrated in devices that we don’t carry around all the time. Handsets were the “low-hanging fruit” since they’re generally always with us. That’s the perfect use case for a location-based system. But there’s plenty of room, and desire” to use LBS with those “once in a while” devices too. Many laptops, netbooks and notebooks are already equipped for location awareness. Cameras are an easy target, too: Pairing the location data with a photo is handy and useful. It might also be overkill. But in five years, we just might see more devices with LBS than without them. Thoughts?


Mohit Agrawal

It is true that iPhone and Android are driving LBS and other application sales but still there are many structural issues in the mobile ecosystem that present significant challenges to a developer. The application development can only sustain if the impediments to its growth are removed. Ihave discussed some of the challenges faced by the mobile applications developer community and the potential solutions for the same in my post on

Request you all to give your comments on the post


Wow, now imagine how powerful this could be if these apps could run in the background.

Kevin C. Tofel

Then we could actually *see* where we farted with our phones! ;) Seriously, I completely agree with you. That’s one reason Palm’s Pre is appealing. I’m not sure how well LBS will work with Apple’s Push notification efforts, but we’ll see.

not surprised what so ever.

imo, thats what separates internet at the desk from internet on the go.

when at the desk, you know where you are, and whats available in the area, and want to reach out from there.

on the go however, you may be unfamiliar with your surroundings, or where someone you know is at the moment so that you can meet up.

so far, mobile internet have been more about moving the desk out to the table on the street, then it have been about making available location info.


Is there any statistics available for success of these applications as well. Number of downloads?

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