Location Data Adds Spice to a Variety of Apps


Location information is becoming a lot like salt — some folks think adding it makes every app better. Data released today from Skyhook, a company that uses Wi-Fi signals to provide location information, notes that location data is popping up in ever more mobile applications, from the expected, like travel and navigation apps, to the bizarre, like medical and music apps. The report notes that paid apps using location-based services outnumber the free ones in the well-established Apple (s aapl) App Store and are likely to gradually outnumber the free apps in other popular app stores as they mature.

This focus on paid makes sense, given that grabbing location information generally costs the developer money, but it also means that location should add real value to an application instead of being a trendy feature. Right now, it’s not clear if location is like salt and works in everything, or if its more akin to cumin or another spice that works well only in certain types of dishes.The report also broke out the most popular category of applications that were using location information by app store and calculated the average cost of an LBS app by store. Check it out:

Apple App Store: Navigation, $3.47

BlackBerry (s rimm) App World: Navigation, $11.70

Android Marketplace: Travel, $1

Palm (s palm) App Catalog: Entertainment, free (currently the Palm store has no paid apps)

Nokia (s nok) Ovi Store: Utilities, $3.11

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Stacey Higginbotham

I’m sure that’s part of it (more price competition for similarly-themed apps), but I also think it’s a function of the perceived demographic of the phone audience.

Jack Won

It could also be a function of the capability – Blackberry apps are always on and can provide continuous location updates in the background unlike some other platforms.

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