Here’s why we’re excited about the new Android Location APIs

Locational data is important for many reasons – app functionality, social graphs, relevancy of advertising, real-time analytics to name a few, as well as the popular Google Now service (where a full 75% of the Now cards rely on locational context). But it’s also exceptionally difficult to balance accuracy with battery consumption. 

Using the newly introduced Fused Location Provider in Android: 20 meter accuracy using GPS (5s interval) tolled 7.25%/hour, a mid-level accuracy (40m – 20 seconds) ran 0.6%/hour. Geofences require around 2.4% per day. 

How does Fused work? Combining GPS, cell network location, Wifi and sensor data, as well as detected activity. Driving requires less accuracy than walking in a mall, for example. Which is also where the geofencing API comes into play, as well as the accelerometer function (for detecting walking / cycling without huge battery drain).

To achieve this, Google uses machine learning to identify the user’s activity and pulls in relevant data, which allows app developers to more efficiently use this information without directly polling the sensors themselves, which may be wasteful. 

Here’s why we’re excited about the new Android Location APIs | ArcGIS Resources

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