Microsoft, Google and Apple, going by their newly introduced operating systems are looking at offering better location-based apps; working on providing an improved user experience to their consumers.
All the three companies, at their respective developer’s conferences, turned the focus to offering a customized and personalized experience to their users, based on locations. For instance, Google’s latest version of Android, Jelly Bean, offers a feature called Google Now that seeks to anticipate the kind of relevant information the user might need at any given point, depending upon the situation and the location. From the user’s search history, Google Now will deduce that the user is fan of a particular team and will pop a reminder in case that team has a game lined up at a location around.
In case the user has an appointment, Google Now will offer to tell them the approximate amount of time it will take to reach the place if they are travelling by bus, driving or walking to the location. It will also offer updates on the train schedule if the user is present at any particular platform, automatically offering the right information at the right time. Google has also introduced a new Maps feature which offers a 3D view of the streets the user is navigating through.
Similarly, Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 will offer comprehensive location-based services in throughNokia Lumia smartphones, providing developed mapping facilities, 3D street mapping and navigation apps that detect traffic jams and go on to suggest an alternate route. This feature is also found on Android 4.1. Apple too, in iOS 6, has introduced its own Maps application, replacing Google Maps on all iPhones.
Though smartphones initially blew users over with the amount of information they provided, offering access to emails and applications, the constant need to move in and out of applications began to annoy users. To rectify this, Google’s Jelly Bean comes with an active notification bar that enables users to respond to updates in the notification area without actually having to open the app involved. In case a user misses a call, they can call the person back by pressing on the notification itself. Similarly, if a notification of a meeting pops up on the calendar the user can respond to related messages with a single touch.