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iPhone 4.0 – What’s in it for LBS?


Apple today announced some of the new features in the iPhone OS 4.0 to be available later this summer and a few of them have important features and new APIs for LBS developers and navigation applications.

Background Location

The first new feature/API is background location. This means that services don’t need to be running to take advantage of your location. So applications like LOOPT don’t need to be running in order to access and update your location. This can of course be turned off.


The second is more complete APIs for multi-tasking. The TomTom app was demoed showing how you can actually close the TomTom app and have voice prompts still available. That is pretty cool and will undoubtedly make for some interesting features from navigation companies.

Local Push

Finally, while Push notifications are not new, you can now receive “local” notifications through Push and Background Location. I imagine this will be popular among “calendar” or event type applications where you can get notified when certain things are happening nearby.


iAd is a new advertising platform built within the iPhone 4.0 OS. Application developers will now have more tools to sell advertising within their apps. This should also entice more developers to offer free applications. It is assumed these ads will also be able to be geo-targeted so that you see ads of local interest. These ads might also become slightly less intrusive as clicking on the ad doesn’t launch the browser, but stays within the app. 60% of revenues goes to the developer.

It looks like many of the new iPhone 4.0 features will have some big advantages for LBS developers.

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