How to Choose a Location Identifier You Need: Wi-Fi, GPS & Beacons

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Posted: August 10, 2017

The booming mobile technology has paved way for location-based technologies, which was once a rare thought for app developers or business owners to embed in their applications. With the market becoming more customer-centric in the lastfew years, companies are asked to embed location identifiers in their apps for effectual targeting and enhanced user experience. No wonder,technologists have taken care of it phenomenally.

A GPS chip embedded in a mobile device served the purpose brilliantly, identifying the location through satellite. The problem is that it requires a continuous link to one or more satellites to work without interruption; however, in adverse weather conditions, connection breaks.

The mobile app developers want to have access to users’ location all the time regardless of climatic conditions or device presence (indoor or outdoor). This gave rise to Wi-Fi as an assistant to GPS technology in getting the precise location of the users. By detecting a Wi-Fi hotspot nearby, the position of the user can be calibrated even on cloudy days.

Another location-based technology that came into existence few years back but is yet to flourish is beacon technology, also known as GPS of indoor spaces. It identifies location more precisely than any other technology without getting off the track due to external snags. Despite its potential, businesses are yet to realize its value and integrate it in their applications.

Know the pros & cons of each technology and find the perfect fit according to your business needs.

GPS (Global Positioning System)

It is one of the most widely used technologies to detect locationbut comes with few limitations. As mentioned above, an obstruction in the line of satellite and device can ruin the efforts done in integrating it. However, it is a boon for outdoor businesses like cab services, the transportation sector, locals searching for destinations and logistics. Following is a list of advantages and disadvantages of GPS helping you to infer if it suits your requirements.


•    It has relatively wide range

•    Accessed across different business verticals and geographical boundaries

•    Helpful for outdoor service providers

•    Useful for individuals hunting for right directions

•    Unknown is nothing as it can maneuver to almost every location, provided the weather is clear

•    Gathers user permission before accessing location


•    Service is interrupted if weather is flickering or the device is indoors

•    Consumes a lot of battery


Wi-Fi wasn’t introduced to detect location yetbecame a global location identifier thereafter. Along with GPS, it enables app developers to map an enclosed space like a shopping mart or a salon or anywhereindoors. Developers feel that on an average, a user is surrounded by 5-10 Wi-Fi hotspots, which help them to get connected and tap the right set of audience at the right time.


•    No software or app is required

•    Easy to get started (onlyrequires authentication details)

•    Helpful for shopping malls, retail outlets and organizations

•    Quick sharing is possible via Wi-Fi


•    Interference causes major concern for developers

•    Context-aware messaging is not feasible


Beacons use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) to transmit signals to Bluetooth-enabled devices within a range. It leverages personalization capabilities to business houses that help them draw out more from their marketing efforts. The audience can be targetedin an effectual manner without eating awaytheir personal time and hampering their privacy. It has helped companies to tap on opportunities, which never existed. Here are some pros and cons of beacon technology helping you understand ifit suits your business model.


•    Reach out to the desired audience with personalized marketing campaigns

•    Superlative user experience

•    Effective targeting gets you more customers and sales, eventually

•    Context-aware messaging is easy


•    Calls for the availability of physical stores as they need to have beacons installed

•    A lot of constraints limit its prosperity

Final words

Nothing can be presumed as it all depends on the project requirements, feasibility factors and purpose. Getting associated with a prime app development agency can lessen your worries as the experts can assist you on what fits perfectly and what needs to be ignored. Sail the ship to success shores with a suitable and experienced app development partner because obstacles will keep coming and you will need expert guidance at every checkpoint.

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