location services

Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google Eddystone open-source Bluetooth beacons revealed

Google has launched Eddystone, a new open-source Bluetooth LE beacon platform which plays nicely with iOS, Android, and other OSes. Aiming to power a new age of location-based services, as well as give those responsible for managing a flock of Bluetooth beacons the tools to make sure they're working properly, Eddystone arrives with two main features: telling mobile devices exactly where they are and what's nearby, and linking a physical location with online data.

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HERE’s why everyone wants Nokia’s maps business

HERE’s why everyone wants Nokia’s maps business

The war over knowing exactly where we are is going to be expensive. Interest in Nokia's HERE division from big German car makers, Uber, and others is tipped to have driven the potential purchase price to $3bn or even higher, as old automotive faces off against new tech darlings. Turns out, the value of accurate maps is about more than just knowing which junction to take to get to the Ikea parking lot.

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Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

Apple patent points to real-time location tracking

In the ‘Messages’ app on your iPhone, it’s possible to see where the people you’re chatting with are on a map, should they share their location. The feature was touted as a reason we should all have Family Sharing groups, as keeping track of each other is sometimes critical. Apple’s Find My Friends app is central for letting you know where all your contacts may be on a map, and a newly granted patent takes the location sharing much further, possibly allowing for location tracking.

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Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

Twitter partners with Foursquare for better location tagging

You have been able to include your location within tweets for quite some time, but that feature is about to get a lot more contextual, and quite a bit smarter. In a deal with Foursquare, which will see Twitter gain access to Foursquare’s impressive location knowledge base, your location tags will soon provide the name of businesses you’re at, or landmarks you’re near. Users will also get the ability to monitor the places they’ve been by tapping the link associated, which brings up tagged tweets from others.

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Shazam looks to access camera for more context

Shazam looks to access camera for more context

If you find yourself looking to Shazam for song recognition routinely,you already know how capable it is. The listening app is typically pretty adept at finding that song you can’t quite place, and even makes itself aware of what certain TV commercials are talking about. Instead of just listening, Shazam might also want to take a look at what is going on. Show Shazam what you’re looking at through your phone’s camera, and you might get a wealth of info.

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Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

Windows Phone getting its own find friends app with People Sense

There are a number of ways to track and locate friends and family on both iOS and Android devices, but what if you're a Windows Phone user? Well, it seems Microsoft is developing its own app for such features, so you may soon be in luck. Assuming you actually have a friend or family member that owns a Windows Phone. The app is called People Sense and is still in development, but a quick video preview shows that it functions much like Apple's Find My Friends for iOS.

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‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

‘Local Guides’ now baked into Google Maps, could be bad for Yelp

Do you know what a Google ‘Local Guide’ is? It’s the latest re-branding of Google’s community outreach program, once dubbed “City Experts”, which was previously led by teams of Googlers actually doing stuff in your city. The ‘Local Guides’ program was announced last month, but google is getting serious about their crowdsourced restaurant review program. The feature is now baked straight into the Maps app, and apparently resides in both iOS and Android versions of Google Maps. It also steps right on Yelp’s toes.

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Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Keep Android apps in check, save your battery life

Last time we shared how you can significantly prolong your iPhone 6's battery life without gimmicks or accessories. It all boils down to corralling your apps and keeping them under your control, never letting them do stuff without your consent, like access data or incessantly trying to grab your attention. You can do the same for your Android smartphone, with almost exactly the same steps, of course in different places. And we're going to show you how, plus some other steps you might have to take on Android.

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Super Bowl weekend gets ‘beaconized’ courtesy of Gimbal

Super Bowl weekend gets ‘beaconized’ courtesy of Gimbal

As the sporting world steadies its gaze on Phoenix this weekend, there’s more than just a Super Bowl going on. The event, once just a game to decide the champions of the NFL, has morphed into a festival. Much like the NFL has grown, so has their coup de grace. If you’re weaving your way through the festivities orbiting the Super Bowl this weekend, you might even find your phone is getting in on the action, helping you find great stuff to do.

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Facebook testing ‘Place Tips’ location-based service in New York

Facebook testing ‘Place Tips’ location-based service in New York

Context is important, and Facebook knows it. Scale is also important, but Facebook already has that one figured out with their billion-plus users. Combine the two, and you just might have a formula for success on several different levels. In New York, Facebook has placed beacons around the city in an attempt to better understand the locations of their users. Their reason? A new feature in the Facebook app, called 'Place Tips', will soon give you contextually based information based on your location.

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