Skyhook Helps Twittering Starbucks Seekers


skyhookSkyhook Wireless ( recently announced that two more applications on the Android Market are now using their GPS location service which should improve accuracy – the apps are Find Starbucks and Apot. It has been awhile since we spoke about Skyhook Wireless so in case you forgot, the company provides application developers with enhanced GPS location technology that they say improves the functionality of applications on Android Market. If  you’re indoors or in the middle of a city surrounded by tall buildings, location-based applications utilizing Skyhook Wireless will more often than not out-perform apps using Android’s base GPS functionality.

While Skyhook may claim its service is superior, I contacted the developer (Wenzhong  Tang) of Find Starbucks to learn why HE decided to partner with Skyhook Wireless and hear how the results have been. As I’m sure you can guess, Find Starbucks allows users to find the closest Starbucks! On why he made the switch from native Android GPS to Skyhook in the first place:

The main reason I choose Skyhook over the built in location provider is its speed and accuracy, especially in cities and indoors where GPS signals are not available or not reliable.  Skyhook WPS uses WIFI triangulation in metropolitan areas so it does not require large open sky exposure to accurately determine the phone user’s current location.

He uses his own application on a daily basis and is thus far happy with the results Skyhook achieved. While results in rural areas is on par with Android’s core GPS service, he noticed improvements in Seattle when inside and directly in the city, which is where Skyhook claims it has the edge. Wenzhong praised the sample application and Skyhook Google Group while saying their API reference JavaDoc leaves much to be desired.

Another application recently added to the list of Skyhook clients is Apot, an application that allows you to post your current location when tweeting on twitter.Tabeshi Khabata, developer of the Apot app, mirrored the sentiments of Wenzhong in a Press Release published last week:

“Location is a key feature of my Apot app, and requires exact positioning. This is especially true in Tokyo, where GPS often fails to perform. Skyhook provides better navigation even if you are underground or in a commercial complex,” said Takeshi Kabata, developer at adlib.

Underground? Dang… that would be mighty impressive. In addition to Starbucks and Apot, here are a few applications on Android Market that utilize Skyhook Wireless location services/API:

  • Mileage Registration
  • ShopSavvy
  • Locale
  • What’s That?
  • PinPoint Locations
  • SIM Checker
  • LifeAware
  • Glympse
  • TIE Your Money
  • Where is My Android
  • Where’s My Phone
  • PlaceLnk

Looks like some big names rely on the Skyhook to provide optimal locations. If you’re an Android user, have you noticed difficulties in accuracy of the GPS service? If you’re an Android Developer, have you thought of using Skyhook Wireless?

Rob Jackson
I'm an Android and Tech lover, but first and foremost I consider myself a creative thinker and entrepreneurial spirit with a passion for ideas of all sizes. I'm a sports lover who cheers for the Orange (College), Ravens (NFL), (Orioles), and Yankees (long story). I live in Baltimore and wear it on my sleeve, with an Under Armour logo. I also love traveling... where do you want to go?

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  1. what ever happened to posting barcode links to apps mentioned?

  2. Ditto the barcode links. They were great.

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