Location-based apps

The rise of the smartphone and mobile GPS technology is shaking up a whole host of industries

1. Social discovery
2. Curation
3. Social commerce
4. Gamification
5. Crowdsourcing and categorisation
6. Freemium and subscription models
7. Niche social networks
8. Location-based apps
9. APIs
10. Customisation

It goes without saying that mobile apps will continue to be a huge area of opportunity. Earlier this year, Apple announced that more than a billion mobile apps had been downloaded for the iPad and iPhone through its App Store, and technology research company Gartner expects sales of tablet devices to slowly eat into PC sales over the next four years, reaching 294 million annual sales (up from 15 million in 2010).

One of the key features of mobile apps in 2012 is the use of GPS technology. This is disrupting and transforming all sorts of different sectors, but none more so than the taxi and minicab industry.

Several new start-ups have emerged in the past 12 months, such as Kabbee, a price comparison and booking service for minicabs in Greater London and Safer Minicabs, which allows customers to book minicabs, compare quotes and tracks the customer’s location throughout.

However, there are plenty of other sectors that can and will be shaken up by location-based apps. Our latest Just Started, Workaround.me, is a good example of this in action in the recruitment industry. The iPhone app helps users to find short-term and freelance jobs in their local area.

Location-based apps and services are also fuelling the social discovery trend, enabling people to find new things to do or people to meet nearby.

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