With the advancements in GPS technology, especially related to mobile, location-based services have been getting a lot more traction. This, coupled with the fact that mobile apps are becoming the de-facto method of getting and receiving information via mobile devices, means location-based services (LBS) are here to stay.
There’s been several apps that utilize LBS to hit the iPhone App Store and Android’s marketplace, but none that match the power and potential as a new one dubbed “Sherpa.” Sherpa was set to debut with the upcoming T-Mobile MyTouch 3G on August 5th, but hit the Android Marketplace early.
Sherpa does a lot of the same things you could find in other similar LBS apps, but Sherpa takes things to another level. First off, the app is extremely well layed out and polished, and provides information based not only on location, but also personal interest and habits. The app recognizes the types of places you visit most often (restaurants for example) and displays them first. The more you use the app, the more it gets to know your personal interests and habits.
Once you’re at a location that Sherpa recognizes, it will then show you the “experience” of that location, meaning any and all information that’s stored in its database about that location. This could mean a menu and specials for a given restaurant, or the monthly advertising circular and coupons for a retail business. This is significant from a mobile marketing point of view because it provides the perfect pipeline to highly-targeted advertising.
I realize this sort of thing has been done before and it’s really no different, but Sherpa has made some strategic partnerships to make sure its information is as up-to-date and as broad as it can be. A lot of apps utilizing LBS are only available for certain “metro areas,” for example, or has a limited amount of businesses in its database, or only shows businesses that have signed up with the service.
Sherpa not only sports these partnerships, but is also the only LBS app available in the Android Marketplace that’s backed by T-Mobile and feaured in the AppPack. It will undoubtedly have one of the largest user-communities in the near future based solely on these facts, which makes it even more desirable from a marketing standpoint. Sherpa looks promising, but like all other LBS apps, we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out.