Verizon Debuts 20 Location, Messaging And Network-Based APIs For Developers

Today at the Verizon Developer Community (VDC) Conference in Las Vegas, America’s largest operator announced 20 new APIs that are now available to developers.  In an effort to “open its network to developers,” Verizon has made available new APIs for messaging, network and — most importantly — location.

Through its network APIs, the carrier hopes to foster development of new, innovative applications by giving third-party developers access to the Verizon Wireless network.  It’s messaging APIs will allow developers to create applications and services that send, receive and request receipt of text and multimedia messages for Verizon customers,  as well as allow developers to offer features such as “link-to-buy” for products or to allow users to get discounts or more information about a product or service.

Most interesting is the introduction of its location APIs.  Before excitement ensues, however, there’s several limitations to what developers can do.  The new APIs will allow developers to request and incorporate location information in applications and services on “MOST” Verizon Wireless smartphones.  There are two versions of location APIs: coarse location, which has an average range of one to two miles and works with all Verizon Wireless phones; and refined, which offers more granular location information and works on a select number of Verizon Wireless phones.

Verizon of course requires the user to opt-in and consent to provide location information to the requestor per industry best practices and Mobile Marketing Association guidelines, but it’s still interesting that a carrier is finally loosening the ropes to location data.  While it’s not the “holy grail” of location data that many app developers and marketers have been clamoring for, it’s still an interesting development.