New Verizon Wireless APIs promise expanded location services

LAS VEGAS--Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) trumpeted the release of new application programming interfaces spotlighting location and messaging solutions as the operator kicked off its second Verizon Developer Community conference. According to Verizon Wireless, the new location APIs will enable developer partners to request and incorporate geo-specific data in applications and services optimized for most Verizon Wireless smartphones--the carrier will make available a coarse location API with an average range of one to two miles, as well as a refined location API promising more granular location information. Verizon Wireless requires subscribers to opt-in and consent to provide data to the requestor for all location-based services running on its network. 

Verizon Wireless vice president of consumer product solutions Greg Haller said the company will release dozens of additional APIs in the near future, with an emphasis on device capabilities and presence. Haller added that Verizon recently added a wealth of new developer tools to its VDC portal, among them solutions targeting analytics, reporting, in-app advertising, push notifications and facial recognition. "We're adding to [the portal] every day," Haller said.

Verizon Wireless also unveiled NAVBuilder Inside, an exclusive software development kit enabling programmers to integrate interactive location, mapping and navigation services to cross-platform apps spanning Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile and Brew. NAVBuilder Inside features two parts: MapKit, which provides an interface for embedding maps (regular, satellite and hybrid), local search and directions directly into applications; and LocationKit, which enables location positioning for apps using standalone GPS, Cell ID or Wi-Fi.  LocationKit also enables Cell ID location positioning on non-WiFi capable devices like Brew-enabled feature phones.

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