Apr 26 AT 3:58 PM Matt Demers 9 Comments

Motorola to integrate Skyhook location services for new Android phones

In a move that at first seems a little mind-boggling, Motorola has dropped Google location integration for their future phones, instead going with Boston-based Skyhook. Google doesn’t exactly need people jumping ship, but this is purely an internal change; Skyhook will be providing the phone with the data it uses to keep itself location-aware, not replacing Google Maps or its functionality.

It is interesting to note that Skyhook has developed a Wi-Fi Positioning System (WPS), which finds your location via the MAC addresses of nearby wireless signals. Through this usage, it reduces the dependency of satellites to provide the user’s location. Gowalla has already taken advantage of it and so have countless other Android apps.

This integration will be available for all developers to use in the future, and looks to roll out for use “later this year” amongst “much of the company’s portfolio of Android devices”. Whether this means current users will be using the old framework or will receive an update remains to be seen.

Skyhook Wireless Announces First Platform Integration Of Location System On Motorola Android-Based Devices
Skyhook provides Motorola’s Android-based devices with enhanced location performance worldwide

BOSTON, MA — April 27, 2010 – Skyhook Wireless, the worldwide leader in location positioning, context and intelligence, today announced that Motorola, Inc. will deploy its Core Location across much of the company’s portfolio of Android-based mobile devices. Skyhook-enabled Motorola smartphones, which will begin shipping later this year, will have the ability to better support a new wave of location-aware applications by leveraging Skyhook’s precise, reliable, and fast-performing location engine.

Location is at the center of an extraordinary explosion of mobile innovation, and is fundamental to many emerging mobile services. Today there are thousands of mobile applications that incorporate location as a part of their user experience. Precise location enables consumers to check-in with friends, find nearby concerts and exhibits, or get directions to the destinations of their choice. For some experiences, such as turn-by-turn navigation or local search, location is the central feature, but increasingly, new types of applications in music, sports, and entertainment are incorporating location to personalize content delivery.

“Motorola is committed to providing rich location services for our customers and developer partners,” said Christy Wyatt, corporate vice president of software and services product management for Motorola Mobile Devices. “Precise location is central to the mobile experience, and Skyhook’s Core Location will enhance Motorola’s Android-based mobile devices with its innovative location technology.”

Skyhook is the recognized leader in mobile location technology and produces over three hundred million location requests every day over tens of millions of mobile devices. The ground-breaking Core Location uses a combination of Wi-Fi, cellular and GPS readings in order to produce a single, accurate location quickly and in all environments.

“Motorola is creating ground-breaking and innovative mobile devices,” said Ted Morgan, CEO, Skyhook Wireless. “Skyhook is excited to further enhance the location accuracy and availability of these devices.”

About Skyhook Wireless

Skyhook is the worldwide leader in location positioning, context and intelligence. In 2003, Skyhook pioneered the development of the Wi-Fi Positioning System to provide precise and reliable location results in urban areas. Today, Skyhook’s Core Location provides positioning to tens of millions of consumer mobile devices and applications. For more information visit www.skyhookwireless.com.

Source: Engadget

Matt is a Toronto blogger who enjoys writing opinion columns about culture, comics and of course, Android. You can find more of Matt's work on his personal site.

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