Once again retailers are at the forefront of Apple’s development of the apps market, with patents filed by the company showing how it is looking to tap into location based services with ‘temporary’ apps and cites their potential use by retailers and restaurants as prime examples of how they could be used.
The patents – outlined on the Patently Apple
blog – describe the deliver of temporary apps to users handsets that are then deleted as the user moves away from the relevant location. Examples given in the patent documents include temporary apps from local restaurants that can give seating waiting time and menu information. The document also explains how apps about a local area could be delivered within a national park.
The move is interesting because it would allow for many more local businesses to get on the apps train and deliver great app-based content to iPhone users without clogging up the iPhone. One possibility is that the user signs up to certain types of apps that are then dropped on to their phone as they approach participating retailers and are then removed once the phone moves out of that area.
It is also interesting to note that with these temporary apps, Apple is looking at combining local advertising with apps and m-web, rather than just developing a range of location based services.
The patent applications do, however, only mark the outline of what is possible technically and do not necessarily offer a view of what the final service may be or when it will happen – but it is an interesting new view of location based service and apps for retailers.