Over the past couple of years, push notifications have become a vital part of the mobile picture. There are so many apps, and so much that you can do on smartphones, that you need a system to alert you when something comes up that you’ll want to know about. But these notifications are still not a particularly easy thing for developers to wrap their heads around and implement. That’s why Urban Airship exists. And all of the same things can be said about location. Which is why SimpleGeo exists. So it seems to be a good match that the two of them are hooking up for a partnership.
As they’ll announce as OSCON (the open source developer conference) today, Urban Airship and SimpleGeo have signed a long-term strategic partnership agreement. Given the wide-range of services that both companies offer, this could ultimately mean many things. But the core idea is to provide developers with a simple way to offer location-aware push notifications in their applications.
What if you enter an area that happens to be near a deal that one of your apps is offering? Such a partnership could make it easy for that app to implement a way to send it to you when it matters most — when you’re there, for example. Or what if it’s a heatwave in your city and an app on your phone can recognize this and send you a message to head somewhere for a cool treat? Those kind of things will be possible.
“Location has long been the Holy Grail,” says Scott Kveton, CEO of Urban Airship. “On mobile, the potential is there for sure but thus far execution has been extremely poor. So we have taken our time to make sure we partner with the location experts to align with our vision of real-time, context-aware, personalized push notifications. This will make apps a lot more useful for everybody — marketers, consumers and developers alike,” he continues.
Rob Bailey, SimpleGeo’s VP of Biz Dev, cuts right to the heart of why this really matters for both companies though. “Geo-targeted notifications are a massive area for opportunity in revenue for SimpleGeo and Urban Airship.” Such functionality is a big value proposition for a lot of app makers. And many will undoubtedly be willing to pay for it. “We’re very excited to be going after this opportunity together,” Bailey continues. No doubt.
The two sides say the functionality provided by the parternship will be rolling out in phases. Phase one will start in Q3 and will see Simple Geo parse location out of Urban Airship’s notifications. This information can then be passed and used through the APIs. Down the road, things will go even deeper, the two sides suggest.
As long as Urban Airship keeps making signs like the one above, I’m all ears for anything they have to say.
[image via twitter/harryh]