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We first introduced the SDK last February and it has been continually updated and improved since then.
Product marketing manager for our enterprise business group, Denise Vlaicu, explains:
“What we discovered was that the most promising industry segments who wanted to work with the SDK were in transport and logistics or the utilities sector.”
So much of the development work has focused on deepening and enhancing the offering for these types of customers.
“We’re developing more focus on key industries,” says Denise.
In logistics, customers want to be able to create custom apps that allow drivers to get around their delivery destinations as efficiently as possible. They want to be able to precisely track vehicles, assets and cargo.
They want to know about average road speeds, traffic build-up, the quality of roads, and any hazards – such as low bridges or toll roads – that might jeopardise a journey or increase its cost.
Working with HERE, businesses can license the SDKs, use our location services to access maps, and the functionality and metadata that surrounds them, and gain access to reference apps to make building new ones easier. “They can build apps really quickly,” says Denise, “by putting together the building blocks we provide.”
New in the latest version of the SDK is access to information about the maximum loads that can be carried on each road. City limits – where tolls are payable – are also visible. Customers also have access to real-time and historical traffic data so they can plan routes in advance that avoid or take account of known trouble spots, and avoid areas where congestion is in evidence.
“A lot of these have previously only been available as web experiences,” Denise explains, “but now it’s possible to build them into native mobile apps for Android and iOS with offline capabilities.”
Offline access is as important for enterprise customers as it is for any other user. A wireless data connection is a pretty uncertain prospect when you’re roaring down a highway in the middle of nowhere, to give one example.
Also new in the latest updates is a custom location extension that offers the ability for businesses to add their own POIs and geometry to the map. This can be viewed on the map, of course, but also in an augmented reality ‘Live Sight’ view.
This can be important to logistics: drivers might be guided this way to specific docking bays at a warehouse, for example. Another key use case is utility companies and engineers, who want to be able to locate cables or pipes under the surface of the road. In fact, the uses can range from general mapping of pipelines, power plants, and transformer boxes to advanced facilities management and geographical information systems. If it’s mappable, you can put it into a HERE-powered app.
“The Mobile SDK has reached a point of maturity now. But the development pace is really exciting: there’s a lot more coming this year,” Denise concludes. You can find out more about the HERE Mobile SDK on the developer section of our site, here.