How to locate stores near you with your mobile

Geolocation, or the ability of mobile devices to obtain the real geographic location of a user, has multiple uses. Among others, it helps to reach the destination of a trip without setbacks using a GPS app in the car or to locate oneself in an unknown city, thanks to Google Maps. It also allows finding all kinds of stores and establishments located in the user’s surroundings, as long as the appropriate application is used, so it can be a very useful service in cases of special urgencies, such as when a cashier or a pharmacy is needed, or if you are looking for a store of a certain brand. This article points out the advantages of geolocation and which are the best apps to locate nearby stores with the help of mobile, in addition to explaining if this system poses a danger to privacy.

Advantages of geolocation

Geolocation has many applications in today’s technology, especially in the software used in mobile devices, which is where it makes real sense. Knowing the user’s location is essential for operating certain apps (such as maps or GPS) and interesting addition for others, which can better refine their recommendations based on where the user is.

Services such as Google Now can extract behavior patterns from the user’s movements and locations throughout the day and offer helpful information based on this data, such as the weather forecast or the last hour of the traffic conditions along the usual route.

Other apps base their operation on geolocation, as is the case with Foursquare or the “check-in” function of Facebook. Both allow you to share your current location with other users and discover interesting new places.

Apps to find nearby stores

When finding a store near a location, there are a number of alternatives, from the most general to the most specific. The following list reviews a few:

  • Google Maps. It is the most general option and, sometimes, the most efficient to locate a certain type of store in the surroundings. You have to launch the application on your mobile, wait a few seconds for the geolocation to locate the user’s situation, and write the name of the business you need to find in the search engine at the top of the screen. It works with store types in general and specific names and brands. Once located, you can ask Google Maps to draw a route to it. It’sIt’s free and available for iPhone and Android phones.
  • AroundMe. It has a similar operation to the previous one but with a different perspective. This app locates the user and then offers a list of all the establishments around them organized by categories: banks, gas stations, cafeterias, pharmacies, supermarkets, and cinemas… The premises can be consulted in text list format or placed on a map with the route marked. It’sIt’s free and available for iPhone and Android phones.
  • 11870. With this application, you can find the sites with the best scores and comments from their users in cities of the country. But in addition to bars, restaurants, and hotels, in the directory of this service, you can search for all kinds of establishments, both shopping and leisure-related, from clothing stores to bookstores. In addition, it is possible to save the favorite places in an agenda always to have them at hand. It’sIt’s free and available for iPhone and Android phones.
  • Official brand apps. Another good option is to use its official application if you are looking for an establishment of a certain commercial chain or a specific brand. The vast majority of them have one. In them, there is the function of “locating nearby stores,” using geolocation technology to locate the user. In addition, they are usually free applications.
  • Foursquare. Although it is a platform to discover bars and restaurants, Foursquare also allows you to locate many other establishments thanks to its Swarm app. In addition, it uses its user’s “check-ins” system as a game to encourage them to share new and interesting places they have discovered or to become “mayors” of the places they visit most often. It’sIt’s free and available for iPhone and Android phones.

Geolocation, a danger to privacy?

The problem with geolocation is that it implies a certain invasion of the user’suser’s privacy since it is revealing the location of the user to an application, and this data could be used in the future for advertising activities or marketing studies or, worse still, end up in the hands from other companies.

It is important to review in detail the terms of use and conditions of service of the apps that are used and that have geolocation technology to know how they manage the data collected.

Fortunately, in most applications of this type, geolocation is disabled when closed, which allows the user to control when and where these apps can detect their location. Being aware of this and using them only when necessary, it is possible to keep privacy safe from greater evils.