– the browser’s plugin which allows a web app to work offline and store data offline, has just been released with the new Geolocation API, allows location-enabled web sites to securely locate where a laptop user is, using WiFi.
The new Gears’ Geolocation API allows developers to develop web apps that can securely locate users to within 200m accuracy in major desktop browsers (Internet Explorer, FireFox, Safari, Opera (soon) and of course Google Chrome) in hundreds of cities around the world.
Since the Gear’s Geolocation API sends the location of a WiFi laptop user to a location-enabled web site, it’ll allow the website to return the useful information to the user. For example, a tourism website that can tell the nearby hotels or places of interest based on the user’s current location. Or a map-enabled social networking website which allows users to see where their friends are on a Google map etc.
When a user enters such a location-enabled website for the first time, he or she will be asked whether to reveal the computer’s or the device’s location to the website. Google says they protect your privacy as the API does NOT store the location nor it ties the location with any IP address or other identifying information.
The Gear’s Geolocation API was first intended for developers to develop apps on mobile phones that send location information to location-enabled services/websites. And now it’s been extended to laptop users.
In Chrome and Android, the Gears stays as built-in, which can deliver the user’s location information to a location-enabled website/service without requiring users to install a plug-in. But you need to install the plug-in in other browsers.