LBS advocates have long dreamt of Location as an inherent ingredient in all things mobile - an always on feature to enrich communications, content, and community applications. Indeed, years ago Location was thought of as the only contextual capability that differentiated wireless services and applications from tethered Web applications devoid of location-smarts. Over the course of the last several years however, mobile has lost that differentiation and the Web has innovated into the future with alternatives like IP address mapping and wifi positioning. Today, Location is everywhere. That's a lame colloquialism I know, but it's true. Today we have GPS smarts, wifi positioning smarts, and fixed-line network Location-smarts for our phones, desktops, notebooks, netbooks, camera's, camcorders, wristwatches, etc. But despite all this ubiquity, my dreams of yesteryear still aren't realized. As users, we still have to think about activating location, turning it on, launching an app, giving permission to applications to use it, conscientiously publishing it, and so on. It's still not a transparent, inherent ingredient enriching digital life and work.
That said, today we got a little closer to always-on, always-available bliss with Sprint's release of NextMail Locator. Simple enough, the native push-to-talk capability inserts XY coordinates in the headers of all instant voice messages, allowing dispatchers to communicate with fieldworkers in context - always and within the device and network framework. You know, kinda like caller ID! Good one on Sprint. This is the way we need to see mobile apps use the power of Location.