Apps Accessing phone GPS coordinates


Hey all,

I've tried searching around the web on this topic a bit and can't find any definitive answers.

I am looking at building an app which utilises the users location, and most websites I find refer to using geolocation APIs (specifically, Google's:

The pricing for the API seems quite steep, if you have a use case which sees high frequency of use per user. If only 10,000 people make 200 location requests per day, that's $240,000 per month (on the $4 model, which would be lower due to the volumes).

If you wanted an app that provided reasonable accuracy as someone travelled around (such as route tracking for getting across a city), isn't that a huge number of requests to the API? I know there's things to be done to rate limit the number of requests, but still, it seems like you could be left with a huge bill.

I'm sure I'm missing something here, so would be grateful for any information with regard to how best to integrate high volume, regular, location checks without bankrupting yourself!

My understanding is that the phone itself communicates with the GPS satellites and therefore stores the coordinates in the phone. Is that correct? Is it necessary to use a location API if I just want to use the GPS coordinates? I don't need Google maps, or any other service. I literally just want the longtitude and latitude of the phone at any given moment.


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