Google recently launched a beta API for Places for iOS, one which should allow future apps with location sharing to use actual place names instead of latitude and longitude. The application programming interface connects with Google’s database that covers over 100 million locations such as restaurants and hotels. Developers will have access to a range of features that they can implement for users including a place picker, the ability to use real-time locations and detailed information about a place such as address, phone number and website.

Furthermore, when a user begins to type out a term in the search bar, the app will help autocomplete the name that they are looking for. Developers will also be able to add new places and have them appear in Google’s database or otherwise improve mapping by reporting the presence of a device at a given location.

The developers who are interested in using the API need to sign up to participate in the beta. This requires not just having a Google account but an app with a bundle identifier. Google has had a Places API web service and JavaScript library for quite some time but until this past week there wasn’t much about mobile support. Although the iOS API seems to be in beta, Android developers now seem to have access to a completed one including documentation and code samples. It’s likely a matter of time before the iOS API catches up to speed.

Source: Google (Developer) via AppleInsider