RIM has just released a new tool for developers (announced back at BBDC) that allows them to incorporate location data in their apps without relying on a GPS unit. This is generally lower-power and faster than GPS, since it’s just pulling on cell tower data that’s already active rather than waiting on a satellite lock. It also has the added bonus of being able to work indoors, so even newer devices that have integrated GPS included have something to gain from Location Services. Of course, you’re only given your location within a certain radius of any given cell tower, so it’s only so accurate, but for some apps, that’s enough.
Cell tower positioning is of course nothing especially new – on BlackBerry in particular, My Location on Google Maps has been using cell tower positioning for for over two years, which was further improved using Wi-Fi positioning, but what developers do with the tool is what will be really interesting. The first to get attracted to BlackBerry Location Services will probably be check-in apps like Gowalla, Foursquare, Yelp, and the like. The third-party navigation apps may have an interest as well, though they’ll be pretty much steamrolled once Google ports Navigation from Android to BlackBerry.
Hit up BlackBerry’s Location Service page for more information.