Today in Mobile

Nokia, Samsung and 20 other companies have formed the In-Location Alliance, a consortium aimed at increasing the adoption of indoor positioning and location-based services. The group issued a press release saying it hopes to develop “solutions offering high accuracy, low power consumption, mobility, implementability and usability,” and it expects indoor-location consumer apps begin to come to market next year. Indoor location is a promising concept, to be sure, but there are still two major hurdles here: Indoor mapping still has a long way to go, and GPS isn’t accurate enough to be very valuable indoors. (That’s especially true vertically, which is crucial for people in multi-story buildings.) GPS will get better as new satellites launch in coming years, so the new initiative is a great step in the right direction, but don’t expect to see a lot of movement here for a while.

Skyhook offers devs battery-friendly persistent location

Location data provider Skyhook has an update to its mobile SDK for Android that will provide persistant background location tracking with no or negligible impact on battery life. That could be a big help for location-based apps that have suffered because of battery constraints.

Mapfia: Location sharing between two people via phone call

Need to share your location for a limited amount of time and with just a single person? Mapfia is an easy method on iOS and Android. You simply call someone and Mapfia shares the location of both people for the length of the call.

Going loco: Everplaces and Circleme hit public beta

Is there any way to stand out among the glut of social, local, mobile services? Everplaces and Circleme, two new European startups just coming out of private beta, certainly hope so — and both are attempting to put their own twist on the combination of people and places.

Do you need to break out of the office in 2012?

Remote collaboration tools and connectivity promise to unleash us from the office, but despite these advantages most of us still spend the majority of our days in drab spaces. Perhaps the New Year is the perfect opportunity for knowledge workers to reconsider where they work.

Today in Mobile

With the holiday shopping season just hours away, I’ll use this space today to direct your attention to a completely misguided effort to leverage mobile location. Starting this Friday, two U.S. malls will track users’ location to see how they move throughout the shopping centers and how much time they spend in specific stores. And while the data collected is anonymous, the only way users can opt out is by turning off their cellphones. Privacy is still a very sensitive subject when it comes to location, but demanding that consumers make a choice between being tracked (without receiving anything of value in exchange) and using their phones at all is short-sighted and offensive. I’m guessing this effort will fail as savvy consumers find somewhere else to shop.

HipGeo wants to add location tracking everywhere

HipGeo is an iPhone app that passively tracks your location and can easily turn your trips into travel diaries. On Thursday, the company will release its first public API and location widgets so that any application or website can mimic some of HipGeo’s geo-location features.