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iPirate
13th July 2008, 02:07 AM
I had an idea for a GPS Note/Alarm-type App that I'm wondering if it has been made already or not.

The idea is that you can set a location for an alarm/reminder to go off, such as when you reach your workplace, it reminds you to unjam the copier, when you get to the shop it reminds you to get more beer, etc, whatever reminder you want, just Geo-Triggerable. Heck, it could wake you up when you reach your station on the CityRail Service (seeing as you mightn't know when you will get there, but your iPhone will).

I figured that since this App does not appear to exist already, I hereby release the above idea under the GPL v3 (which according to this link (http://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-faq.html#GPLOtherThanSoftware) is possible so long as I provide the source of the concept) so that firstly I'd get credit for the idea, and secondly it would be a free app for all (because I feel I would find it very useful, and so might many other people).

Anyway, good night my fellow MacTalkers. I hope this idea was as original as it felt four hours ago...

PS: This idea would work well when listening to the Podcast. Three times I have missed my stop because I was listening to it. To have some beeps or something alerting me a km or so before my station would help me get off in time.

leigh22
13th July 2008, 02:32 AM
i think that would be a fantastic application, so many different possibilities, but you would have to get it right or people would be getting off trains too early etc.

you could also download like a bundle of different sites and use them for tourist trails and that kind of thing (theres a name for it them i know)

this could also work for directions

dotnet
13th July 2008, 03:02 AM
Yes, lots of possibilities, the mind boggles.

"You're about to leave the confinement zone. Move another 5 meters in this direction and you'll be zapped."

However, I don't think it's compatible with Apple's notification architecture for the iPhone. It seems like asynchronous triggers can only come from the cloud, and you can't run apps (like a simple GPS tracker) in the background.

Cheers
Steffen.

zacbookpro
15th July 2008, 11:50 AM
I like it.

scritch
15th July 2008, 11:59 AM
Sounds cool but I'm not sure if it would work as it would have to run in the background, which official apps can't do :(

Regards,
Shane.

zacbookpro
15th July 2008, 12:54 PM
that rule applies for the first round, I wouldn't be surprised if different ways around that are found.

I heard rumor of 3rd party push applications such as IM to let you know via SMS when new messages are received in a closed application ETA september.

jamesatfish
15th July 2008, 01:10 PM
I heard rumor of 3rd party push applications such as IM to let you know via SMS when new messages are received in a closed application ETA september.

Apple have announced there will be a push-notification server for SDK apps that allows applications to display (not act upon) events generated by an external service.

For an IM app it would work something like:

1. The IM server detects someone trying to send you an IM when you are offline
2. The IM server sends a request to an Apple server containing a new message notification
3. The Apple server sends the request to your iPhone
4. The iPhone acts on the message by either:
* Displaying an alert on the screen
* Putting a flag above the IM application icon on your springboard
* Playing a sound / vibrating

Until you open the IM application manually the application itself cannot respond to the request that has come in.

An application like this GPS Notifying app sounds like a really good idea, but unless Apple lift the restriction on background applications I can't see how it could work as an official App Store application.

zacbookpro
15th July 2008, 01:12 PM
thanks for clearing that up james

Maybe I missed up, but can't the GPS display an alert, and when you open it display that you are nearing your destination etc. ?

scritch
15th July 2008, 01:16 PM
thanks for clearing that up james

Maybe I missed up, but can't the GPS display an alert, and when you open it display that you are nearing your destination etc. ?

Yeah - but without the GPS running on the iPhone, how would it know you were near your destination?

I think Apple need to put some form of background services scheduler on the iPhone so apps like this can get in a queue to do a background check (so they don't chew up all the bandwidth/cpu/battery at once).

This GPS Alarm app could then schedule itself to load location services every 5 minutes and update in the background. The Apple scheduler service would do the heavy lifting so you still get the benefit of not having multiple apps open in the background using resources.

The built in Mail app can check for mail at set intervals without being the foreground app, so obviously some kind of scheduler exists.

Regards,
Shane.

Exocet
15th July 2008, 01:30 PM
Sounds like a great idea! I hope you can find a way to make it work.

chrism238
15th July 2008, 01:37 PM
The built in Mail app can check for mail at set intervals without being the foreground app, so obviously some kind of scheduler exists.There's really no need for any special scheduler - the iPhone is a Unix-based device. For example, an application could disassociate itself (or a child process) from the screen, and periodically just read the current WiFi signal strength or GPS information, logging these to a 'disk' file. Another interactive process could, later, find the process, kill it, and make use of the logged information. Yes, it would consume a small amount of battery, but if the logging cycle to long enough, or the activity quick enough, then that's a price I'm willing to pay.

Thinking 'backwards', perhaps what is missing is a facility for *any* applications to forward messages to a display service, to draw icons, flags, badges, etc, drawing on a transparent layer above all other applications.

Brennan
16th July 2008, 05:05 PM
Mate,

you make it, I'll buy it.

- - e r i k - -
16th July 2008, 06:46 PM
Isn't this what OmniFocus sort of does already?

zmit
18th July 2008, 10:10 PM
looks like it.... but has it actually linked in with the GPS yet?

vandozza
18th July 2008, 11:10 PM
yes omnifocus for iphone already does something quite similar.
it's a location aware GTD/todo app.

might be worth a look before you sit down to learn cocoa :P :)

lavo
18th July 2008, 11:36 PM
I hope you have someway of making the battery last for one day then, as a constant GPS signal in the iPhone will suck the life out of the battery. A better option might be to use the agps system to poll the mobile towers. When a tower within an approximate area is discovered, then the alarm goes off.