PlaceTrack: a first background Google Latitude updater for iPhone

Jan 2014 UPDATE: the new PlaceTrack 3.x is now available!!! Initially created as a background Google Latitude updater, PlaceTrack now uses its own backend infrastructure and continues to work well with even more sharing features. Your location data can now include location history, speed, altitude, whether you’re walking, running, moving in a vehicle or resting (using the new M7 coprocessor on supported devices). PlaceTrack can also optionally share live location data through secret web urls: you can authorize anyone with web access to see where you are or where you have been. DOWNLOAD NOW!

Sat Sep  11 18:06 CET UPDATE: PlaceTrack finally approved for the App Store ($1.99) !!!

Sat Aug  7 00:05 CET UPDATE: PlaceTrack is now available on Cydia ($1.99)

(discussion and support page about this app)

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PlaceTrack is the long-awaited background Google Latitude updater for iPhone (soon available on the App Store!)

After weeks of testing with the new iOS4 background features, yesterday night I finally submitted this application to the App Store: if all goes well, I should have it approved by Apple in a couple of weeks, just in time for the iOS4 GM release to the general public on June 21st.

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FEATURES

  • keeps Google Latitude up-to-date with your exact location: install the app, authenticate, enable background, quit and forget about it!
  • check out where your contacts are (thumbnails are shown on map or list view) once you confirm each other as friends
  • optional location history and KML export: you may export past locations by email as a KML file and see them on a Google Map or using Google Earth
  • Facebook support: update your Facebook wall with location data, a map and an optional text
  • battery friendly background mode: the application suspends on exit and is woken up only when you move significantly (detected using cell towers signal); most of the time it just sleeps and the GPS hardware is powered off to preserve battery
  • automatic relaunch: if the application gets killed for whatever reason (eg, after a power cycle) and background mode was enabled, the application is automatically relaunched in the background on the first location change event
  • location by email: send your current postal mail address along with gps coordinates and a small street map and a “directions” link. If your receipient uses an iPhone, the “directions” link launches the Maps application (on desktops it opens the Google maps website with your current coordinates)
  • fake location support: you can disable GPS usage completely and input a fake place name to be used as your location. When you enter a fake location, background mode is temporarily disabled
  • uses the new OS4.0 multitasking features on supported phone models (3GS and up)
  • security: your Google credentials are securely transmitted from your iPhone directly to Google and never sent to our or any third party servers
  • a settings page lets you tune most configurable parameters (gps accuracy, timeouts, local notifications, etc.)
  • your current location (address and gps coordinates) with altitude and speed (if available) are always displayed on the application main screen and included in Facebook status updates
  • the application may send local notification on particular events (location changes, network failures, authentication errors): you can set a notification threshold for the error severity level or turn off notifications completely
  • find your iPhone easily: keep the background mode enabled and locate your iPhone through Latitude in case it gets lost or stolen! The application still runs after a phone reboot or power cycle, and updates your iPhone location

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