Monday, May 11, 2009

iPhone 3.0 Location Daemon

Just yesterday I wrote about a location service for the iPhone, but according to some new screenshots, the tricks required to have someone clicking on the app to update your iPhone's location can soon become obsolete.
The new iPhone will almost certainly have an electronic compass.

For those wondering why you'd need an electronic compass when you already have GPS, I simply ask you - when you're standing at a crossroad and plan a new route, can you be sure which way to start walking?
The GPS can only estimate your direction once you're actually moving, until then... it can't tell you where to face.
Besides, having an electronic compass to assiste its accelerometers will enhance its precision when navigation without a GPS signal (while travelling underground, in tunnels, etc.)
Not to mention a much cooler streetview experience (as shown in the following video, showcasing the compass in Android)

However, the most important thing for me was seeing a "General Location" screen with a Location Daemon service.
Does this mean will have a background service updating our location constantly without requiring a running app to do it? It sure look so - and it would make perfect sense.
As you all know, not being able to run a App in the background is a major problem - especially when you consider such geolocation services that would require you to do so.
Manually updating your location whenever you'd remember to do so, isn't acceptable anymore, and I'm glad to see Apple doing something about it.

Let's hope this new Location daemon won't affect your battery life much, though... as it's a delicate balance, offering such a range of features while keeping a decent battery life.

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