Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Skyhook Says It Can Help Apps With Persistent Location-Sharing Sans Battery Drain

Skyhook today is updating its Android developer tools to enable persistent location monitoring with less battery drain.

Why this is interesting is because many people’s expectations for location sharing on mobile apps have leapfrogged what our phones can reasonably handle, especially in a congested or weak-signalled area. The weak link is often battery life.

Always-on location apps like Highlight and Glancee (now owned by Facebook) were plagued by this issue at this year’s SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas.

Skyhook CEO Ted Morgan said his company has worked up a number of tricks to save battery life. For instance, when a user arrives in a new location and logs in, Skyhook will download a five-mile-radius’s worth of access points to store on the device, so it doesn’t have to check back online each time to find the user.

The new persistent location tools also work in the sky, so users will be able to share their locations on planes by tying into real-time flight-tracking information.

Altogether, Skyhook says its persistent location optimization should allow apps to check user location every 30 seconds, with little battery impact.

Alohar Mobile has also said that it’s developing location tools for developers, with novel ways to constrain battery drain.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work