[Free][App][2.2+] Backitude: an essential client app for all Google Latitude users

Discussion in 'App Announcements' started by backitude, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. backitude
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    backitude New Member

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    Greetings fellow developers and/or Android enthusiasts,

    Check out the Full version, ad-free available for free in the Android Market/Google Play store by searching: Backitude for Google Latitude

    Backitude provides a bundle of extended features and functionality for updating Google Latitude locations from your Android device. If you are a Google Latitude user or once had interest in the concept of Google Latitude, then Backitude is an essential addon. Background gps location updating at your own specified time interval is now within your realm. Backitude expands your updating options, accuracy, and even allows you and your friends to force updates on eachother when needed, all seamlessly behind the scenes.

    View attachment 49171

    I created this app about year ago to address two issues: I wanted to fix the short-comings of Google Latitude and make it a plausible application for users to enjoy and utilize effectively and efficiently. Also, I wanted to provide the Android Market (or Google Play Store now) with such a benefit free of charge. At the time, no such free application existed. Now there are plenty of options out there, with variety and different focal areas, and I couldn't be happier to see the world with accurate Google Latitude locations without an overbearing strain on batteries.

    Google Latitude is somewhat inadequate on its own, but this is of no fault of the Google developers. They designed the application with battery efficiency as a number 1 priority. The conserve battery, Latitude on its own does not update locations in the background using GPS for accurate reporting. Instead it relies on Wi-Fi and cell tower triangulation to determine your location. Since many users refrain from enabling Wi-Fi when not stationary in their own network, or since Wi-Fi cannot be obtained while travelling, the resulting location updates are large, inaccurate "blue circles" on the map. Cycling through your Latitude friends, I mostly would see large, city-wide, inaccurate location readings- like I said, therefore truly defeating the purpose of Latitude. Latitude also fails to give the user any configurable options to location reporting. Backitude, to the rescue.

    Backitude was designed to address all of this and put the power back into the hands of the user. You have complete control what, when, and how to update. Power can be a dangerous thing however. Google chose not to give the user a chance to configure their settings and risk draining batteries and having Android or Google products labelled as "battery drainers." Backitude is for the intelligent user, to know how to manage their battery, know their priorities, and know the effect of such functions. GPS polling is a very battery-intensive maneuver!

    The final issue and gap Backitude inspired to bridge is updating a friend's location. It is great to have control over your location updates and allowing your friends to see exactly where you are, but what if they haven't updated recently or exactly when you needed to know their location? Backitude has an answer for that. "Fire an Update on a Friend" is the newest feature which utilizes SMS messaging to receive requests from other Backitude users. If your friend is also using Backitude and has this option enabled, you can send a request to their device which will in turn trigger an update at that very moment.

    Additionally, there are many, many more features that all serve to give the user complete control of Latitude updates and battery consumption (in the context of Latitude updating). Thank you for checking it out!
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    backitude New Member

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    Backitude version 3.2 has been released!!

    Look for an update now! Version 3.2 has been released and includes bug fixes, expanded options, and more compatibility.
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    backitude New Member

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    Version 3.3 is released!!!

    Greetings,

    This is just an informal announcement that Backitude 3.3 has just been made "live" in Google Play. Be expecting an update soon from Backitude which will include the OFF-LINE LOCATION STORAGE & SYNC functionality many had previously showed interest in. It took a good deal of work but I am excited to get it out there and bring the application to a whole new level.

    Other new features include the ability to configure the degree of accuracy required for GPS/Wi-Fi while polling for new locations. Specify a larger degree of accuracy and polling time will be reduced. Require a more accurate reading, and polling will continue longer until that value is acquired or the timeout passes.

    Offline synchronization also includes some options as when to perform the sync. (Manual process only, once Wi-Fi is available, or once any network signal is available)

    Enjoy!
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    backitude New Member

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    There was an issue affecting the Sync, (some older operating systems were getting overrun with too many requests building up in the queue, of which Android only allows so many) although it only affected a small number of users- the bug has been resolved.

    Version 3.6 is available and fully functional for all 2.2+ android devices. Cheers!
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    backitude New Member

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    Greetings,

    Version 3.9 has now been released to the public and is available to download.

    Changes include:
    *A user had requested a means for which to share his location with someone when a data connection is not available to update Google Latitude. The solution for this case is to send an SMS with the coordinates of the last polled location. A new "Share Your Location" feature not only pre-populates a Google Maps link with the coordinates of your last location, it can also be used to pre-populate any other social serving media including Email, Facebook..etc

    *A user requested control over Backitude's follow-up action if it failed to successfully poll an accurate location that did not exceed the minimum accuracy requirements as configured in the other settings. A fallback option set, now allows the user to specify what the application should do. The default value is the application's previous automatic behavior. If the application polls for a location, and it does not meet the value does not meet the minimum required accuracy, Backitude can:
    1) use the most accurate value it acquired during the polling. If no new value was acquired whatsoever due to GPS blockage, it can repeat the previous location update.
    2) use the most accurate value it acquired during the polling. If no new value was acquired whatsoever due to GPS blockage, it does not send an update to Latitude.
    3) Automatically repeat the previous location value
    4) Do not update at all if the accuracy requirements can not be achieved.

    *A bug was introduced with Verizon build for ICS where the "Force Update on a Friend" SMS was not pre-populating with the keywords necessary. I found a method that successfully pre-populates the text message, however I just hope it does not break for any other OS builds.

    *Any other bug fixes along the way.

    Check it out, thanks
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2012
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    backitude New Member

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    The newest version of Backitude has been released to Google Play Store. Update Now!!

    The Good:

    Version 4.0
    -New mode, (aka profile aka configuration scheme) for when device is connected to a Wi-Fi network.
    -New option to send location updates to Google over Wi-Fi only (if desired)
    -New option to configure the "steal buffer" or amount of time in between steals
    -Configurable Push Update Widget - widget to one-click launch an SMS message for forcing an update on a friend. Configure the widget to assign a contact number directly linked to a specific widget, so the SMS message will be pre-addressed.
    -Configurable Latitude launcher Widget - widget to launch Latitude friends list or optionally, link to a contact email to launch Maps application with Latitude layer enabled, preset to focus on assigned Latitude friend.
    -Force Update secret suffix- attach a secret string requirement to the conclusion of your push update messages (incoming)
    -bug fixes

    The Bad:
    As all users have experienced the last week, there has been an update quota shortage. Rather than increasing Backitude's quota, Google would like to see Backitude eliminate some repeated updates. Some of the above described new features will help combat this issue (wifi connected mode, configurable steals buffer..etc). Also, I decided to do away with some of the shorter period values for Re-Sync Rate.

    Re-Sync Rate repeats the last polled location and re-sends it to Google. It is most beneficial for users as a "minimum change is distance" override. If you are filtering updates based on a "minimum change in distance" but would like to see updates at LEAST occur every x minutes- you can use Re-Sync.

    Re-Sync was originally intended to prevent Latitude from over-writing the Backitude value with its own, inaccurate value. This can be completely avoided by changing the Google Maps applications "Location reporting" option to manual. In Latitude settings, location reporting, change the value to "set my location" and choose an arbitrary location. Once completed, Backitude can be used to complete all location updates.

    Anyways, I hope this is well received. It may have some bugs, as a lot of new features went into this release.
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