Wednesday, April 10, 2013

GPS Share App Background and Concept

This is the first post of many related to the development of our first app, GPS Share. The purpose of our app is that it will access the device’s GPS functionality in order to retrieve the user’s location. The first feature of the app will allow the user to instantly share their GPS coordinates with a friend via text message, facebook, twitter, or other people with the same app. This is useful because if people are trying to visit each other in the city or somewhere else, they can easily find each other by sending their GPS coordinates to each other and then putting that into their phone’s Apple Maps navigation software. This makes it easier to find each other because they don’t have to call or text message each other and have to describe what their current location’s scenery looks like or try to figure out what street they’re on. Eventually real-time tracking can be added to the app so that users can track each other in real time. Additional features of the app include an ability for parents to track their kids’ smartphones with the ability for a password lock so kids can’t just simply disable the app. This would require the app to be able to run in the background. Multi-tasking will need to be explored and researched in order to make this possible. Apparently multi-tasking on iOS is not as readily available as Android or Windows Phone due to limitations set by Apple which Google and Microsoft do not impose. Another planned feature of the app is an open real-time share feature. This feature will act as a local real-time social network. Users can choose to opt in to this feature and allow their gps location to be broadcast publicly. Other people with the same app and an account can see a map with other people in the area who are broadcasting publicly. This will allow people to meet other new people. The purpose of this can range from simply meeting new friends to dating. This open network feature can also be used to broadcast messages or pictures to people nearby. This can be useful because if someone is visiting a town or city and they’re looking for a good tourist attraction or restaurant, they can broadcast a message to local people asking for suggestions. Local residents with the app who see the broadcast can broadcast replies or pictures of what the visitors might be looking for. This app can be extended anytime to include even more features that take advantage of the phone’s GPS. If time permits, a quick Android or Windows Phone port can be made to allow for cross-platform compatibility and an increased user base. 

Preliminary UI Concept:

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