The Omni Group
These forums are now read-only. Please visit our new forums to participate in discussion. A new account will be required to post in the new forums. For more info on the switch, see this post. Thank you!

Go Back   The Omni Group Forums > OmniFocus > OmniFocus for iPhone
FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

 
iOS4 and Location based background support Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Hi gang,

I know this came up in the past, but now that iOS4 is out and supports some new functionality, I was hoping you may revisit the possibility of a "Location" based reminder system. Mainly, what I would like to see is that "Contexts", which are already location centric on the iPhone could be configured to trigger alerts.

if you enter an area, that is marked as a location attached to a context to get a simple Alert: You have Next Actions for this Location (Close/View buttons).

From a GTD perspective, this is a killer feature. Context is often based on location. One challenge is remember to open OmniFocus and pull up that context. It would be very impactful to have this happen for you.

Ok, I assume there are many technical challenges: big one being polling GPS info is costly to the battery?

Also, the context's probably need a bit more user controlled refining. I have 2 contexts that are about 25 Kilometers apart, but when I hit location button, they show up in the list together. They are seperated because of the distance. However, in true GTD parlance, I don't want to see what I don't need to see. So the ability to tweak the "range" or distance for display would be helpful.
 
Apps can't just run in the background and "do stuff." The background functionality of applications is limited to a specific case.

I guess if OmniFocus registered itself as a GPS application to do this it might be technically feasible, but it would really kill battery life.

It's likely better to be the least bit proactive: Before you go somewhere, check if you have tasks to do there.
 
Smack! Ok, points well taken. But do your homework young jedi.

The iOS4 API documentation states the following interesting points:

Point 1:

Applications can register for significant location changes only. (Recommended) The significant-change location service is available in iPhone OS 4 and later for devices with a cellular radio. It offers a low-power way to receive location data and is highly recommended. New location updates are provided only when the userís position changes significantly. If the application is suspended while running this service, new location updates will cause the application to be woken up in the background to handle them. Similarly, if the application is terminated while running this service, the system relaunches the application automatically when new location data becomes available.

Point 2:

The Location awareness Programming guide states
Under battery tips and tricks:
Use the significant-change location service instead of the standard location service whenever possible. The significant-change location service provides significant power savings while still allowing you to leave location services running. This is highly recommended for applications that need to track changes in the userís location but do not need the higher precision offered by the standard location services.


I think the better approach is: Is this a possible important feature? It truly would be a distinguishing feature compared to other apps that do simple task management. This would take task management to the context level many crave.

iOS4 API's basically open some new potentials. I am not saying it can work or is realistic, but its worth investigating. For example, what if it was discovered using this approach only added a 5% to 10% battery drain to your usage in a given day. I think many users would choose to turn it on. And frankly, wouldn't that be a sexy selling video on the Omni web site? A young mother driving her car, goes to pick up here kids at school and OmniFocus pops up and says you have 2 next actions at this location. Do you want to see them? Sweet!

If after experimentation it was discovered it was more like a 30% drop, well then that is a different story.

But "assuming it wont work" because it wouldnt on OS3 or lower, well thats just not very inventive.

Concerning your grandfatherly advise: "It's likely better to be the least bit proactive: Before you go somewhere, check if you have tasks to do there."

Its true. This is all about habits. And arguably context is a very difficult one for most GTDers. They agree with it in principle and use it, but often forget to check when they need it.

Technology needs to grow beyond being a simple list manager that is portable. It really should be proactive in helping us to live by the process we have chosen to embrace.

And one more thing, sorry about he sarcastic tone. I just want to fight for my feature suggestion and not have it dismissed because you have a theory.

Actually, i posted this message for the Omni Cat's. Anyone around?
 
Master Kuniki

That's a truly brilliant feature request!

I have 'sold' OmniFocus to other iPhone owners just by showing them the 'Nearby' feature. If it could run in the background and send local location-based alerts that would really make it an App store killer App. I so wouldn't care if it halved the battery life!

I've had some problems with 'Nearby' as it currently exists, possibly because I'm based in the UK. If you have a spare few minutes, I'd be really grateful if you'd take a look at a thread I posted previously, http://forums.omnigroup.com/showthread.php?t=16379. You might be able to see what's going wrong for me.

Thank you.

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-07-01 at 07:32 PM..
 
Some preliminary work on location-based notification is in place, but we weren't able to finish and test the feature to our satisfaction before iOS 4 launched.

Right now, we need to focus on finishing the iPad app; once we do that, we'll have a little more flexibility.
 
No problem. Being on the "todo" radar is better than a no go.

Thanks!
 
Forgot to do this before, but I try to always mention that folks should email the support ninjas and let us know when they want to see something changed in one of our products.

We browse the forums as we're able, but because we can't guarantee we'll see every post, we use email as our main source of information on what changes our customers need. (They're the folks on staff dedicated to answering email and getting it into the database we use to plan our work.)
 
I am not sure if any of you have seen this, but Pocket Informant for iPhone in the most recent updated added this:
  • iOS 4 3GS/4: Context Location Notifications - assign locations to a Context and get notified when you are near it Link

Basically it does what we are describing here. I think its proof that OF can make this work and that the battery issue is not such a big issue.
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by kunicki View Post
I am not sure if any of you have seen this, but Pocket Informant for iPhone in the most recent updated added this:
  • iOS 4 3GS/4: Context Location Notifications - assign locations to a Context and get notified when you are near it Link

Basically it does what we are describing here. I think its proof that OF can make this work and that the battery issue is not such a big issue.
I hadn't come across this product before, so appreciate the info Master Kunicki, I'll certainly be purchasing a copy. Hopefully it'll allow me to do some comparative testing on the Nearby problems that I've encountered within OmniFocus.

Also, I found this interesting nugget on their website:

Quote:
Desktop Direct Sync with iCal, OmniFocus, etc..

We are working on multiple partnerships with companies to be able to sync directly from Pocket Informant to their respective desktop applications. At this time we have two close commitments that we feel good about.
They seem to be hinting that Omni will allow Pocket Informant to sync with the OmniFocus desktop program! link

Last edited by endoftheQ; 2010-07-10 at 03:11 AM..
 
Don't get me wrong, I am not recommending a switch. I use Informant because its a great calendar with google syncing. I don't use the built in task support, though it is very good and I used it before OF on iPad. But OF on the desktop and on the phone is still the best combo. Once they add drop box sync support, it will be the best combination on the planet :-)
 
 


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Location-Based Contexts Brian OmniFocus for iPhone 38 2012-10-09 05:24 PM
Location-based availability? julienl OmniFocus for iPhone 4 2012-10-03 07:05 PM
Location Reminders - task-based rather than Context-based? dmcomeau OmniFocus for iPhone 17 2012-02-14 06:10 AM
Location based reminders? el_gordo OmniFocus for iPhone 2 2010-01-18 01:37 AM
Location Based Contexts Fxdrew OmniFocus for iPhone 8 2009-09-12 11:51 AM


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:16 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.