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  • Loopt - First iPhone App to get Background-Like Features (AT&T Goodness Inside!)


    Yep, you heard that right! Loopt, the service that brings <s>e-stalking</s> social networking and locational services together will soon be getting a great new feature! This will make it function like it's running in the background. It's not exactly background, as Apple never allowed that on the iPhone due to battery issues and other concerns, but it will still be collecting your location info even when it's not running thanks to some special network magic with AT&T. This definitely does give the app an edge over Google Latitude on the iPhone...

    Actually, the company struck a deal with AT&T - bet Apple won't like this much, although they really can't do much :/- which allowed them to do this. Basically, the tech behind it is that the app will stay connected to the server even after you quit it and hence, lots of bandwidth sucking from AT&T. Remember, where there is AT&T involved, there's money involved.. You'll be charged an extra $3.99 monthly for this service, directly added to your phone bill.

    Initially, this service will be available to just 5,000 of the millions of iPhone users on AT&T. The only good part is that you will be given 14 days trial period to use the service for free, which is good enough for trying it out. If you've been waiting for something like this since you got the iPhone, you can try being one of lucky 5,000 by signing up here. Hopefully, Apple and AT&T will be extending this service to more good apps, and hopefully without extending the costs much.

    Loopt via MacRumors
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Loopt - First iPhone App to get Background-Like Features (AT&T Goodness Inside!) started by sayam View original post
    Comments 12 Comments
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      Very interesting. More $$$$
    1. Jgamble317's Avatar
      Jgamble317 -
      It's Interesting indeed but...No Thanks. Kinda Ridiculous to charge for bandwidth when AT&T's 3g isnt really reliable . kinda not worth it to me if its not reliable.
    1. Kravpahok's Avatar
      Kravpahok -
      NO thanks! Why would I want to pay to have someone stalk me? Is there something I'm missing here? I've used their free version and I'm able to locate where I am and post it to facebook/twitter with a picture. Why would anyone pay $3.99/mo for something like that? Someone please enlighten me.
    1. jaas75's Avatar
      jaas75 -
      i dont agree with charging more money and im not an att user but i see some potential.
      for example to locate your wife/girlfriend/husband/etc or viceversa in case you lose it and for 36dls a year is cheaper than it closest competidor (to locate your phone in case you loose it).

      pls correct me if im wrong
      jose
    1. plcrules's Avatar
      plcrules -
      wtf att has 2 charge extra???
      u could probly sue for that cuz ppl with iphone should have unlimited data
      if i paid for unlimited data they shouldnt cost extra for more data
    1. smuggler's Avatar
      smuggler -
      stupid!!!
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jaas75 View Post
      i dont agree with charging more money and im not an att user but i see some potential.
      for example to locate your wife/girlfriend/husband/etc or viceversa in case you lose it and for 36dls a year is cheaper than it closest competidor (to locate your phone in case you loose it).

      pls correct me if im wrong
      jose
      I paid 14 dollars for a year of ilocalis service that more than rivals the loopt features and extended features of mobile me pertaining to the iphone.
    1. jaas75's Avatar
      jaas75 -
      wow thxs i was looking for an app to locate my phone and 14 dls is a good price


      jose
    1. zakkman28's Avatar
      zakkman28 -
      I wonder if you'll be able to still use Loopt without that feature and not have to pay.
    1. BananaBonanza's Avatar
      BananaBonanza -
      Basically, the tech behind it is that the app will stay connected to the server even after you quit it and hence, lots of bandwidth sucking from AT&T.
      No no no. That's not the tech behind it.

      Are all news sites just stupidly copying from each other? (Like back when everybody claimed the Citrix Receiver was a Windows emulator.) This doesn't involve the app or the iPhone at all. AT&T will charge people to share their triangulated position with the Loopt guys.

      Gee. It doesn't run in the background but stays connected? That doesn't even make sense. You really just have to read their FAQ:

      Q: How accurate are the location updates and how often will they occur?
      A: Location accuracy can vary from a few hundred yards to a few miles depending upon the distance to the nearest cell tower. Updates usually occur once every 1 to 2 hours.

      Somebody do some research next time. Bleh.
    1. reanimationxp's Avatar
      reanimationxp -
      Quote Originally Posted by sayam View Post
      Basically, the tech behind it is that the app will stay connected to the server even after you quit it and hence, lots of bandwidth sucking from AT&T.
      Quote Originally Posted by BananaBonanza View Post
      No no no. That's not the tech behind it.

      Are all news sites just stupidly copying from each other? (Like back when everybody claimed the Citrix Receiver was a Windows emulator.) This doesn't involve the app or the iPhone at all. AT&T will charge people to share their triangulated position with the Loopt guys.

      Gee. It doesn't run in the background but stays connected? That doesn't even make sense. You really just have to read their FAQ:

      Q: How accurate are the location updates and how often will they occur?
      A: Location accuracy can vary from a few hundred yards to a few miles depending upon the distance to the nearest cell tower. Updates usually occur once every 1 to 2 hours.

      Somebody do some research next time. Bleh.
      Sayam, your statement is wrong. Banana, I agree with what you're saying, an additional background process of any type is NOT what is going on here and bandwith may not be being used at all.. but you're missing a piece of the puzzle. ATT has your triangulated position of the cell phone via their towers, true. They could provide this data to the Loopt guys to display your position on a map, and charge for it. However, there is another answer they could employ that would be more accurate, WOULD involve the phone, and would not necessarily be a background service.

      Push. Push itself IS a background service (despite popular belief) that checks for updates all the time with cell towers. If there's a new message to deliver, it grabs it and "pushes" it out to another app. The phone is still "grabbing" the data no matter what. The only reason it's a big deal is because it allows ALL the background services to tie into ONE background service instead of all running their own like you'd see on a PC. This conserves both battery life and bandwidth. The iPhone framework has always theoretically allowed for background actions, but only has a single background process to perform them with.. Push. The downside to push is, only incoming messages can initiate an action since push itself is the only process running.

      What could be (and probably is) happening is that ATT is "pushing" your friends locations to you at a constant interval. Then, since an action has been initiated, they can at the same time retrieve your accurate location from the Apple API at a constant interval. This requires a server and a program on their end. If the app on the PHONE, and not just a website, is auto-updating as well, this is what you're paying for. Not location coordinates, not bandwidth, a constant packet-pushing service from ATT. Both bandwidth and triangulation/GPS coordinates are still "unlimited" and free in this scenario. It all depends how ATT is choosing to handle this. This method would be more accurate as you could incorporate the GPS as well, and would also keep the phone updated with all your friends' positions with no background service and minimal bandwidth.
    1. mdc929's Avatar
      mdc929 -
      i would actually find this exciting..
      if only i had more friends on loopt
      everyone seems to agree its e-stalking and wont add the app