REVOLUTIONARY new features…
ok. well revolutionary’s a pretty big word. We like to think so.
But the proof will be in the geo-pudding.
After some of usual beta-driven software delays we finally get to unveil some of the stuff we’ve been working on. Needless to say we have steadfastly refused to compromise the simplicity of the application – so you won’t see any chats/coupons/image sharing or mayorships here…echoecho is (and intends to be) about allowing you to ask and answer the question “Where are you?” in the simplest possible way.
So what have we done – well – aside from lots of polishes, speed-ups and debugs – we have introduced two new important pieces of functionality.
autoReply and accuracy
What does this mean?
Well let’s do them in reverse.
Accuracy is subtle – but important – regular readers of this blog (and users of echoecho) already know that mobile phones locate themselves in a few different ways – notably GPS (satellite signal, high accuracy but sucks battery life and is nearly useless indoors), WiFi (very useful in densely populated urban areas with loads of wifi access points – i.e. cities, not so good anywhere else – mid to high accuracy), cell id (lowest accuracy – but works almost everywhere)
Rather than just showing you the location of a given individual on your echoecho map we also wanted to show you the accuracy – which means you get something like this:
It’s pretty intuitive – but just in case you’re living under a rock – the blue dot is you and the blue circle is your circle of accuracy, or circle of confidence – depending on which fruit you prefer to eat.
The red dot/circle on the other hand – represent your friend.
The smaller the circle – the more accurate the location is. So for example – in this image (taken from my iphone 3Gs running 4.0 O/S) I was outside with a full or partial GPS lock – and a very small error (of about +/- 8 meters).
On the other hand the Nokia N78 was indoors – capturing a wifi signal with a location error of +/- 65 meters)
So there you go. Cool stuff.
Oh – autoReply. Yeah we should get to that also 😉
Some people asked for this at the very beginning – but we wanted to make sure that we did it right.
Remember how echoecho shares your location quickly and privately – all in one single click.
Well now you can do it in ZERO CLICKS
Yes – that wasn’t a vaporware typo. In the inbox you simply click the autoReply Star symbol (this looks slightly different on every platform – but more on this later) – and you get something like this (on android):
This is just a helpful popup – the actual inbox changes only slightly – it looks like this:
That’s it. But this is pretty huge. Because for the first time ever you can echo someone’s phone and the phone will automatically respond – doesn’t matter if they don’t hear, if it’s in their pocket – if they are asleep etc etc…
You say “Where are you?” and their phone automatically responds.
Of course this wouldn’t be echoecho if we didn’t make this as easy and as transparent as possible – so one click on the star turns it ON, another click turns it OFF. The default position is always OFF – so if you delete someone’s echo and recreate it autoReply will always be OFF.
Also – if somebody does echo you – you will know about it – even if your phone autoReplies – you will get a notification. The exact form of the notification is slightly different on each platform – in fact the next 4 blog posts will go through in some detail (for each of our platforms) – the different new behaviours.
I hope you guys enjoy these releases as much as we think you will.
Stay tuned btw – we’re just getting started…