This is an incremental bug-fix for iphone.
Some people were reporting instability in their builds – so we took a long look at the code and tidied some stuff up.
Of course – it’s a good a time as any to add in a quick new feature.
A couple of users had asked for a quick way to reset the map view – so they could see both their own and their friend’s location – here it is.
Suppose you’re zoomed into yourself like this:
Just shake the phone – as per the title of the blog post – and…as if by magic 😉
The view resets.
That’s it – lookout for automatic reply on iphone coming very soon.
[btw – for the geekier/geekiest amongst you – there is a bug on iphone o/s 4.1 that we recently discovered. It will not affect you if you simply upgrade echoecho (or any other location based application). However if you uninstall an older version of echoecho (or any other location based application) and then try to install it again from the appstore – the application will fail. The solution…until Apple fixes the bug – is to reboot the phone before reinstalling the app.]
Thanks to Knowlton Thomas for a positive post on the Techvibes blog that looks at echoecho in a bit more depth – even mentioning where we sourced some of our initial funding.
Knowlton alludes to Foursquare and Facebook Places in his opening line. In fact, we are seeing more and more folks using echoecho as a means to follow up with friends who checked in at a venue – essentially to find out if they are still there or somewhere nearby. Finally a use case which truly acknowledges our name.
Are you still there, there, there?
Ewan Spence (@Ewan) gave echoecho a nice write-up with lots of screenshots at the All About Symbian website.
“There’s a lot to like about EchoEcho, and the fact that it turns the location ‘game’ around so you don’t have to broadcast where you are all the time; rather, just whisper to people where you are at the exact time they are interested in finding out.”
Ever the sceptic Ewan grudgingly admits that there’s no way to do this better.
Good man 😉
I last mentioned Richard Uren’s company Handset Detection way back in January but not only has his service been happily humming along underpinning echoecho but he’s also been quite busy improving various aspects of the service.
His API is very capable (it goes way beyond what we will ever need – but it’s absolutely vital for anybody building a cross platform app or web experience….i.e. for LOTS of people ;))
Anyway I was discussing some stuff with him today and I asked him to run an analysis on Android/Blackberry O/S usage – I was particularly interested in how many people keep their software uptodate.
Two bits of the stats jumped out at me (just to clarify these analyses were informally run by hand on Handset Detection’s own internal database)
As of August – Android 2.2 (Froyo) usage is at 50% of all Android usage. And growing.
That’s amazing – considering that Android 2.2 is barely official on a couple of handsets.
As for Blackberry – that’s also interesting – 52% of devices run 5.x or greater o/s. 48% of devices are on an older operating system (I presume 4.6.x or 4.2.x).
So if you’re a developer and you’re thinking about taking the leap into push notifications (only supported on Android 2.2 and higher and Blackberry 5.0 and higher) then…stop thinking.
One of our fans Max Smolev came up with a cool idea here
“I think Echoecho should co-operate with Evite and other invitations services — so that participants could be automatically “pinged” in one swoop, and a map with their locations would be a great visual aid to see at which stage your group moviegoing is right now.”
Good idea dude…just when we think we’re covering all the bases – nice to have people suggest new stuff.
There was quite a lot of traffic to this blog (and additional discussion about privacy) as a result of a techcrunch article referencing a post from a week or so ago.
I thought it was worth expanding on this a little more – inspired by one of the blog readers comments let me start by saying that technical difficulty in and of itself is rarely an obstacle to most privacy related issues.
It’s a bit like the old rules of user experience design.
They used to say (in fact they probably still do say) that the user should always know
- Where they are? (ORIENTATION)
- Where else they can go? (OPTIONS)
- How they can get there? (NAVIGATION)
If we transpose this debate to privacy then we need to always keep in mind the user should understand
- ORIENTATION – What are the privacy settings
are the curtains open or closed? –
see I know you were just waiting for the curtains to come in…
- OPTIONS – What are the implications of changing the privacy settings
what happens if I open or close the curtains?
- NAVIGATION – How can I change the privacy settings
how can I close the curtains?
If you don’t show the user all of this – in an application that has a lot to do with their privacy (e.g. sharing location) then you’re essential asking someone to get changed in their living room – without telling them how to close the curtains. (or worse yet – telling them where the curtains even ARE)
Whether we are talking about the popup echoecho notifications:
or the automatic reply settings in an echoecho inbox:
our aim is to offer transparency and privacy – without sacrificing speed or simplicity.
For all you out there who have Blackberry App World on your devices…or feel like downloading it – echoecho is currently being featured in the carousel 😉
(that’s a sample screenshot from an older 4.2 O/S BlackBerry – funny how they styled AppWorld to feel like a 4.6+ app.)
If you are reading this on your BlackBerry – click here to download echoecho.