ok. so this is the last subtle small UI update. 3rd week of february will bring a massive UI update.
Nonetheless there are some cool things here – namely these two:
- calling and texting directly from map
- automatic replies – this one was a long time coming…
A number of other stability fixes were applied but they’re not all that interesting. So let’s talk about these two for a moment.
Firstly – calling and texting directly from the map.
I don’t understand why other Geo-Apps don’t do this already – in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if everybody copies us. There’s really no excuse for multiple clicks in order to contact someone. It’s a clean implementation and one that’s already getting a lot of use.
Not much else to say about it – other than to point out that it’s subtle UI changes like this that make all the difference when you’re making a tool that you want people to actually use.
It’s only one-click difference – but in a two-click experience that’s huge.
As for automatic replies – well that deserves a blog post all unto itself. From the functionality point of view – if you click the STAR symbol in the inbox – you mark your friend as a Favorite.
This means that your iPhone will AUTOMATICALLY REPLY to any incoming echoes (that is “Where are You?” requests) if it is able to without you having to take your phone out of your pocket.
This is sort of like Mobile Me but way better – and it’s for your ANY of your friends 😉
Regular readers of the blog might be thinking – “So? Big deal. We had this on Android months ago.”
Yeah well this is not Android.
Apple’s method of protecting users from potentially nefarious background apps required a redesign of the way our automatic reply functionality worked.
So now you have all the privacy of the original echoecho setup (i.e. one-click replies to Where are you? requests, no tracking or stalking) but in addition to that you have the ability to set your phone to automatically reply to certain friends.
By the way – this functionality is of course OFF by default (and if you delete the echo it resets to being OFF again) – but you can turn it on and off with one click of the star in the inbox.
As for the rigmarole involved in actually building this functionality – see the next blog post.