InstaMapper GPS Tracking

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by imrtt, Jul 27, 2008.

  1. imrtt macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #1
    We will soon be releasing an iPhone client for InstaMapper. InstaMapper is a free real-time GPS tracking service that allows you to share your location with friends and family and to record tracks.

    Some links

    http://blog.instamapper.com/2008/07/iphone-3g-client.html
    http://www.instamapper.com/fe?page=demo

    The app is not in Apple store yet, but if you would like to be a beta tester, please send the 40-digit device ID of your iPhone 3G to support@instamapper.com. To locate the ID, connect your iPhone, start iTunes, then click on "Serial number:".
     
  2. domness macrumors 6502a

    domness

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #2
    Should we really be sending you our serial numbers?
     
  3. imrtt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #3
    Oops, changed serial number to device id in my original post. Thanks!
     
  4. imrtt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #4
    Also, wanted to list some of the features:

    - Ability to embed a map with your current location on web pages / blogs / Facebook profile. See

    http://blog.instamapper.com/2008/06/location-sharing.html

    - 100k positions stored per device. The positions can be exported in several formats and can also be accessed via an API.

    - Up to 5 second update rate. You can see your phone as a moving dot on a map.

    - Google Maps used throughout

    - Mobile interface (http://mobile.instamapper.com) for tracking from a cell phone

    - Location data we collect is confidential, not shared with any 3rd parties, and not used for anything but tracking.

    Some limitations unique to the iPhone:

    - App needs to stay in the foreground to transmit location data. No background tracking.

    - Because the iPhone turns off GPS when the device goes to sleep, auto-lock must be disabled.

    - Because the screen needs to remain on with auto-lock disabled, battery life is only 4.5 - 5 hours.

    - Speed and heading data are a bit less reliable compared with the other phones we support (BlackBerries and Motorola iDen / Nextel phones).
     
  5. SlapMonkey macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    #5
    I've been looking for something like this and this does seem interesting, so I may just sign up for the beta. I would like to ask if you can divulge, since you are a developer working on the whole GPS thing, you mention that "Speed and heading data are a bit less reliable compared with the other phones we support..." can you tell us why that is? What limitations have you found with the iPhone's GPS compared to others (such as the BlackBerries, etc.)

    Is it the GPS chip? The Antenna? Something else? Will it improve with the reported Location Services update coming in the soon-to-be-released 2.1 firmware?

    Thanks for any information you can give us on these questions.
     
  6. Nipz macrumors 65816

    Nipz

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Love the look of this app!

    Cant wait to get home and get my iPhone 3G even more now!!!!
     
  7. applehockey macrumors member

    applehockey

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2008
    Location:
    Michigan
    #7
    Is this only for iPhones or iPod Touches as well?
     
  8. priesty16 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    Location:
    Australia
    #8
    great, sounds incredible! will send my device ID now!

    how will we know if we get it as a beta tester?
     
  9. swanseastu macrumors member

    swanseastu

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2007
    Location:
    Swansea, Wales UK
    #9
    Installed last night and been playing with it this morning.

    Loving the fact it updates my facebook profile with a 'im here' type map

    Shame it wont run in the background - thats a real limitiation (by apple I think) cause I dont want the app running all the time.

    Just plotted my 80 mile motorway commute to work on google maps and could share it with friends etc.

    Good work so far.

    The iphone interface is very simple and the web interface on a pc -is very slick, and viewing the web interface in safari on the iphone works well.

    well done and thanks for the opportunity to beta test
     
  10. razorianfly macrumors 65816

    razorianfly

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Location:
    Cheshire, United Kingdom
    #10
    I'd love to beta test it!

    Just sent you my UDID if you still have authorizations left.

    R-Fly
     
  11. imrtt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #11
    We are a little overwhelmed with requests, but we will try to send out a beta version of InstaMapper to everyone who requested it by the end of this week. Thank you for your patience.
     
  12. severe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    #12
    I'm one of the lucky ones, I guess. I do find it to be a nice little application with few hang ups at this time.

    The locating seems to take a little longer than one would like. :) As much as a few minutes, most of the time. Even when outdoors. And I find the fact that the iPhone doesn't currently push to be the most disappointing thing about this application.

    Thanks for the opportunity to test InstaMapper. I'm looking forward to see how things progress. It's showing a lot of promise.
     
  13. aggies2010 macrumors newbie

    aggies2010

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #13
    I received the beta and am authorized to use it (as seen in general settings on my iphone), however I am unable to get the beta app on the iphone. I unzipped the two folders given in the email and dropped them into itunes. If I try and drop them back into itunes it asks if I want to replace the files, so I know they are there.. the app just isnt showing up on my iphone. I am using a pc if that makes a difference.

    Thanks in advance
     
  14. severe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    #14
    Hey aggies,

    I'm not sure what's going on there. Are other apps syncing to your phone? Maybe try downloading a free app from the iTunes store and syncing. Check if your issue is something other than InstaMapper. And I don't think the PC makes a difference.

    Aside from this, I recommend posting your issue over on their forums.

    http://forums.instamapper.com/

    Good luck, and let us know.
     
  15. aggies2010 macrumors newbie

    aggies2010

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #15
    Thanks for the reply severe...

    Didnt figure it out nvm, arghh

    All the apps work fine... is it just supposed to appear in the applications after I drag and drop?
     
  16. domness macrumors 6502a

    domness

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
  17. aggies2010 macrumors newbie

    aggies2010

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #17
    Connect your iPhone so you can see it in iTunes, in the summary tab, click on serial number and it will change to the id
     
  18. severe macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 23, 2007
    #18
    Connect your iPhone, open iTunes, click on the words "Serial number".

    Yea.. after the drop you should see it in your apps window. Repair Permissions and restart? :eek:
     
  19. aggies2010 macrumors newbie

    aggies2010

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    Jul 30, 2008
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    Houston, TX
    #19
    Explain what you mean by repair permissions
     
  20. domness macrumors 6502a

    domness

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    Sheffield, UK
    #20
    Aww, cheers. Yup, sent my ID off :)
     
  21. opticalserenity macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2007
    #21
    Great googly moogly, this is exactly what the iPhone will shine at. Sent you my Device ID. Can't wait.

    Also, good on you for using google maps and not the trash msft virtual earth / yahoo maps junk.
     
  22. domness macrumors 6502a

    domness

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2008
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #22
    Yeh, that's what I was thinking too.

    I can't wait to try the BETA! I've already put the application on my Facebook to share with my friends my current location. :)
     
  23. genshi macrumors 6502a

    genshi

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, Oregon
    #23
    @imrtt: Questions.

    So somebody else asked these questions which were never answered, I think they may be important questions to ask:

    I too would like to know the answer to these questions. Can you shed some light imrtt?
     
  24. aggies2010 macrumors newbie

    aggies2010

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2008
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #24
    Answer I received via the instamapper troubleshooting forum
     
  25. imrtt thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2008
    #25
    My impression is that the GPS in the iPhone is quite a bit worse than in many other phones. Even Motorola i425, a $40 prepaid phone, works better in some respects. Acquisition times are long -- 20 seconds and longer, compared to about 5-7 seconds on the BlackBerry Pearl. The accuracy is poor. In daily life the location capabilities of the iPhone seem adequate because cell tower triangulation and the wifi database (look up Skyhook on wikipedia) can provide a rough location. Unfortunately we cannot use those as we need better accuracy.

    iPhone OS 2.1 will expose speed / heading through the API. It remains to be seen how accurate those will be. The hardware in the iPhone may not have the capability to compute speed / heading directly from GPS signals. If they do the computation in software and rely on position changes over time, the accuracy won't be that good.
     

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