New 'Miles' App Awards Your Daily Commute With Exclusive Deals, If You Grant it Constant Location Access

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 24, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2001
    #1
    [​IMG]


    Startup "Miles" today launched a new iOS app [Direct Link] that grants its users exclusive rewards to use at places like Starbucks and Whole Foods every time they travel in a car, bus, on a bike, or on foot. The company aims for its app to be a ground transportation alternative to frequent flier miles, allowing users to earn discounts over time for travel that they likely perform more frequently than flying on an airplane (via The Verge).

    The caveat is that for the full experience, the Miles app requires you to give it constant access to your location, so it can keep up with automatically tracking your movement and converting its "miles" currency into deals and offers. You can opt to choose "only while using the app," but you'll then need to remember to keep Miles open every time you travel in order to gain rewards.

    Under Miles' rewards, you'll earn more miles for transportation that is more environmentally friendly: one real-world mile of walking/running grants you 10 reward miles, one mile of biking is worth five reward miles, a mile in a ride share vehicle is worth two, and a mile in a car is equivalent to one reward mile.

    [​IMG]

    At launch, you'll be able to trade these reward miles in for deals like $5 gift cards to Starbucks, Amazon, and Target, $42 off a first order from Hello Fresh, a complimentary rental on Audi's Silvercar service, and more. Other launch partners include Whole Foods, Canon, Bath & Body Works, and Cole Haan. When you trade in miles for rewards, some deals grant you with a barcode to scan at the physical checkout location (Starbucks), while others provide you with discount codes.

    In terms of its tech, Miles works in the iPhone's background to automatically log each trip a user takes from point A to point B. The company says that the app "consumes almost no power" when stationary, and will only "minimally increase battery consumption" when in transit. The app detects drives in a vehicle with special formulas that don't rely solely on GPS for location data, helping to reduce battery consumption.

    The app remembers your trips and logs them so you can revisit them later (including time of day, starting location, ending location, and distance) and fix any mistakes it might have made, like incorrectly logging a vehicle trip for a ride share. Additionally, there's a section of the app that The Verge describes as a "Venmo-style feed," showing how other users are earning and redeeming their miles.

    In an attempt to get ahead of users worrying about their location data being constantly tracked and stored by a third party, Miles CEO Jigar Shah says that neither the company nor its partners get access to specific location information. Instead, user data that is gathered is more ambiguous, but the app still knows when users travel, how they travel, and what deals they clip -- which is then fed into a "predictive marketing AI platform" to match them with other appropriate deals.

    Once more people in an area begin clipping the same coupons, Miles uses this vague user data to predict demand for the most popular rewards. Shah says this prediction of "near-future demand" plays into the creation of future rewards as well, and is the backbone of the entire app:
    The CEO promises that this "anonymously" aggregated information is secure and "nothing of users' data leaves the system." Still, as The Verge points out, the app will essentially be a middleman between businesses and customers, holding the latter's personal data in its hands, which is believed to have been what brought big brands to support Miles at launch in the first place.

    Despite promises of personal data privacy and security, Miles is launching in a time when online privacy is at the forefront of many users' awareness when signing up for a new service, or deciding to leave an old one. In the spring, the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal broke, wherein more than 87 million Facebook users had their personal data gathered and used to reportedly influence their votes during the 2016 presidential election.

    Another app that heavily relies on user location data also faced a scandal in the spring, with MoviePass coming under fire for CEO Mitch Lowe pointing out that it watches "how you drive from home to the movies" and how the company watches "where you go afterwards." Lowe eventually admitted he was "completely inaccurate" and that the app "has never tracked" users in the background, with the developers removing an "unused app location capability" shortly after the story was shared online.

    Just last week, privacy researchers began pointing out that Venmo's publicly viewable feed of money exchanges (which has been around since the app launched), does not sit well in today's privacy-concerned climate. Now, more people have begun questioning why Venmo chose to have the feed's settings default to public sharing, likely resulting in many users who may not know their payment information is available for others to see.

    Article Link: New 'Miles' App Awards Your Daily Commute With Exclusive Deals, If You Grant it Constant Location Access
     
  2. kohlson macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2010
  3. brian3uk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2016
    #3
    There a bunch of apps that do this sorta thing. None of them have ever been worth it. Why/how is this one different?
     
  4. dannyyankou macrumors G3

    dannyyankou

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2012
    Location:
    Scarsdale, NY
    #4
    Cool, I got a 2,000 mile sign up bonus and can immediately redeem a $5 Starbucks gift card.
     
  5. lolkthxbai macrumors 65816

    lolkthxbai

    Joined:
    May 7, 2011
    #5
    lol what? no way, this is literally turning the customer into the product
     
  6. AKDub macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2015
    #6
    I wonder how long it will be until a company is just honest and says "Install our app, it has no features but we will track you and at the end of every month you get a $10 iTunes voucher"
     
  7. Mlrollin91 macrumors G5

    Mlrollin91

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2008
    Location:
    Ventura County
    #7
    You can set it up to only track your location when the app is open. So I can only use it when I am going on long road trips, instead of it always tracking. I got $5 for signing up, so even if I delete the app in a day, I made out ahead.
     
  8. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3

    ArtOfWarfare

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    #8
    So it's Groupon, but instead of simply handing you whatever for free, they require you to drive 3000 miles and hand over your location data.

    Seriously though - these "rewards" are total garbage. $5 off for handing over 3000 miles worth of data? Seriously? There's other companies that will pay you $300 for that data, and you can get $5 off literally anything if you just look at the spam mail in your physical mailbox.

    If you're interested in getting paid for driving, there's a few crowd sourced mapping companies where you record a dashcam video of yourself driving and upload it to them (via wifi after the fact) and they'll pay you $0.10 per mile. I think there's one called Paver, and another called Level 5 Mapping.

    I think if you just sign up, they'll send you the mount for free for setting your phone up to record the footage.
     
  9. palmerc2 macrumors 68000

    palmerc2

    Joined:
    Feb 29, 2008
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    #9
    I downloaded Venmo a couple years ago, saw this feed of other people’s transactions, and immediately deleted.
     
  10. Zorn macrumors 65816

    Zorn

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2006
    Location:
    Ohio
    #10
    Download it, sign up with a burner email, grant it location only while using the app, then as soon as you redeem the $5 gift card log out of the app and delete it from your device. Easy stuff and got a Starbucks gift card instantly.
     
  11. Tozovac, Jul 24, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2018

    Tozovac macrumors 65816

    Tozovac

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    #11
    Next thing you know, advertisers will be posting billboards along certain routes people travel and making coupons available in newspapers, magazines, and online, and credit cards will be able to track your location and shopping habits by knowing where you use their card. That’s just simply crazy if those things happen!

    How is this "news?" Or am I late to the game in that app developers can buy advertising in the form of news articles? I wonder how much it would cost for me to run an advertisement news article to peddle my feelings on how iOS UIx has degraded ever since iOS7 and that Jony Ive is not nearly as good a designer as he's imagined himself to be, in his quest towards thin, unserviceable, modifiable and generally weak-performing laptops compared to the competition? :)
     
  12. nutmac macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    #12
    Regardless of the creep factor, I am guessing Miles is up to a good start. I tried to register by entering an email address and I get "Error: Something went wrong. Please try again." message.
     
  13. I7guy macrumors Core

    I7guy

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Gotta be in it to win it
    #13
    The idea of handing over my digital location constantly seems creepy to me. I’ll pass.
     
  14. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68020

    H3LL5P4WN

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #14
    This... is tempting. I already run a GPS game on roadtrips; why not run another and get something of monetary value out of it?
     
  15. nwcs macrumors 68000

    nwcs

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #15
    Yeah, no. My information is far more valuable to me to give it up in this manner. Not without a lot more compensation...
     
  16. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    UK
  17. nwcs macrumors 68000

    nwcs

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Location:
    Tennessee
    #17
    How is it a tax?
     
  18. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #18
    Are you calling poor people idiots? I'm confused.
     
  19. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    Location:
    UK
    #19
    No. I never called them idiots. I corrected myself. Didn’t you read that part?
    --- Post Merged, Jul 24, 2018 ---
    Getting more info out of the poor so they can turn up the prices on other stuff. Targeting them precisely rather than haphazardly.
     
  20. DeepIn2U macrumors 603

    DeepIn2U

    Joined:
    May 30, 2002
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #20
    This one, like AirMiles, and other "miles" loyalty cards, and unlike Google's Android ... will give you gift cards, discounts ... maybe even PAY YOU and actually do this vs screwing you over! Savvy?!

    Duh. Except unlike Google's Android it will GIVE YOU some form of useful benefit for providing private data. Get used to this because ALL the data analytical firms that invest in data are actually looking forward to a similar model that I've been preaching about over 4yrs ago with respect to Android!

    One and a few others have already started. That its the benefit ... their paying you some form of benefit in cash, voucher, coupon, or discount.


    Guys what is so hard to understand with this?
    Either complete privacy -OR- disregard your privacy and be a free "internet-ho" for free -or- GET PAID for data being mined off of you. I'll bet any that are complaining in this or similar thread here on macrumors, has provided data for free knowingly, or unknowingly and would JUMP for reparations in terms of fund$ for that private data being taken.

    Imagine what would happen if Google:
    Pays it's users for data in coupons, vouchers, etc:
    Browsing, Maps (!!!), camera, purchasing data,
    prices for Android phones actually dropped accordingly to the OS being provided for FREE - OnePlus 6 and others like Galaxy S2-9 series STILL are equal or very close to the iPhone top tier models in cost to the end user. Where is the discount?! (psst you're being mined and NO benefit to you).
    Stock price of Google after turning to paying for data before they sell it off to a 3rd party?!

    Personally: not using this app.

    PSS: Wait until companies, pharmaceutical companies and bio-companies, begin looking for your DNA!!
    - it'll start with robot vacuums on transit, planes, counters ... don't worry look 10-15yrs from now.
     
  21. I7guy macrumors Core

    I7guy

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Gotta be in it to win it
    #21
    Like how you managed to get a dig in at ios and Ive. Well done.
     
  22. Endron55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2018
    #22
    Found a similar application in which you offer your idea to the local business and if users support your idea, you get gifts, coins & discounts from the administrator of the institution, which you can spend in different stores. Here is the
    app for frequent buyer cards https://say2b.com/
     
  23. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68020

    H3LL5P4WN

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #23
    Has this been pulled? I wanted to check the App Store reviews to see if the issue regarding duplicate giftcards was resolved and it never loads. I tried the link in the article as well, no dice.
     
  24. hlfway2anywhere macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2006
    #24
    Looks like it's gone but I can't find any info on it
     
  25. H3LL5P4WN macrumors 68020

    H3LL5P4WN

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2010
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #25
    Ok cool, so I'm not crazy.
     

Share This Page

28 July 24, 2018