1. lolakr's Avatar
    I need an app that can sit in the background and based on my GPS coordinates either send an email or allow me to call a URL that I can specify. A full on IFTTT client would be great but I haven't seen anything.

    Any ideas?
    01-13-2014 03:43 PM
  2. hopmedic's Avatar
    Given the API restrictions you won't be able to send an email. Sending an email requires user intervention, and now that I think about it, I don't think you can even call the API to do that from a background task. You could call a web service from a background agent, though.

    But the biggest problem is that you're not going to get around the limitation of background APIs running only every 30 +/- 10 minutes. Unless of course you're talking about a background location tracking app that runs constantly in the background, and that's going to be a battery hog.... But it's possible.

    So theoretically, if what you wanted to do was have an app that would run in the background sometimes, it sounds feasible, but if you're talking about always, battery-wise, I'd call it implausible.
    01-13-2014 07:19 PM
  3. tgp's Avatar
    Given the API restrictions you won't be able to send an email. Sending an email requires user intervention, and now that I think about it, I don't think you can even call the API to do that from a background task. You could call a web service from a background agent, though.

    But the biggest problem is that you're not going to get around the limitation of background APIs running only every 30 +/- 10 minutes. Unless of course you're talking about a background location tracking app that runs constantly in the background, and that's going to be a battery hog.... But it's possible.

    So theoretically, if what you wanted to do was have an app that would run in the background sometimes, it sounds feasible, but if you're talking about always, battery-wise, I'd call it implausible.
    I wish I had a fraction of your developer knowledge!

    I have a question: are restrictions in WP like these part of the reason we don't see as many apps? And also the reason why some apps generally don't work as well as their iOS & Android counterparts? The reliability of notifications is a big problem in WP. From what I've researched it seems that the WP OS is restricted to the point of crippling. I'm not sure about iOS (I don't have an iPhone at the moment), but Android can easily do the OP's exact request with the Tasker app. There are other apps that will do it as well, but Tasker is the most comprehensive.

    Geofencing itself is built in to the Android OS, but I don't believe at this point it will send an email or call a specified URL without an app. But you can, for example, set a reminder to buy light bulbs when you get to Walmart. When you arrive at any Walmart, the reminder will pop up. The reminder can also be based on a specified location. The geofenced reminder function is built into the OS, no app required. But the geofencing function can be used by apps to do pretty much anything, such as silencing your phone when you get to church or turning on Wifi when you arrive at home.

    I guess Microsoft is balancing security & functionality. I would prefer to see a bit more functionality, but it is the way it is. Android is heavy on functionality, WP is heavy on security, and iOS is somewhere in between. Pick your poison!
    01-13-2014 07:57 PM
  4. hopmedic's Avatar
    I wish I had a fraction of your developer knowledge!

    I have a question: are restrictions in WP like these part of the reason we don't see as many apps? And also the reason why some apps generally don't work as well as their iOS & Android counterparts? The reliability of notifications is a big problem in WP. From what I've researched it seems that the WP OS is restricted to the point of crippling. I'm not sure about iOS (I don't have an iPhone at the moment), but Android can easily do the OP's exact request with the Tasker app. There are other apps that will do it as well, but Tasker is the most comprehensive.

    Geofencing itself is built in to the Android OS, but I don't believe at this point it will send an email or call a specified URL without an app. But you can, for example, set a reminder to buy light bulbs when you get to Walmart. When you arrive at any Walmart, the reminder will pop up. The reminder can also be based on a specified location. The geofenced reminder function is built into the OS, no app required. But the geofencing function can be used by apps to do pretty much anything, such as silencing your phone when you get to church or turning on Wifi when you arrive at home.

    I guess Microsoft is balancing security & functionality. I would prefer to see a bit more functionality, but it is the way it is. Android is heavy on functionality, WP is heavy on security, and iOS is somewhere in between. Pick your poison!
    Thanks - I wish I had a fraction of the knowlege of a lot of the developers out there. I've never worked as a developer, but I've developed a few applications used in a couple factories I've worked in, but that was only a fraction of my job, so I don't have the in-depth knowlege I'd like to have. I do know WP, though - but wish I had the developer know-how to back it up. So far I'm mostly self-taught, but I'm about to start the BS in Computer Science program at University of the People. At age 46.

    I can't really speak on comparing Android or iOS to WP, as I've never used them. I was a Windows Mobile user early on, and chose it because I knew VB and could write simple applications or programs (as they used to be called) on it, and use it in the factory where I worked. I even influenced my plant manager and he ended up getting one. Then WP came along, and it was a natural progression. I saw a prototype at a developer event in the spring of 2010, and fell in love with it and couldn't wait for it to come out. I was starting to grow tired of WM, and actually considered getting an iPhone for my next phone.

    WP is restricted, yes, and the reasoning behind it is battery life and security. I'm not going to say I agree 100% with how it's done, but for the most part I do. But that does lead to limitations. Like I said I can't compare. I've heard of apps like what you describe for geofencing, and I think it's a great idea, if it can be implemented without too much sacrifice of battery life. For now, an app can only check location when the background agent runs, unless it is constantly monitoring location, which would drain the batt. I don't know how often the OS itself checks location, but that could be interesting. If they could (well, they could - if they would...) set up the OS to allow triggers based on location, in such a way that it checks location at smaller intervals than when background agents are launched, and have that trigger initiate a background agent, and that background agent could launch a toast notification, maybe update a live tile.... So basically I'm talking about background agents triggered by location rather than time. But currently that functionality isn't there.

    I like the idea of geofencing doing certain things like muting the phone and such based on location. Now if only I could implement it at my church, and make it mandatory for all phones, and have it disable data........ Maybe we'd have a few more "Amen"s.

    I think it's funny you say that iPhone is between Android and WP. I've more often heard it said that WP is between iOS and Android. But like I said - I can't compare - I've not used either of them.
    01-14-2014 10:18 AM
  5. tgp's Avatar
    I can't really speak on comparing Android or iOS to WP, as I've never used them. I was a Windows Mobile user early on, and chose it because I knew VB and could write simple applications or programs (as they used to be called) on it, and use it in the factory where I worked. I even influenced my plant manager and he ended up getting one. Then WP came along, and it was a natural progression.
    You know, at the time WP7 was released on AT&T, I was on Verizon. I had a WM device, and I couldn't wait until Verizon got it. I had recently moved to another state and I had low cost prepaids available. I was still going to hang with Verizon to be able to use WP, but eventually I gave up. I reluctantly got an Android, because at that time (Spring 2011) Android was pretty much the only smartphone available on prepaid carriers. After I had used Android for over a year I bought a WP hoping to be able to move back. It turned out I couldn't live with the limited functionality compared to Android.

    Talking about WP being a natural progression from WM, it turns out that pretty much the only similarity is Microsoft! Android is much more like WM was in openness & functionality. And Android is like Windows today in that regard. Windows & WP are so opposite, I guess I'm amazed that the same users (read, most people on WPCentral) can support both. WP fans say they like WP because it's secure and its security makes the limitations worthwhile, and yet Windows, which they're also a fan of, is not secure in any way, shape, or form, but highly functional. Security in Windows is improving though...

    WP is restricted, yes, and the reasoning behind it is battery life and security. I'm not going to say I agree 100% with how it's done, but for the most part I do. But that does lead to limitations. Like I said I can't compare. I've heard of apps like what you describe for geofencing, and I think it's a great idea, if it can be implemented without too much sacrifice of battery life. For now, an app can only check location when the background agent runs, unless it is constantly monitoring location, which would drain the batt. I don't know how often the OS itself checks location, but that could be interesting. If they could (well, they could - if they would...) set up the OS to allow triggers based on location, in such a way that it checks location at smaller intervals than when background agents are launched, and have that trigger initiate a background agent, and that background agent could launch a toast notification, maybe update a live tile.... So basically I'm talking about background agents triggered by location rather than time. But currently that functionality isn't there.
    I understand the security part, but battery life isn't really an issue. Android now does a pretty good job of keep services running without sacrificing battery life too much. I don't know how it works behind the scenes, but I do know that battery life on my Nexus 5 is as good as any WP I've ever had, and my wife's Moto X would beat most WPs. No, Android isn't the best in battery life as a whole, but overall it's no worse than WP in my experience.

    I like the idea of geofencing doing certain things like muting the phone and such based on location. Now if only I could implement it at my church, and make it mandatory for all phones, and have it disable data........ Maybe we'd have a few more "Amen"s.
    Ha, I've heard a phone ring in church more than once. My dad is a pastor, and I even heard his ring once!

    I think it's funny you say that iPhone is between Android and WP. I've more often heard it said that WP is between iOS and Android. But like I said - I can't compare - I've not used either of them.
    Well, I use all 3! WP is a bit more customizable than iOS, but otherwise I'd say WP is more locked down. It's more secure in a way, but that's also partially due to the low market share. It's been proven to be exploitable, which I believe involved malware, not necessarily jailbreaking. Difficult, yes, but possible. Android is easily rooted, iOS is jailbreakable, but so far WP8 hasn't been unlocked for customizing that I know of. So what I'm saying is that iOS is less secure & more functional than WP.
    01-14-2014 07:16 PM
  6. hopmedic's Avatar
    You know, at the time WP7 was released on AT&T, I was on Verizon. I had a WM device, and I couldn't wait until Verizon got it. I had recently moved to another state and I had low cost prepaids available. I was still going to hang with Verizon to be able to use WP, but eventually I gave up. I reluctantly got an Android, because at that time (Spring 2011) Android was pretty much the only smartphone available on prepaid carriers. After I had used Android for over a year I bought a WP hoping to be able to move back. It turned out I couldn't live with the limited functionality compared to Android.

    Talking about WP being a natural progression from WM, it turns out that pretty much the only similarity is Microsoft! Android is much more like WM was in openness & functionality. And Android is like Windows today in that regard. Windows & WP are so opposite, I guess I'm amazed that the same users (read, most people on WPCentral) can support both. WP fans say they like WP because it's secure and its security makes the limitations worthwhile, and yet Windows, which they're also a fan of, is not secure in any way, shape, or form, but highly functional. Security in Windows is improving though...



    I understand the security part, but battery life isn't really an issue. Android now does a pretty good job of keep services running without sacrificing battery life too much. I don't know how it works behind the scenes, but I do know that battery life on my Nexus 5 is as good as any WP I've ever had, and my wife's Moto X would beat most WPs. No, Android isn't the best in battery life as a whole, but overall it's no worse than WP in my experience.



    Ha, I've heard a phone ring in church more than once. My dad is a pastor, and I even heard his ring once!



    Well, I use all 3! WP is a bit more customizable than iOS, but otherwise I'd say WP is more locked down. It's more secure in a way, but that's also partially due to the low market share. It's been proven to be exploitable, which I believe involved malware, not necessarily jailbreaking. Difficult, yes, but possible. Android is easily rooted, iOS is jailbreakable, but so far WP8 hasn't been unlocked for customizing that I know of. So what I'm saying is that iOS is less secure & more functional than WP.
    For me the progression from WM to WP came from two things. Being tired of taking hours and hours to customize my phone every time I flashed it or replaced it, and because I worked in a factory where one of the things I did was write applications, so I wanted something I could program on, and I hated Java. So for me the progression was part being tired, and part ease of transition. I won't dispute Android being more like WM than anything. In fact, I laughed so hard one day when I heard someone on a podcast say that Android was born a bad copy of iPhone, grew up a bad copy of Blackberry, and will die a bad copy of Windows Mobile. I don't necessarily agree with it (not sure about the Blackberry or the die part), but it was pretty funny at the time I heard it.

    I had a pastor whose phone rang while preaching once, he pulled it out, silenced it, and said, "Heathens don't know people are in church?" before continuing.
    tgp likes this.
    01-14-2014 08:45 PM
  7. hongmei85's Avatar
    Geofencing has been added in the OS in WP 8.1 now. Apps like GPSReminder are making use of the new support and would not have the 30-minute restriction and keep battery friendly.
    10-18-2014 10:15 PM

Similar Threads

  1. My first app.
    By Nokia Boy in forum App Spotlight
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 02-03-2014, 03:09 PM
  2. app ratings, why can't I rate/review anything?
    By flyinion in forum Windows Phone 8
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 01-24-2014, 04:51 AM
  3. App Store apps
    By wp_rt in forum Microsoft Surface 2
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-14-2014, 04:34 PM
  4. messaging app issue
    By zeronoise in forum Windows Phone 8
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-14-2014, 11:29 AM
  5. Download the unofficial Smartwatch Fans app for Windows Phone
    By WindowsCentral.com in forum Windows Central News Discussion
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 01-13-2014, 04:32 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD