2012 Skyhook SDK for Android App
Enabling persistent location in a third-party mobile app isn’t always easy — it usually requires either cautious uses of updates, like iOS 5′s geofencing, or an acceptance that there will inevitably be a knock to the battery life while it’s running. Skyhook doesn’t want there to be any compromise, at least on Android: an update to its developer kit has rolled in an Always-On location option that theoretically represents the best of both worlds. Third-party app writers can opt for position refreshes as quick as 30 seconds apart, if that birthday gift reminder needs just that many updates, but will supposedly face “little to no noticeable impact” on how quickly users’ smartphones sip energy. We like the idea of guilt-free GPS, and there’s even an airplane tracking mode for when you just have to check into Foursquare from 30,000 feet in the air. Developers can start working on the option today; until implementations reach the wild, everyone else will have to make do with a clip of the airplane tracking feature after the break.