Locale X Beta

Locale launched alongside the Android app store in 2008, making Locale one of the longest maintained Android apps. That streak continues, with the announcement today of the next major version: Locale X.

Sign up

For existing Locale users, we're launching the Locale X rolling beta lottery. This means we'll randomly select new beta testers on an ongoing basis. To enter the lottery, please complete the lottery sign up form.

We really want to make Locale X as great as it can be, and beta testers have a lot of opportunity to influence the development process before final release. Since starting with a small private beta in September 2018, we've made over 150 improvements to Locale X based on feedback from testers. So please join the Locale X beta lottery!

Locale X and the existing version of Locale 6 can be installed at the same time so switching back and forth is easy. When Locale X beta is installed, it is able to migrate situations from Locale 6 automatically. You can also opt out of the beta at any time.

What's New

Locale X is the biggest update for Locale ever, bringing the most requested features and a powerful new design, while continuing to offer the legendary reliability that Locale is known for.

Today we're announcing a few of the key highlights in Locale X, although a lot more is to come.

Deep Android Integration

Looking for complete silence from all those spam phone calls and distracting notifications? Locale now taps into Android's Do Not Disturb functionality for even more control.

Worried about missing an important call from family or work? Locale X has support for VIP callers on the latest versions of Android. In addition to calls, messages from VIPs are also now supported.

On Android 7.0 Nougat and later, the app politely requests permissions at runtime instead of at install time.

You can now hide Locale's ongoing notification with notification control on Android 8.0 Oreo and later. Find it by tapping the notification or looking under the "hamburger" menu.

On Android 7.0 Nougat and later, a new Quick Settings Tile for toggling Locale on and off is under the Android notification pulldown area for quick settings.

Refreshed Interface

Locale X has a new design, which we call "Material Design: Margarita Edition."

Performance has been optimized throughout. App startup time is more than 70% faster, with first launch faster than the blink of an eye. The interface is also now hardware accelerated for smoother performance.

In addition, a number of subtle improvements have been made throughout. Calibration has been improved to make long-distance updates much easier. And situation reprioritization is smoother—just touch and hold on the name of the situation to drag-and-drop.

Inline tips throughout the app help to get the most out of Locale. Locale also now detects battery savers and suggests how to bypass them.

Enhanced Conditions and Settings

Algorithmic improvements have been made to many of Locale's built-in conditions. Location detection is optimized. New movement condition algorithms are lower power, more reliable, and much faster at detecting changes. Orientation is also faster and lower power.

During the beta a number of new conditions and settings are also being tested:

The Headphones Condition detects when wired headphones are connected. Use it with the new App Setting to launch your favorite music app when headphones are connected.

An experimental new Bluetooth Handsfree Condition detects being connected to a car or Bluetooth headset with a microphone.

And a new Screen Rotation Lock setting can set the screen to vertical, horizontal, or automatic orientation.

New Architecture

Locale's most important job is to be practically invisible while working reliably in the background. Locale X has a powerful new system architecture to do just that.

This new architecture is hardened with isolation between components to optimize memory usage, improve performance, and maximize reliability.

The UI and background service now run in different processes, which reduces memory usage up to 90% when the app is running in the background. Condition and Setting have firewalls between them, creating isolation for high reliability. In addition, each Condition and Setting supports hyper-parallelism which helps distribute work across multiple CPU cores. This also allows Locale X to continuously monitor and optimize CPU and power usage. With all this isolation, we designed a new distributed coalescing scheduler that allows Locale X to update contextual data more quickly, while improving battery life.

Locale keeps an on-device memory of recent contextual data, called the Context Continuum, which helps the background service resume where it left off and reduces the number of times it fires settings that are already fired. For example, when adding a new situation, settings in other pre-existing situations will not be re-fired.

These are just some of major changes in Locale X. To enter the lottery, please complete the lottery sign up form.

Locale Reviewed on Tested.com

Here’s what Ryan Whitwam has to say about Locale in his review on Tested.com

“Locale has a lot going for it. It’s easy to use, but has some advanced functionality under the hood. We have found the battery usage to be absolutely amazing. Even when using location-based Situations, Locale barely registers on the Battery Use screen. […] We feel the level of polish and overall quality are more than commensurate with the asking price.”

Source: http://www.tested.com/tech/android/3019-an...

Improve Productivity with Locale + Astrid

This is a guest post by Jon Paris from Todoroo, Inc., the company behind the amazing free task management app Astrid.

Astrid, our humble todo list for Android, aims to walk the line between squeaky and annoying. Kevin Purdy from Lifehacker recently described Astrid as, “an extremely tenacious beast that won’t stop reminding, beeping, and buzzing you until certain very important tasks are done.” Astrid is far more than “yet another todo list.” When I really want to wow people about my Android phone, I almost always show off Astrid’s integration with Locale. This provokes more aha moments than anything I have seen in a “Droid Does” commercial.

I put on my todo list all sorts of tasks. Sometimes they are work tasks like “fill out my expense report.” Occasionally, I add random ideas like “ask the dentist about electric toothbrushes.” More frequently I add personal tasks like “get bananas.” With Locale + Astrid, I get reminders for these tasks when I can do something about them. By tagging tasks as “groceries” and connecting the tag to a situation in Locale (for example when I am near my local Trader Joe’s), Astrid will remind me to get bananas the next time I’m near the store. In the same way I can limit Astrid’s pestering me about my expense report to times I am in the office. And the next time I am sitting in the dentist chair, Astrid can alert me to get his take on the latest teeth-cleaning gadget.

While there are many tools that provide a place to save information you want to remember, most of them lack reminders when you need them. Locale gives Astrid the power to do this in an amazingly simple way, making Astrid less annoying and much more useful.

Locale integration is one of the reasons I retired my iPhone and made my primary phone an Android. It highlights the ability for applications to integrate deeply with the phone, to work together and to be extended by plug-ins. If I had my way Locale would be pre-installed on every Android phone so all Astrid users would be able to unleash the power of Locale. Until that day, the following steps are required to give you the Locale + Astrid productivity boost:

1. Install Astrid from Google Play

2. Install Locale from Google Play

3. Create some tasks in Astrid and give tags (e.g. groceries)

4. In Locale create situations that correspond to a tag

 

5. Finally connect these situations to tags or filters in Astrid

Locale Top Android App for Business

Nathan Waddell, the director of sales at US Cellular, says:
“This app [Locale] will intuitively know to turn your phone off when you’re in meetings and remind you that it needs a charge when the battery is low. Locale uses GPS, Wi-Fi and cell signals to adjust your phone settings based on where you are and what time it is. All you need to do to make it self-supporting is define the business locations that are important to you by using a Google Maps interface.”

Read the whole article on the Columbia Business Times.

Source: http://www.columbiabusinesstimes.com/9310/...

Water Missions International Project

Update: This project was completed and fully funded. A water treatment system was deployed to the Croix-des-Bouquets region of Haiti and is serving a community of about 1,500 people.

Today I’m excited to announce our first philanthropy project in partnership with Water Missions International. The goal? To raise $30,000 for a complete safe water project for a specific community in a developing or disaster ridden country.

My friends George and Molly Greene founded Water Missions International after hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998. At the time, George and Molly operated their own environmental engineering firm. They received a request for six water treatment systems, but they were unable to find any reliable existing solutions. So George said, “Water treatment isn’t rocket science. Let’s figure it out.” Forty-eight hours later, they had built their own fully functional water treatment system using off-the-shelf parts from a local hardware store. Engineering their own water purification system was only the first step, however, as George and Molly flew to Honduras to personally deliver and install the systems.

In the first village, the contaminated river water was choked with brown runoff from the hurricane. The villagers called it the “River of Death.” But when crystal clear, decontaminated water flowed from the treatment system, the villagers refused to drink it. George and Molly symbolically drank the first sips, and the villagers rushed forward to drink the water. Clearly, the human elements of change are just as important as the engineering elements. After that experience, George and Molly sold their engineering firm and founded Water Missions International.

Like us at two forty four a.m., the team at Water Missions International (WMI) are engineers and problem solvers; they engineer their own treatment systems and are involved in every step of the process. They identify communities, build and deliver water treatment systems, educate communities about clean water and hygiene, and follow up to ensure that the treatment systems continue to deliver sustainable safe water to the people. The Journal of Practicing Anthropology published that, in the 34 months after a WMI system has become operational, communities experience a 52% reduction of clinic visits for diarrheal diseases. Charity Navigator, which independently evaluates charities, has given Water Missions International the highest rating of 4-stars.

Inspired by the hard work, idealism, and goals at Water Missions, I volunteered in March 2010 at the non-profit’s headquarters in Charleston, SC. I packed chlorinators headed for Honduras with a group of volunteers, and I also began brainstorming with Molly about my future involvement. Being goal-oriented, I wanted to directly impact a community in a positive way. I learned that a typical Water Missions project costs $30,000, so I committed to a special “Project Locale” fundraiser in order to implement a complete safe water project.

For many months, I have been making donations to Water Missions International from the sales of Locale, and we are making great headway towards completing this project. We plan to implement and fully fund water treatment technology and education for a specific community. This community may be an impoverished village in South America or for refugees in disaster-stricken Pakistan, but as we come closer to our goal of $30,000 we will receive more details about which project we will take on. I encourage you, my users and friends, to help in reaching this goal by making donations under the name “Project Locale.” All donations made to Water Missions under “Project Locale” will be earmarked specifically for this project and won’t be used for any other purpose. Water Missions International is a Christian nonprofit organization, although all “Project Locale” donations will only be used for purchasing and implementing water purification technology. You can make your own donations to Water Missions International under “Project Locale” in one of the following ways:

  • Online: Donate on the Water Missions International online form. Be sure to choose a designation of “Other” and type in “Project Locale.”

  • Mail: Send checks to Water Missions International, P.O. Box 31258, Charleston, SC 29417. Be sure to put “Project Locale” in the “for” line.

  • Phone: Call Water Missions International at (843) 769-7395. Be sure to mention that your donation is through “Project Locale.”