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.
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.
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.
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.
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.