User Manual

Overview

The Locale lets you configure situations— circumstances your device might encounter throughout the day. Situations are made up of conditions and settings. For example, your "At Work" situation might activate when your location condition is "77 Massachusetts Avenue" and triggers your Volume setting to silent.

Managing Situations

Situation status

Locale will automatically update your situations while the service is enabled with the switch in the top right corner of the screen. While Locale is running, you'll see an ongoing notification in the Android pull-down notification area. Currently active situations are listed in this ongoing notification, and they are also indicated with colored indicators next to the names in the Locale home screen. A situation is considered active when its conditions are met, not whether it has any triggered settings. (This implies that the Default situation is always active).

Locale starts automatically when Android is rebooted (for devices with encryption, the app starts the first time the device is unlocked). Some Android device manufacturers have a setting to block apps from starting at reboot, so if Locale doesn't start then check inside the Android settings app.

Situation Priority

Situations are listed in priority order. Higher priority situations take precedence over lower priority situations, allowing Locale to handle overlapping situations. For example, your "Asleep" situation might be higher priority than "At Home" so that Asleep can take precedence to silence the ringer at night. To re-prioritize situations, touch and hold the situation name in the list and drag.

Default Situation

Defaults are a special situation that tell Locale what to do when not in a situation. Let's say your ringer is loud in Defaults but silent for your "At Work" situation. Before entering the "At Work" situation, Defaults are in place and the ringer is loud. As soon as you enter work, the "At Work" settings take precedence and the ringer goes silent. When you leave work, Defaults take over again and the ringer is loud. If no default settings exist, then the previous situation's settings are sticky and do not revert when leaving that situation. For example, the ringer would stay silent when leaving "At Work" if there were no settings in Defaults.

Editing Situations

The Edit Situation screen lists the name, conditions, and settings of a situation. A situation's settings are automatically applied when the conditions are satisfied. A situation with no conditions (such as Defaults) will always be active.

Conditions of different types are treated as AND. For example adding an Location condition plus a Time condition means the you need to be at the location during the time span. Conditions of the same type are treated as OR, because the phone can't be in two locations or two times at once.

For advanced users: There is an easter egg to allow multiple settings of the same type. Simply press and hold on the Add Setting. Multiple settings may not always make sense and are usually more helpful for plug-ins.

Settings are only trigged once, when the situation becomes active (or when a higher priority situation becomes inactive). This means that if the "At Work" situation turns volume off, and you manually increase the volume to maximum after arriving at work, the volume will stay at this manual setting until the next situation change.

The order in which settings are fired is undefined.

Plug-ins

Plug-ins extend Locale's functionality with new conditions and settings. Use the "Get Plug-ins" button to find new plug-ins for Locale on the app store. After a plug-in is installed, it will automatically appear in the list of available conditions or settings.

Plug-ins are not made by the developers of Locale, so for help with plug-ins we recommend contacting the plug-in developer.

Location

The Location condition notices when you are within a particular area on the map represented by a circle. Drag and drop the pin to move a location. Drag and drop the edge of the circle to resize a location.

When creating a new location, it is recommended that you move yourself to the location that you're interested in, create a new location condition, and wait for Locale to determine your location. This will show you exactly what Locale sees based on GPS, Wi-Fi access points, and cell towers in your area. If you save the location without resizing or moving the pin, Locale should accurately detect your location when you are standing near this spot.

You can also search for locations, but those locations will have a larger radius because Locale won't know what kind of accuracy is available there until you arrive in the future. For smaller locations, wait until you're at the place before creating a Location condition.

Far away locations are limited to 500 meters, while your current location can be as small as 100 meters depending on accuracy available. Although Google Maps may show a smaller location circle than Locale, Google's circle is only 65% confident. Locale requires greater than 99% confidence to work reliably, which means a larger circle.

Arrival at locations should be detected almost immediately. Exiting a location may take longer, and uses a combination of both distance and time. In addition, the distance away at which a location is entered is smaller than the distance away at which a location is exited. This helps improve reliability.

For advanced users: Note that Wi-Fi is required to accurately determine your location. Locale will periodically perform brief Wi-Fi scans (even if Wi-Fi is turned off) to determine your location accurately. These periodic Wi-Fi scans improve location accuracy by about 10x. Counterintuitively, these Wi-Fi scans improve battery life because Locale has to work less hard to determine your location. These Wi-Fi scans can be disabled by making ALL Location conditions 2,000 meters in size.

Calibration

Locale offers a way to improve location accuracy through Calibration. Calibration will not only improve accruacy, but it can also reduce battery usage.

Calibration works by identifying a Wi-Fi access point, and positioning it exactly on the map. It does not matter if the access point is secured. It does not matter if the access point has Internet access. Locale merely uses the presence of the access point as a reference point; Locale does not connect to it. Afterwards, you do not need to leave Wi-Fi enabled.