It's finally been done and I'm very happy to see Shareloc in the iOS App Store. The first prototype was created almost a year ago, the backend api has been rewritten 3 times and the app already shows its second redesinged UI. Overall I'm very satisfied with the current state and looking forward to push the app further.
Why yet another location sharing app?
Good question and I heard it a lot telling people about Shareloc. So I want to explain you how it all came together. In the beginning there was a simple need. I just wanted to share my location with my wife and my friends. And in this case there are not only alreadx exisiting some apps for that, it's an iOS integrated feature. So I used it and I was disappointed because it didn't work as expected. Then I tried other location sharing services on iOS including glympse, facebook and google maps. But none did satisfy all of my requirements and those are not that special in my opinion. Basically there are 3 obvious features that I want:
- Ease of use: It has to be really easy and fast to use. If it takes me more than 5 seconds to share my location, I probably won't use the app.
- Accuracy: The shared location should be as accurate as possible. If the person I shared my location with only knows my position up to 100 meters accurate, then location sharing looses some use cases for me.
- Speed: The update interval for my location should not be limited. If there is a new location available, it should be available to my shared contact immediately.
And then there is a fourth and implied feature: security! It's not last because it's least important, it's here because the user can't see it. You maybe can check if the data transfer is encrypted, but you don't know how long the location data are stored and with whom they are shared.
As all services I tested did at least fail two of those features I created a small prototype testing if the GPS on the iPhone was accurate enough to fulfill my needs. As it turns out: Yes! And now here I'm presenting Shareloc the location sharing service living up to my and hopefully also your needs and expectations.
How are you making money with a free app?
In the current state: I'm not and that is fine for me. I'm a freelance software developer and Shareloc is a some kind of work sample for people who may want to hire me. Also the operating costs of Shareloc are pretty low, so don't expect the app to loose it's current "free"-pricetag.
That doesn't mean there are no plans to monetize the app at all. In the future it might be possible to buy some extra features via an in-app-purchase or make little donations, but that are still dreams of the future.
Shareloc is working great as it is, but it is still an 1.0, and the plans for 1.x- and 2.x-versions have been around since the beginning. During the developement and beta testing I created a backlog of ideas and feature requests that I'm now prioritizing. Also if you have a feature request please use the contact form on the Shareloc website to share it with me.
Also if you like Shareloc and would like to see new features before everybody else, just let me know and I will add you as a beta tester.