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Month: September 2011

MindfulnessTree: Support Your Practice With Your Smart Phone

Last winter, whilst exploring ideas for a possible research proposal, I wrote a prototype desktop web application to help people learn the Mindfulness of Breathing. It formed the basis of an  assignment that you can read about in a previous blog post. The application, BreathFollower, is still running on  Google App Engine at . Almost as soon as I started developing that application I began to regret not developing it for the mobile phone. BreathFollower won’t even run on an iPad. I thought that if you could cradle the application in your hands, in a similar position to the cosmic mudra,  and tap the screen with your thumb to interact with it, it would be more effective. As soon as my assignments were out of the way I started on a phone based application.

HTML5 Geolocation Data Sucks

I have long been excited about HTML5 having access to a geolocation data. It should make it possible to build a whole range of applications for phones and other devices that are cross platform but make use of the users location. Unfortunately reality bites when you try and actually build an application based on the technology.

I have been working with Sencha Touch and the Ext.util.Geolocation object but am having problems with accuracy. I have noted the following behaviour.

When I call for a location on iPhone (3G) and iPad (v1) I get a one with around 1.3km accuracy. Basically it places me at one of two spots about 1km apart. If I switch to the native maps app then it places my position within 10m of where I am standing – that “wow it knows where I am” accuracy . Switch back to my web app and the first call to the GeoLocation returns similar accuracy. Any subsequent calls return the old inaccurate positions.