update 1.0.9: a bugfix and a browser client

This update was handed in on the 3rd of January 2014 and was ready for everyone on the 4th – fastest Update ever!

With this little update you get:

  • a bugfix: Previously, whenever you switched out of Miataru and came back the Device you where monitoring was not getting updated on screen anymore. With version 1.0.9, when you switch back to Miataru, the device will be freshly updated and continue to update it’s location. Nice, eh?
  • a new feature: The “send QR Code through eMail” functionality was extended to hold the Miataru Service URL – though this only works with the official free Miataru service.
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  1. Chris Johnson
    Posted January 14, 2014 at 2:25 am | Permalink

    I apologize if this is not the proper place to post this question. I am very interested in using Miataru. However, I’m concerned that once I give out my device ID, anyone who has it or gets ahold of it will be able to access my location forever. I understand that I have the ability to stop updating my location for everyone. But what if there is a particular person to whom I trusted my device ID in the past but now no longer wish for them to have it? Can I disable access to certain individuals? How do I regulate who gets to see my location and who doesn’t?

    Thank you for your help.

    • bietiekay
      Posted January 14, 2014 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

      This is possible and indeed planned. A slight change of the specification is necessary and of course changes in the client application. But it should be possible to be there in relatively short term.

      Do you want this feature as a user or are you also interested in participating in the development?

      • Chris Johnson
        Posted January 14, 2014 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

        I would be interested in this feature as a user. I run a small company which used Latitude quite extensively. We’ve been searching for a suitable replacement ever since it was discontinued. Find Friends is Ios only. We needed something with an android client. Lokki has been filling the gap, but what we miss the most is the ability set privacy settings on a per-friend basis. Latitude would allow you hide your location to certain friends, but allow others. Additionally, you had the option of revealing only your general location to certain friends which could be anywhere in a given city rather than a precise location.

        I really appreciate the work you’ve done on Miataru so far. It looks fantastic. I LOVE that you’ve published the specs and have a provision for allowing users to run their own server. (If we started using this product, I think we would exercise that option. It would be great if you could specify the server on a per user basis as well; that way you could use one client to track different friends on different servers.)

        I’m excited to see Miataru develop. THANK you for everything you’re doing!!!!

        -Chris Johnson

        • bietiekay
          Posted January 14, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

          Thanks for the valuable input to this feature wish. Sounds like a good idea to me. One question back: In regards to the design of that feature the question came up if the number of friends that can be allowed should be limited to a specific number or not? Like you can allow a max of 20 or something. How many would you need?

          • Chris Johnson
            Posted January 15, 2014 at 5:39 am | Permalink

            Would a limit be arbitrary or would it be based on a foreseen technical limitation of the server/client/protocol? Without giving it a tremendous amount of thought, I can’t see the upside in imposing a limit. Whatever number you come up with will surely frustrate some percentage of users. If it’s not technically necessary, I don’t see much point in it. Having said that, I don’t think anyone in my company exceeded 20 peers on Latitude.

          • bietiekay
            Posted January 21, 2014 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

            I’ve already worked quite a lot on the authentication and privacy settings scenario now and in the near future there will be a new specification for protocol version 2 up and ready for comments. With that fixed the implementation of version 2 should not be a huge obstacle. The main goal of version 2 would be:

            • allowing a smoother and more secure shareing of the device id – to put it simple: the device id alone won’t be sufficient to access location data
            • giving the possibility to define share periods – so the use case “share my location to this user for the next hour”
            • a user would be able to deny further access to the location data from a client
            • a user would be able to see who is accessing his location data
            • added security in terms of the possibility to report locations on behalf of others

            In addition I am trying to squeeze in a new feature-set for messaging (easier add-new-device workflow) and a couple more.

            Most probably I also will set-up some kind of discussion group to allow others to chime in as well.

  2. Chris
    Posted January 31, 2014 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

    It looks like the client only updates my location when I unlock my phone. Can this restriction be lifted? I’m trying to build a Harry Potter clock using your app and I’d like my location to be updated continuously without me doing anything manually.

    • bietiekay
      Posted January 31, 2014 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

      Hi Chris,

      Miataru will continue to update your location in the background. But when Miataru is not the front-most application it falls back to a service called “Significant Location Change”. So whenever the iPhone detects a significant location change (+200 meters) it should notify Miataru to update the location.

      This works with a lot of test iPhones (from 4 to 5s) without any problem and without the user doing anything. The only important bit is that Miataru is not closed (for example using the Home-Doubleclick and Swiping Miataru to the top of the screen (to close it))

      • Chris
        Posted January 31, 2014 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

        Ok, my DataRetentionTime was set to only 30 minutes so that may have been part of it. I’ve increased that amount and enabled history so I’ll see how it goes from here on out. Thanks!

        • bietiekay
          Posted February 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

          Hi Chris,

          yes – when you have the history disabled the location data is automatically removed from the server according to the Retention Time you’ve set. If you’re not moving around a lot 30 minutes retention time means that your iPhone might not report your location every 30 minutes and therefore you might not be able to get the location.

          The use case you’re describing is awesome! Do you have more details on how you made it? Maybe even some pictures?