02-Jun-2014

Distance Tracking using GPS

I took the last couple of months to develop this GeoDist app which is an Android smartphone app to determine distance travelled using the GPS receiver available in smartphones. It is intended for walkers, runners and bikers to determine how much distance they have covered. It can also be used in a car with the strong recommendation for passenger operation to avoid driver distraction.

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This GeoDist app turned out to present challenges in a couple of key areas. Implementing a continuously running app, capable of running even if the user is operating other apps, was a significant challenge in Android which has limited capabilities for multitasking. It turns out that the Android operating system will shut down background apps when resources (such as memory) are pinched. The foreground running app in Android gets the top priority. So, depending on available system resources, it is possible for the distance tracking app to be stopped in favor of giving resources to the foreground app. I had to write an Android service to accommodate continuance of GeoDist even if it is not the foreground app.

The second significant challenge was figuring out how to monetize this app. I decided to embark on the world of mobile ad networks as the revenue model for this app. Various ad network providers were explored and evaluated, including:

  • AdMob
  • InMobi
  • Millennial Media
  • AirPush
  • AppFlood

The various ad networks provide different types of ads (gaming apps, non-gaming apps, video ads), as well as ad revenue models. The traditional CPM (cost per impression) is falling out of favor in the mobile world. CPC (cost per click) and CPI (cost per install) are the more popular ad spend models with CPI being the most popular and seen as the future of where mobile ads are headed.

The GeoDist app is available for Android. Visit the igtsoft GeoDist webpage for more information.


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Beach



If Earth were the size of a basketball, the moon would be the size of a tennis ball and they'd be 25 feet apart.