The team from Waze has made a great point with their observations regarding iPhone iOS4 and the implications for location-aware apps and mobile navigation. From Waze… This new iPhone functionality (multi-tasking, enabling apps to run in the background) is especially important for crowdsourced apps, such as waze, that rely on our users to passively provide their GPS and traffic data, so for us, it is key that users can now speak on the phone while remaining connected to our app.
The Waze solution… This great functionality comes with a price, however. Navigation apps, known for their heavy data consumption, can be forgotten in the background and significantly drain battery. While some simpler implementations require the user to manually disconnect the app, waze has a smart approach to background processing and shut down. When waze goes into the background, smart algorithms are applied to detect whether or not the device is in motion. Following a long standstill, waze will automatically close itself when it determines that you are no longer using the app, avoiding needless data and battery consumption.
Nice stuff.. indeed battery consumption is already a huge headache for iPhone users (OS3) and now with the provision of multi-tasking, running multiple apps that are using GPS power will no doubt be a huge challenge for both developers and users. Interesting to see where this goes! See more about waze at www.waze.com or @waze on Twitter