Home Loopt Brings Background Location to the iPhone

Loopt Brings Background Location to the iPhone

It looks like the first runner has crossed the finish line in the race to bringing background location functionality to the iPhone, and the winner is Loopt, an early entry in the location-based services arena.

Aside from multitasking (or pseudo-multitasking, if you will) and those helpful organizer folders, background location was one of the most anticipated features of iOS 4, and Loopt clearly shows us why – even though it’s just the tip of the background-location iceberg.

Persistent location means one thing – you don’t need to interact with your iPhone and let it know that you want it to check your location and give you information based on that data. Instead, you can allow your iPhone to consistently monitor your location in various apps and when it comes across a certain set of conditions, notify you.

In the case of Loopt, this means that you don’t have to walk around town checking in at every location you go. As Kim-Mai Cutler of Venture Beat writes, “users can now continuously share where they are with specific friends so they don’t have to constantly “check-in” to places. If a friend happens to be nearby, the app will send you a push notification alerting you. (They can still do check-ins for acquaintances and a broader group of friends, however.)”

As we wrote when we first heard about background location, the “list of ideas for background location are endless”, from time- and place-specific advertising to the types of notifications we’ll see from Loopt.

Something like Urbanspon, so you can know when deals pop up around you for happy hour? Or maybe a traffic notification app that can alert you to a jam on the highway your driving ahead? What if Craigsphone could look up apartments as you travel around town and let you know when you near one meeting your requirements?

Outside of the LBS arena, what apps are you excited about having access to your location in the background?

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