How do trigger an iPhone app based on location?
April 5, 2016 10:21 PM   Subscribe

Is there any way for me to trigger or open a specific app when I get to a particular location and then shut it down when I leave? I've got IFTTT but the app in question isn't part of their channels, so all I can do at the moment is trigger a reminder when I enter or leave the location in question. Is there another way to get this done? Am I missing something obvious?? Google has not been helpful so far.

My work has volunteered us as guinea-pigs for an Australian health organisation to gather specific information based on our social interaction, with the aim that it will help predict depression. We are currently trialling the interaction side of things via a special app (both OS and Android) that tracks us around the office via Bluetooth and our Wi-Fi points. It's a cool idea and a very worthy cause, and I've opted-in.

The problem is that the app is only useful when I'm in the office but I often forget to turn it on when I get in in the mornings. I don't want to leave the app running in the background as it (and Bluetooth) tend to suck my battery dry.

Currently I've got IFTTT pinging me with a reminder when I get to work but it seems like the obvious thing would be to just go ahead and start the app and Bluetooth without bothering me. Is there any way of doing this?

I'd prefer not to have to pay money to get this done, but if there's a reasonably-priced solution, then I'd still be interested.
posted by ninazer0 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
I know how to do this for Android but I'm an iOS novice. Event triggers are rather easy to set up in Android (using apps like Trigger). Homekit seems to offer similar features for iOS but appears to be focused on home automation.

Not sure that's entirely helpful but maybe knowing a way to do it with Android will help in your search with iOS.

(also the app draining your battery is really crucial feedback for the dev team. The BLE beacons should have minimal battery impact on your phone)
posted by toomanycurls at 10:52 PM on April 5, 2016 [1 favorite]

Seems like the developers could use iBeacon to automatically trigger the app by location.
posted by Gotanda at 10:57 PM on April 5, 2016

toomanycurls: Trigger looks to be exactly what I want, know...Android. Damn.
posted by ninazer0 at 11:43 PM on April 5, 2016

AltBeacon is the android equivalent of iBeacon.

There's also Google's Physical Web which is included in their Eddystone beacon product.
posted by forforf at 4:06 AM on April 6, 2016

Oops, sorry I didn't answer your question. I'm not sure of an app that switches things off, but now I'm curious too.
posted by forforf at 4:12 AM on April 6, 2016

I think the answer is 'no', basically – as far as I know iOS doesn't allow apps to open other apps in this way (there are exceptions involving URL schemes, but I'm not sure they'd help here given that it's a special app).

The best thing might be just to use the built-in Reminders app to remind you to turn on/off the app when you get to the office and leave the office. You can set location-based reminders for when you enter/leave a specific area.
posted by Richard Holden at 5:22 AM on April 6, 2016 [1 favorite]

Whiiiiiiiich is what you're already doing with IFTTT – sorry!
posted by Richard Holden at 5:23 AM on April 6, 2016

Launch Center Pro has location triggers - so if there's a URL scheme for your app, you might be able to have it launch using LCP.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:53 AM on April 6, 2016

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