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Skyhook offers 'Always-On' background STALKING feature

Pah, who needs more battery juice at 40,000 feet?!

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Location data provider Skyhook has debuted a new "Always-On" feature in version 4.6 of its mobile software development kit for coders.

The Boston-based outfit said that more and more applications, particularly in the social networking market, demanded persistent background location information.

But smartphones with location-tracking services switched on are easily drained of battery juice, Skyhook said in punting its new feature, which is only available for Android handsets.

Social apps want to monitor location constantly to alert when friends are nearby, deals apps want to push deal notifications to you as you pass by a participating merchant and task management apps want to remind you to pick up the milk when you pass a grocery store.

The company said that its "Always-On" features would allow apps – on an opt-in basis – to check a customer's location as regularly as every 30 seconds throughout the day.

It claimed the process would have "little or no noticeable impact on the device's battery life".

Skyhook's latest SDK also comes loaded with a airplane-tracking feature that means apps can use location settings even as high up as 40,000 feet.

Third-party developers are currently coding what Skyhook described as "virtual pilot apps" that provide details about places as passengers fly over them.

"Instead of having pilots identify points of interest to passengers via the intercom, now passengers can follow their flight's progress and explore areas beneath the plane within augmented reality apps that use Skyhook," it said. ®

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