Earlier this year there was a lot of publicity and concern about how the iPhone was tracking people’s location. Turned out that the phone was logging cell tower locations, and not actually tracking one’s exact location, but the resulting data was close enough to make people concerned. The reactions showed that people don’t like the idea of others being able to track their location, but there are times when it might be helpful for people to know where you are, and a new iPhone app called Onmaway provides that information.
It can be a common as one drives around town on errands, for a spouse or friend to want to know where you are and when you will arrive at a destination. Many people send text messages or make phone calls to provide such updates, and if they do so while driving that is not safe. With Onmaway you can send anyone you want a link to a web site that shows your location and they can view the information using any web browser on a desktop computer or mobile device.
Users send the link along with a personalized message via e-mail, text message, or messaging services like Twitter and Facebook. At the time you send the link the app asks how long the link will be active. For example, you can configure the link to show your location information for 30 minutes, after which the link will no longer work. The person receiving the link will see your location displayed on a map and that location automatically updates as you move, with your location information being sent from the iPhone.
Onmaway actually has two different modes, short trip and epic journey. The short trip mode works as I describe above, continually displaying your location. Epic journey is intended for longer trips and sends a message or posts an update of your location at a set time interval, such as every 24 hours. If you are traveling across country over 5 days, you can have Onmaway post a Facebook status once a day saying where you are at that moment, showing your progress as you travel.
Onmaway is similar to Glympse, which I use and have written about before, but Onmaway does not share as much details as Glympse which will show your travel speed and estimated arrival time. People who don’t want to share their travel speed may prefer Onmaway. While Glympse is ad-supported and free, Onmaway costs $1.99 and is currently only available for the iPhone.