Follow Me Wallpaper

16 years ago, at the end of September | 3 Comments

Last night I tried a little experiment on my jailbroken iPhone. Since I’d already started poking about playing with my own Winterboard themes and have been tracking my iPhone’s location for a while now, I thought I’d see what happened if I mixed the two. So, how about wallpaper that followed you? Follow Me It turns out that combining the two is relatively straight forward. Google now provide a mechanism for getting what they call static maps which will allow you to get an image centered on a set of coordinates. You can also add your own markers if you want.

There are some limitations on the number and size of the maps that you can retrieve so I employed a very simple caching mechanism to ensure I didn’t annoy Google. This certainly helps speed things up when testing and also enabled me to identify a small issue I was having.

One of the things I wanted to happen was that the image on the phone would only change if the location of the phone had changed and the phone had a network connection of some type (wifi/edge etc). So far it works pretty well except when the phone uses SkyHook IP  which manages to be 100’s of kilometers out. Thankfully since my positioning database has the source of the positioning I can filter out those dodgy SkyHook IP results.

I also found that it was better to remove the text from the docked icons. Well, technically, I didn’t actually remove it I just made it transparent. The text for the other icons was made red so that it can be seen over the underlying map. It’s a simple process. By adding the following lines to the Info.plist of my Winterboard theme, I get the desired effect.

	<string>font-size: 13px; color: red</string>
	<string>font-size: 13px; color: transparent</string>

Any of the Google maps styles can be used (roadmap, mobile, satellite etc) but I prefer the mobile one since it’s clearer and the number of bytes that need to be transmitted is less than half of that for the satellite image.


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September 22, 2008 11:50


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3 Comments so far

  1. C.M on September 22, 2008 14:16

    Cool, nice hack! (And now I know why you’re not in #openmoko any more… ;))

  2. ScaredyCat / Andy Powell on September 22, 2008 14:43


    There are lots of reasons why I’m not in #openmoko – maybe I’ll blog about it one day. The iPhone (2g version 2nd user) was cheaper and ready to hack about. Still very much a supporter of Openmoko though, still serving lots of data for it each month 🙂

    Will pop back in there soonish..

  3. Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you : ..the cat came back.. on March 21, 2009 18:11

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