Google had introduced a timeline feature for its map, one that remembered the trips you took and also marked it on the maps. Microsoft, on the other hand, has been keeping us amused with the quality and the utility of its Garage apps and this time around they have unveiled Trip Tracker. This app has the recently announced LOOP (Microsoft Location and Observation Platform) SDK as its cornerstone.
The LOOP SDK from Microsoft claims to get location pings from the users all the while being frugal on the battery life. What Trip Tracker does is that it assimilates the data from the LOOP SDK and puts it forth in such a way that one would make sense out of it. The app is capable of recognizing the start and end time of each trip along with the path taken and duration as well. Taking it a step further it also segregates the trip based on the mode of transport including drive, walk, run and bike ride.
LOOP works by converting basic signals made up of latitude and longitude points into location insights and this feature is mostly aimed to help the developers better target their crowd. In the beta phase, the app can be used free of cost but its most likely that Microsoft will start charging once the app is out of beta. Since it’s open source anyone can access the source code on GitHub and fork out their own version.
That said this app does mimic a few features already present in the Google Maps timeline but again Microsoft touts that LOOP SDK is light on battery and this might help us preserve the battery life. Microsoft Location and Observation Platform (LOOP) will help the developers gain real-time insight of how many users are sending and receiving location. Moreover, it also lets the developers export the location histories to Azure Blob. The issue with the data privacy is something of utmost importance here and to be frank I was also not comfortable with Google Timeline etching my movements on the map. Anyways apart from the privacy concerns the app is already on the Play Store and anyone (available in select regions) can give it a spin.