The first use case that came to our mind when we initially thought about iBeacons was location based app shortcuts. At home. And here it is: Launch Here.
iBeacons are perfect to provide that extra bit of contextual information to help you remember and launch the right app at the right place. With Launch Here all you need is to get near an iBeacon and open your lock screen. A previously linked app of your choice will appear as local notification acting as launch shortcut – one simple swipe away right there from your lock screen.
Compare that to the usual process of launching apps: Remember that you have an app for that ⇢ Wake up the phone ⇢ Unlock ⇢ Swipe to navigate springboard / search ⇢ Find on screen ⇢ Tap.
Check your home screen and a take a quick look around. You will be surprised how easy it is to come up with meaningful links between spots at your home and related apps. Some examples:
- Sofa → Apple Remote App
- Kitchen → Timer App
- Wardrobe → Routing App
- Desk → To do App
For more ideas on connecting locations with intends and apps also check out our latest blog post.
Launch Here uses URL handlers to launch apps. To get started quickly we provide a pre-defined list with common apps to choose from. This includes Safari, Reminder, Maps, Omnifocus, Fantastical, Wunderlist, Waymate. However you can also add you own. Most apps provide URL handlers. Here’s a good list for finding them.
We take the attention of our users seriously trying to balance carefully when to show a local notification and when to hide it. As signs of intend we chose a relatively short distance to the iBeacon of less than 1 meter and actively opening the lock screen. We’ll continue to look for the right balance for this trigger. Let us know how you use Launch Here and how the notification distance works out for you.
Here’s our Launch Here site with more details and a little video.