LittleBrother for BlackBerry® Devices
with OS 4.5 or higher


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LittleBrother [β] Homepage

The "ZERO-power consuming" tracking solution

CellTower based - supporting CDMA and GSM Network (IDEN experimental)

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LittleBrother is for all BlackBerry® devices with OS 4.5 or higher (incl. OS7) [like 83xx, 85xx, 88xx, 9000(Bold) 9500/9520(Storm), 9530/9550(Strom2), 96xx, 97xx(Bold2), 98xx(Torch) or 99xx and all new JAVA-BASED BlackBerry smartphone devices that will be released in the future (no support for Devices running BB10!)].
Automatically inform friends and family members when you are around - so they can be prepared when you arrive (can save you some embarrassing moments). Keep informed right in the moment when your loved once are leaving a previous defined sector (radius around a location). Doing all this without almost none additional power consumption and data transfer.
There are various applications available that track your location all the time (and send this information to a central server) or they can on demand request the location of your device - both solutions have their disadvantages (concerning power and data usage) when it comes to the fact that you would like to send/receive notifications only if your device is leaving a previously defined area/sector.

LittleBrother Core Features:

  • Automatically send eMail and/or SMS notification when the device is leaving a certain area. This can be used to:
    • Keep notified if your children are leaving the area (in which they normally allowed to stay) - e.g. when they take by accident the wrong bus on their way to school.
    • Theft detection - if your device will be moved into an area where you normally never would going too [could be ideally combined with other applications like SmrtGuard to wipe your device remotely]
  • Automatically send eMail and/or SMS notification when the device is returning into a certain area. Useful to:
    • Let your loved once know, that you are coming home soon (e.g. returning from work)
    • To be relaxed again when you previously received an LittleBrother "Out of Sector" Notification.
  • WiFi Control:
    • Define Sectors in which WiFi should be automatically enabled
    • This implies that as soon as you are out of any Sector that have WiFi enabled that then LittleBrother will automatically turn of the WiFi of your BlackBerry in order to save power
    • When you want to use WiFi out of any of your current defined sectors you can either turn LittleBrothers WiFi Control OFF or create a new Sector for your current location
  • BBM™-connected (You need to install LittleBrother via AppWorld™in order to make use of the BBM™-connected) features).
    • Post our current CELLTOWER base location to your BBM™-Profile (via LittleBrother Recent Activities)
    • Post our current WLAN base location to your BBM™-Profile
    • Post Sector IN or OUT Notifications at your BBM™-Profile.
      You can customize the message that will be posted in your BBM™-Profile via the Sector definition settings. When you include the String '@@@' in your customized message then LittleBrother will include human readable location information (WGS84) in your profile update.
    • If your BBM™ Contacts have also LittleBrother installed, then they can click on any of your LittleBrother BBM™-Profile messages to open the LittleBrother Map Popup Dialog showing the location.
    • Post foursquare Sector Checkin's at your BBM™-Profile
    • Send Sector definitions to your BBM™-Contacts
    • Define BBM-BlackList Sectors:
      When you enable the location updates in your BBM™-Profile you can define additional so called BBM™-BlackList Sectors that will suppress the BBM profile update when you are currently in such a BBM™-BlackList Sector.
  • foursquare (semi) autocheckin:
    • With the WLAN-Monitor and the precision of the WLAN based location service it is possible for LittleBrother to auto-checkin at your preferred foursquare venues.
    • Once you are nearby of a 4sq Sector LittleBrother will alert you (configurable via the BlackBerry global alert configuration 'LittleBrother - foursquare Venue check-in Reminder') and display a global Popup which gives you the following choices:
      • Perform the foursquare CheckIn (by pressing 'OK')
      • Ignore this venue for the next 6 hours (by pressing 'Cancel')
      • Discard the dialog so it will be displayed again on the next 'New WLAN Location'-Event (by pressing the 'ESC' or BlackBerry Menu Button)
    • If you prefer a full automatic CheckIn you can enable the 'Do Auto-CheckIn' checkbox in each of your foursquare Sector definitions.
  • Facebook Wall posts:
    • Once you connect your Facebook account with LittleBrother (via the General Options) LittleBrother can automatically create new wall posts that will include a personal message and a link to GoogleMaps displaying your current position (similar to the eMail notifications).
    • You can specify for each Sector separately IF a Facebook post should be created.
      Please note that the additional text input fields will only appear (in the sector definition screen) when you have connected your Facebook account with LittleBrother.
      Simply leave the additional fields empty if you do not like that a Sector event will be published at your Facebook wall. That is the default for all existing & new created Sectors.
    • Of course you can also specify for each sector separate, if the IN-, OUT- or BOTH events should be posted and of course you can modify the main message to your likings (only the GoogleMaps link will be some sort of static).
    • Each creation of a Facebook wall post will be logged in the LittleBrother LOG that can be accessed via the LittleBrother options.
  • Google Latitude:
    • When you like you can connect LittleBrother with your Google account and allow LittleBrother to update your location in the Google Database.
    • Once the account is confirmed and connected you can adjust which location information should be send by LittelBrother. You can select between CellTower bases location information only or if your device is supporting WiFi you can also submit (way more accurate) WLAN-based location information as well.
    • Why you might like to use LittleBrother instead of the GoogleLatitude client?
      • LittleBrother almost need ZERO-power to know your current location
      • LittleBrother will ONLY transfer the core location data: latitude and longitude values - nothing more - guaranteed!
      • LittleBrother is fully customizable to give you the full control WHEN you like that your Location will be updated in Latitude
      • LittleBrother will only transfer your location is it's changing - e.g. when you stay the complete day at home - your location will be only updated once (if at all)
  • See an overview map of the last 25, 50 or 100 CellTowers/WLANs you have been connected too - IMHO very informative just to realize how much information about ourselves we are leaving every single day.
  • Export the local CellTower Database (locations) to a KML-File and send it via eMail [to be used with GoogleEarth to get an overview of all the CellTowers you have recorded so far].
  • Support for device 'Backup & Restore': Keep all your LittleBrother CellToer Records when you updating your OS or change your BlackBerry® device!

 


Background information

Theory of Operation

It's CellTower based

No matter if you are using CDMA or GSM - LittleBrother will work with both Network types

Why not using GPS?

Using the GPS antenna of the device is power consuming - LittleBrother is designed in a way to be running 24h a day - 7days a week. Using permanently the GPS-Signal would simply drain down the battery way too much and with that the the application would had been very unattractive. E.g. if you tried to use Google Latitue on your BlackBerry® device you know which negative impact this have concerning the battery life.
That's why LittleBrother does not make use of the GPS Antenna - this will make LittleBrother the almost zero power consuming tracking application.

CellTower locations are inaccurate?

That's true for sure - the location of the CellTowers is not 100% correct - also true: being connected to a specific CellTower does not reveal your exact location. On the other hand this information is sufficient enough to be able to tell in which area you around.

Data Transfer

LittleBrother needs to know the location information for the CellTower to which the device is connected. Unfortunately the device itself does not provide an reliable API for doing so. That's why LittleBrother is requesting the location information from a central server.
This requests & responses are very small, nevertheless this is data transfer and with that (depending from your providers data plan) costs will arise while you use LittleBrother.
But as soon LittelBrother have requested the location information for a CellTower this data will be cached locally on the device - so when you are moving in the same area each day you will notice at the beginning a little data transfers - but once all CellTowers of your area are cached at the local device no data transfer is required.
Please note that you can turn of the local CellTower data base updates - so when you are traveling (e.g during your vacations) you don't have to pay for additional data traffic (since new locations always implies new CellTowers and with that LittleBrother tries to update the location information).

Want to know more?

Please take a look at the additional documentation provided in the 'Manual'-Section of LittleBrother.

Where to find the LittleBrother Options?

Since LittleBrother is some sort of system application there is no own user interface. When you like to configure LittleBrother then this can be done within the BlackBerry® Options dialog itself. Simply open the default options and select the 'LittleBrother Options'. Alternatively you simply can launch the Options by using the LittleBrother Icon on your BlackBerry® Homescreen.

[Overview]|[Download]|[Changelog]|[Manual]| [Send β Feedback]

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