Miscellany

Yonder, locations plugin for KiK Messenger

Yonder_kik_thumb

Once upon a time, I wanted to pass my exact location to a friend. I found it to be quite a hassle, Google Maps for Android requires one to jump through many hoops to share the location, and even then it adds metadata.

We were using KiK Messenger to chat, and it was possible to write custom plugins using their Android and iOS SDKs. Currently this is all outdated and one can write 'cards' (in javascript) to add functionality to KiK.

Inner workings

Plugins for KiK could add a payload to a message in basically the same way Android's Bundle works. Yonder attaches a latitude and a longitude, and a socalled FallbackUri, in case the other party is on an iOS device. When iOS users would tap a received Yonder message, it would send the location to their maps app. When Android users would open a Yonder message, KiK would start Yonder and it would interpret the message to show the basic interface with the location centered. This would allow the receiver to view the location and perhaps send a new one.

The interface

Yonder's main interface is a Google MapView, with two buttons. The mapview will center on where the Android device thinks it is (GPS), unless the user has panned the view. The mapview can be tapped to select a location and once this is done, the two buttons become active. The Maps button starts Google Maps, allowing for turn-by-turn navigation. The KiK button tells KiK to construct a new message with the appropriate payload.

The mapview has rounded edges, using Eric Burke's method.

The background is a generated GradientDrawable.

Reception

Sadly, Yonder's functionality was misunderstood by many who believed it could be used to find KiK users on the map, which resulted in bad ratings.

Get it on Google Play