Locale seems to be one of the coolest apps on the Android devices. Lets you reconfigure multiple aspects of your phone depending on location. I for example would like to change my default calendar depending on if I'm at work or not.

I've done a lot of digging to see if iPhone has a similar app. And all I can find are old articles saying that since iOS doesn't support background tasks (Which it does now), that this feature isn't even possible. Now that we have background tasks, I can't see whats holding this back, especially in the jailbreak community.

I'm posting this to see if anybody out there has an app in progress, or has anymore information that I haven't been able to dig up.


  • Locale - what a cool app! Perhaps someone will make (has made?!) an app for jailbroken phones. Makes me sad that Apple locks the devices so much. Commented Oct 12, 2010 at 6:46

2 Answers 2


While iOS doesn't support generic background tasks (i.e. doing whatever you want in the background), it does support taking some action when a user enters certain geographical bounds, so it seems like this could technically be possible when moving from work to home or elsewhere.

My guess is that it is because iOS is very restrictive about what an app can change about the phone interface. You mention changing the default calendar configuration, which an application cannot do currently with public APIs. Apps are mostly restricted to changing their own settings or firing their own events rather than having access to other apps on the phone.

Could this change in the future? Sure, if Apple adds more public APIs to change various system or app options. But it seems unlikely considering their interest in a consistent user experience.


Implementing such an app on the iPhone would require that either GPS or wifi is active all the time (or at least regularly), which might drain the battery.

Also, this app would have to run as a background service all the time, which iOS doesn't really allow. You can run any number of apps but when memory runs low, the least used apps get shut down by the OS. This app should have to be protected against shutdown, which iOS doesn't support. For this reason, this app needs to be written for jailbroken iPhones only.

Therefore, you won't find such an app in iTunes, but you might find it in Cydia (now or in the future), but I don't know.

Note: I've not jailbroken my iPhone 4 yet but situations like this make me want to. I think that Apple puts too many limits on the devices. If people want to run XYZ on their devices and it redcues their battery life to a few hours, let them if they really want to.

  • Not really, you can leave your application sleeping and be notified periodically, when there are location updates. But as Nick said, apps are very limited, Apple won't allow a 3rd party app to change system settings, for fear of a rogue app wreaking havoc. Commented Oct 15, 2010 at 16:01

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