m-apps:locAR News Notes FAQ Menu

Welcome to the

m-apps:locAR Online User Guide

m-apps:locAR (often referred to simply as locAR in this guide) is the first in a suite of mobile applications (m-apps) from High-level Algorithms Limited. It is a multi-user team-tracking application which runs on the new generation of 'smart' mobile phones, such as the growing range of Google Android™ phones and (coming soon) Apple iPhone™.

Prior to using locAR you are advised to also view this User Guide via your phone's browser, as certain feature descriptions are tailored to the specific mobile phone type.

Starting Up

If you have installed m-apps:locAR on your phone and selected a source of positional information (typically either Network or GPS) you can now go ahead and start it up via its icon (below).

Please note that operating m-apps:locAR implies that you have fully accepted its Terms and Conditions of Use.

The User Interface

The locAR user interface incorporates a full-screen Google Maps background to a variety of controls, messages and graphics.

Node Markers

The most important locAR graphic features are the 'node' markers. Each node marker indicates the location and (as available) speed, direction, altitude, identifier and description or text message associated with a 'node'.

There are two main classes of node: team nodes (of which one is your own) and user nodes. Team nodes represent yourself and other members of your current team. User nodes represent various other positional entities (waypoints, zones, missiles, etc).

Team Nodes

... are shown in the form seen above - a red-backlit 'location circle' (white for your own node, blue for fellow team members) with a central white spot. The green line coming from the central spot indicates (if known) the 'azimuth' (compass direction) of the node. If the node is moving a yellow line indicates the direction and (by its length) speed of motion.

To the left of the node location circle is the heading; to the right is the speed. If the node is above mean sea level its altitude appears above the location circle. The display units can be changed via the Nav menu.

The node UID (see the User menu) is in white below the node location circle. Any description (or, for team nodes, text message) associated with a node appears below the UID

Whenever a team node's navigation data is sent or received the position is stored. The most recent 100 such 'trail' points can be displayed (in red for your own node, yellow for other team nodes) via the Map menu. Each transmission of your own navigation data or receipt of a team member's data is indicated by an expanding green circle.

Finally, you can define (via the User menu) a 'home' zone around your own node. This is shown as a blue-on-white circle. Movements of other team members into or out of your home zone are indicated by warning messages.

Most of the controls required to manage locAR are displayed on selection as required via a menu system. However ...

The Menu Button

... is always present at the top left corner of the screen. This is the key to all other locAR control functions. Pressing Menu brings up a further set of menu buttons that are each dedicated to one of the main functional activities. If the menus are already shown then pressing Menu hides them all to give you maximum visibility of the map below. They auto-hide anyway after a few seconds if not used.

System Messages

The top edge of the screen (to the right of the Menu button) is reserved for messages indicating various events or responses to user input. These generally appear for a few seconds and are then removed. Urgent messages are backlit in red, less urgent ones in magenta and others in blue.

Battery Level

It's important to be aware of your phone's battery level - especially when some of the more power-hungry features such as GPS are in use. A battery level indicator appears at the top-right of the screen whenever the level changes. Levels at or above 50% are backlit in green, down to 20% in yellow and below that in red. A system message is also displayed as the battery level goes through each 5% mark.

To see the menus, press Menu (here, or the button on the image above) now ...

Screen Orientation

Users of mobile phone applications generally have two alternative ways of viewing their screen - "portrait" (taller than wide) orientation and "landscape" (wider than tall). It is recommended that users view locAR in portrait mode while using the 'Map View' functionality, as this best supports the display of the location-based graphics along with the controls required for some locAR features. All of the Map View screenshots in this User Guide are in portrait mode.

It is also possible to view locAR in landscape orientation - and there is a Flip button on the main menu display which swaps the display between portrait and landscape orientations. Some of the control layouts in landscape orientation (particularly those associated with the simulation and War-loc modes) are different to those for portrait mode, although they are kept as similar as possible.

Furthermore, the 'Cam View' mode operates (for now) entirely in landscape orientation, to which the screen is changed if cam view is selected from portrait orientation.

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