LittleBrother for BlackBerry® Devices [User Manual]
with OS 4.5 or higher


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LittleBrother [β] User Manual

The "ZERO-power consuming" tracking solution

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

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Overview


Theory of Operation

A cell phone is connected to a CellTower in order to transfer your calls (or data) - each of these CellTowers have an unique ID. This ID information could be read from the device and a web service could be used in order to receive the location for a CellTower with a specific ID.
Of course the location of a CellTower is not exactly your current location - but it's sufficient enough to be able to tell in which sector you are currently in. So in contrast to a GPS enabled System LittleBrother is not revealing your exact location - but it for sure reveals the area in which you are around.
In areas with a high dense of CellTowers LittleBrother can work with an approximate precision of 500m - where in other areas with very low cell tower dense it could go up to 25km or more.

What will happen on your device

  1. Depending on your Settings LittleBrother will check every x minutes the ID of the CellTower to which the device is currently connected. [I would had been delighted, if RIM would had offered an API that would send an Event on a CellTower change - but even if such an Interface exists in the API it simply does not work on any device I have tested so far].
  2. With this CellTower ID LittleBrother is checking if previously the location information was already requested from the web service.
  3. If the CellTower location is not present at the device already a small data package needs to be send to a central web service to retrieve the location information. Please note, that only the CellTower ID will be submitted from your device to the web service - no personal/individual data will be exchanged! Once the response will arrive on the device the information will be stored on your BlackBerry® in order to save the data transfer next time to connect to the same CellTower with the given ID again.
  4. With present CellTower location LittleBrother will calculate the distance to your specified sector center and determine if this distance is within the allowed radius.
  5. If LittleBrother detects that the location of the CellTower (to which your device is currently connected) is out of this radius, LittleBrother automatically send an eMail and/or SMS to the previously defined recipients.
  6. Once the Device is connected to a CellTower that location is again within the sector radius, then an additional notification can be automatically send by LittleBrother.

BlackBerry® OS Internet connection prompt

When your BlackBerry® device want to make the first time a connection to a web service you will be prompted to confirm this connection. So when this dialog will prompt you to confirm the connection you should enable the checkbox "Always allow LittleBrother to make a Internet Connection".

General Options

Network

Select the preferred transport for the web service communication - if the selected Network is not available LittleBrother will try to use an alternative one.

Update Local Database

When disabled LittleBrother will not request location information for new CellTower IDs that are not already present on the device. Of course LittleBrother can only send Notifications based on CellTower location information. But in some conditions (e.g. when you are on vacation) it can make a lot of sense to disable local CellTower Database updates.

Update Interval

Specify how frequent LittleBrother should check to which CellTower ID the device is currently connected.

Show Current Location

Will open a dialog displaying the current CellTower location to which your device is connected

Show Last 25 Locations

Will show a static GoogleMaps screen with the last 25 CellTowers to which your device was connected.

Sector definition

Use Current

Will use the Latitude and Longitude values of the location of the CellTower to which your device is currently connected as center of your sector definition.

Show Location

Will open a dialog displaying the current Sector definition center location.

Latitude/Longitude

Specify manually the Latitude (-90 to +90) and Longitude (-180 to 180) values in WGS84 format

Radius (in Meter)

Specify the radius around your sector center which should be considered as allowed sector. Every CellTower location that is within this radius around the sector center is considered as being "safe".

Notification eMail/SMS

Specify the recipient(s) for LittleBrother notifications - Separate multiple recipients with a comma. Please note that you can combine and SMS recipients. Each value that does not contain a '@' character will be interpretet as SMS reciepient.

Send Notification when out of Sector?

Check if LittleBrother should send a notification to the recipient(s) (specified above) as soon as the device is connection to a CellTower that is located outside of the defined sector radius.

Send Notification when back in Sector?

Check if LittleBrother should send a notification to the recipient(s) (specified above) as soon as the device is connection to a CellTower that is located inside again of the defined sector radius.
Please note that when you receive frequently "Out of Sector notifications" shortly followed by "Back in Sector notifications" you should consider increasing the sector radius.

Local CellTower Database

Show local Database

Show Database Map

Export as KML (eMail

Export eMail-Recipient(s)

Google Map type

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