ABOUT THIS APP
The BMLT NA Meeting Search iOS app is a comprehensive NA meeting search app that connects to The Worldwide “Sandwich” Server to provide a truly globe-spanning meeting search capability.
This is the source code repo for the app. The default branch is the Master Branch, which means that code may be checked in for as-yet-unreleased versions of the app.
It extends the Quick NA Meeting Finder App by adding more detailed search capabilities, such as the ability to search for specific text (like meeting or venue names), or a starting location.
Like the Quick NA Meeting Finder App , it’s location-based. It searches for meetings within a specified (or automatically chosen) distance from that location.
This restriction is necessary, as there are more than 19,000 meetings currently in the worldwide databases , and we need to restrict the search results to a reasonable quantity.
Below, is a map that shows the coverage of the BMLT (as of the date of this page being written -it’s growing steadily):
The meetings just off the West coast of Africa are actually errors in data entry (long/lat of 0,0 -where The Equator and The Prime Meridian intersect).
The meetings in the middle of the Pacific belong to Guam and Hawai’i -the only NA Region that crosses The International Date Line.
When you start the app, it will immediately start trying to connect to the Worldwide BMLT Server . This is a special Server that collects all of the BMLT servers in the world , and presents them as if they were all just one server.
This process usually just takes a few seconds, and you’ll see the big button spinning while the connection is being made.
If there were any problems, an alert will be displayed:
informing you that the connection failed, and the page will be displayed with a “greyed-out” button:
If this is the case, then you need to try touching the big button in the center to retry the connection.
If the app is not connected, it won’t work, and won’t let you do anything more.
THE MAIN TABS
Once you are connected, the four tabs along the bottom of the main screen will become enabled, and you’ll be able to choose how you’d like to search for meetings:
The “Meetings Today” tab is selected when the app first connects.
This tab is basically the same functionality as the Quick NA Meeting Finder App , except it doesn’t start a search automatically. You need to touch the big button in the center.
Doing this will immediately start searching for meetings later today, or tomorrow, within an automatically-chosen radius (It goes far out enough to find a number of meetings to satisfy the setting in the “Settings and Info” Tab, which we’ll discuss later).
If the device does not have Location Services enabled, or you have previously denied a Location Services Permission screen, you may see this alert:
In this case, you’ll need to open your Settings app, and either turn on Location Services, or give explicit permission to the BMLT NA Meeting Search app.
We’ll discuss exactly how the search results are presented a bit later, after we’ve discussed all the tabs (the results are the same for all three search tabs).
This tab will allow you to apply a couple of basic search criteria to a search that is centered on your location.
It allows you to select one or more specific weekdays (the button above the weekday checkboxes allows you to clear or set all of them).
It also allows you to search for specific text, such as a meeting or venue name.
It should be noted that this is not a location. If, for example, you enter a town name, it will return results that are listed under that town, but not return other results that may be just outside it.
Finally, you can specify that the search find an auto-radius (in the same manner as the “Meetings Today” tab), or a specified distance from your current location.
This gives you the opportunity to do a search centered on a location other than your current location.
When first opened, the map will find out where you are, and zoom into that location. This is just a starting point.
You may be required to give the app permission to determine your location:
If there is an error in determining your location, you won’t be able to use the Location Search Tab:
The image to the left shows the “Hybrid” map type displayed. Below the map, you will see a three-element segmented switch that will allow you to choose what kind of map will be displayed. This will also affect the maps shown in meeting result screens.
In the bottom, right of the map, there is a small, circular arrow icon, pointing Northeast. Touching this button will re-center the map on your current location, if you have moved the map location elsewhere.
You can drag the marker around to choose a nearby location, or you can enter an address in the text box above the map, and touch “Set the Marker to This Location”. If you do this, the app will do its best to look up the desired location, and set the map center (black marker) to that location.
This location does not have to be nearby. It can be in any area of the world, served by a BMLT server.
For example, say you are in New York, but you are planning a trip to Mumbai, India. You could enter “Mumbai, India” into the text box, and hit “Set the Marker to This Location”, thusly:
Just like the Basic Search Tab, you can select an automatically-chosen radius, or a specific radius. However, in this case, you will see a circle, superimposed on the map, that shows the search area:
The resulting search will only show meetings that fall within this circle.
SETTINGS AND INFO
There are only a couple of settings for the app. Also, if you tap the big button in the middle of the screen, you will be shown a screen with a basic explanation of the app, and a link to this page:
Auto Search Density
This is a simple segmented switch that allows you to choose about how many meetings will satisfy the “auto” search. The minimum is just a few, while the maximum may be over twenty.
The exact number is not predictable, and you may need to try using it to see what works best for your area.
Today Search “Grace Period”
This is exactly the same as the “Grace Period” you set in the Quick NA Meeting Finder App , and only affects the “Meetings Today” tab.
This allows you to choose if you want to include meetings that are already in progress, or that may not start for a while. This is based on the time that you do your search.
Use Google Maps for Directions
This option will only appear (between the two settings, above) if you have installed the Google Maps App on your device.
If so, you may want to use that for the external “Directions” button (more on that, later), instead of the built-in Apple Maps app.
SEARCHES AND RESULTS
If you touch the big button in the “Meetings Today” tab, or the “Find Meetings” button in the “Basic Search” or “Location Search” tab, you will be taken to a loading screen, featuring a (possibly) rotating BMLT logo, followed shortly by a Results Screen.
If there is an error during the search, or there are no meetings found, you will be informed of this via an alert:
In that case, you’ll be returned to whichever Search Tab you were on.
All of the screens mentioned here can be printed by tapping on the “Export” icon in the top, right corner (More on printing, later).
Upon a successful meeting search, the app will send you to a simple tab screen, with only two tabs: “List Results” and “Map Results”. “List Results” is selected by default.
“List Results” has a fairly simple list of meetings that can be sorted, either by weekday and start time, or by distance from the search center (usually, your current location).
By default, the sort is weekday and start time, but the app will remember it if you pick a different sort.
Tapping on a row in the list will take you directly to the selected meeting’s Meeting Details Screen.
If you select the “Map Results” tab, you will be shown a screen with (possibly) red markers and blue markers.
Blue markers represent a single meeting, and red markers represent multiple meetings in close proximity.
If you tap on a blue marker, you will be taken directly to the Meeting Details Screen (more on that, below).
If you tap on a red marker, you will either be shown a green list screen for iPhones:
or a green list in a popover for iPads:
Tapping on one of the list rows will take you to the Meeting Details Screen for the selected meeting.
MEETING DETAILS SCREEN
Tapping on a line in a list results screen (or popover), or a blue marker in the Map Results page will take you to a Meeting Details Screen for the selected meeting.
This screen is essentially a big map, with some text, describing the meeting directly above it. The blue marker in the center of the screen is the meeting location.
The format codes (In parentheses, just after the day and time) are locally-relevant, and the app cannot provide exact information as to what they mean. This is a limitation on the worldwide nature of the app, and the flexibility of the BMLT. Each locale is free to establish whatever codes they wish for local formats. Be assured this is something we are working on, and may get addressed in the future.
As in the other tabs, you can change the map type by selecting it with the segmented switch directly under the map.
Displaying A Route
If you touch the “Show Route” button at the top of the screen, the map will change to show a route between your current location, and the location of the meeting.
If the route is shown, and you want to hide it, the “Show Route” button changes to “Hide Route”, and tapping it hides the route.
In some cases, you may not be able to get accurate directions. If so, you will be shown an alert:
In the upper right corner, next to the “Export” icon, is a button, named “Directions”.
Touching this button will switch over to either the Apple Maps App, or the Google Maps App (If you selected that in the Settings and Info Tab).
This app will display directions in the turn-by-turn fashion you may already be used to.
Like the displayed route, Directions will always be from your current location, to the meeting location.
The two results tabs, the green “sublists,” and the Meeting Details Screen can all be printed:
The List Results are printed as a basic list, the Map Results are printed as a map, followed by the list of meetings, and the Meeting Details Screen is printed in a single page (Which may show the route).