Introducing Status: Automatic updates from your phone

Kulveer Taggar
The Coffeelicious
Published in
5 min readDec 2, 2014


What is it?

Status shows you what the people you care about are doing, automatically.

It’s designed to be used with folks you interact with regularly, such as your coworkers, best friends or significant other, and reduces the need for frequent messaging to find out their status.

Status letting us know that Kasia’s phone is about to die with the purple low battery icon.

There is also the option to share your location as you meet up with people, or go off the grid for when you want some privacy. It’s available on both iOS and Android.

The origin

My phone died at an event. At the same time, my girlfriend was waiting to hear from me. She thought I was ignoring her.

The next day, I was interrupted in a couple of meetings by phone calls. I wanted folks to know why I was unresponsive, but without having to message them or share my calendars. I wanted it all to just work automatically.

I wanted it to work automatically.

At that time, I was using Agent, our first context related app, to preserve my phone’s battery life and manage my phone’s volume during meetings. I knew others also had Agent installed. So then it occurred to me, why couldn’t Agent share my busy states?

We built a prototype of this functionality in a few weeks and revealed it to about 50 users within our Android app. The responses were really encouraging: everyone felt that it made communication with their friends a lot more efficient. One example was less waiting — especially useful with friends who says they’re “on the way” when in reality they are still at home.

At this point, we made the decision that Status should be a standalone app, and so we set about building it from the ground up. Since then it’s been a process of refining Status, iterating with our beta users, balancing simplicity and utility, until we felt ready to share it with the world.

What’s different about Status

The main innovation here is that you don’t need to open the app to update your status. Status just works.

You don’t need to open the app to update your status.

Automatic Status updates have only now become possible due to a few key enabling technologies. Apple’s introduction of the Core Motion and Core Location frameworks, alongside the Apple A7 processor, has allowed iOS apps to cheaply analyze user location and motion. Google Play Services exposes the same features in Android.

A quick aside: Our hypothesis when starting this company was that the trend of sensors being added to smartphones was going to continue, and that this would open up a whole new set of consumer expectations and behaviors. We’ve set out to explore this frontier through our apps Trigger, Agent, and now Status.

Our progress so far

We’ve had about 500 daily active users in our beta. Folks are engaged — we’re currently seeing an average of 5 app opens a day.

There’s been some early enterprise adoption — coworkers are finding it useful to remain connected via Status during the day. Outside of work, it’s been useful for friends to see who’s free and nearby. It’s also proven invaluable for couples, who need frequent co-ordination around their schedules. And now my girlfriend knows I’m not ignoring her.

Some thoughts on privacy

We are committed to privacy, and therefore we store no location history.

Your status can only be seen if you share it with someone and they accept your friend request. You have the ability to go off the grid, to remove friends and stop sharing within the app.

We wrote a plain-english privacy policy so that anyone can understand how we are treating their data.

We’ve built Status as a trustworthy app to be used with your inner social circle. We won’t sell any data to third parties.

The future

A lot of the communication back and forth we have today is a result of previous technology limitations. As devices and sensors proliferate, we can start to eliminate this.

There are two parts to Status. The first is getting better at answering the question “what are you doing?” We can bring in data from other services to augment our current answers. One idea is to integrate with Uber to generate statuses like “Kulveer is waiting for an Uber” or “Kulveer’s eta is 10 minutes”.

The second part is getting this information to the right people in an intelligent way. This also means hiding information from the right people too. One integration we (and some of our investors) enjoy is a plugin one of our developers built for Slack. Currently, anyone at StatusHQ can ask “who’s in the office?” and Status (via SlackBot) answers.

See who’s in the office with Status’ Slack integration

We’re also experimenting with surfacing statuses as you call someone, so you have more context for the call you’re about to make (and can avoid interrupting people!). As these platforms become more flexible, it’s possible for us to feed this information into the OS so that all apps can leverage a user’s context.

Thankfully, that’s not Jon’s real number.

Finally, we think wearables will be a great way to augment the Status experience. We’re looking forward to integrating with the Apple Watch — being able to quickly discern which of my friends are free for coffee or nearby will be invaluable.

I have a feeling the Apple Watch will change the game again.

And that’s just the beginning. We’re changing how you communicate with the people closest to you. Try Status now at, and feel free to send me any feedback to or @kul.



Kulveer Taggar
The Coffeelicious