Developer: UpNext, LLC
Price: FREE
Version Reviewed: 1.6
Device Reviewed On: iPad

iPhone Integration Rating: ★★★★☆
User Interface Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★½☆

Free, in general, is a good thing. Free, in a universal travel/navigation app should be even better, right? That’s exactly what UpNext 3D Cities is attempting to deliver, and while it’s a good start (particularly for free), the developers still have a ways to go.

UpNext has large ambitions. They want to be the go-to app for travelers, displaying points of interest, restaurants, city transit lines and more all in one convenient package. Plus, UpNext aims to provide user reviews either via other UpNext users or Yelp! to help you make good choices while in an unfamiliar city. Information is displayed on a large (particularly when viewed on the iPad) map that can be zoomed in as far as street view (where the city is rendered in a simplified 3D) and users can choose what major categories of locations they want to see. Clicking on a location (say, a local burger joint) can pull up a screen with a photo, editorials from professional journalists, user reviews, links to menus or the location’s website Some, all or none of this information may be available when you go to the detail page for a location, depending on the prominence or popularity of the place. Social networking is incorporated into UpNext via in-app connections to your Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare accounts.

The first downside to the app is that, currently, only five cities are represented: New York, Austin, Washington, DC, Boston and San Francisco. As these are major tourist destinations, there’s still a good probability that you could find some use in this app, but the developer is promising more cities and more would definitely make the app much more appealing.

The second downside is that many users who live in the towns that are represented in UpNext are reporting inaccuracies throughout the app. Some of these are simply locations/destination which haven’t been added yet, which isn’t really a flaw in the app. However, there are reports of inaccurate addresses or locations actually being located on opposite sides of the street. If you are depending on an app like UpNext to show you how to get to a restaurant and it gives you faulty information, that’s just troubling. And if transit routes aren’t kept fairly accurate there can be some significant problems trusting this app.

As it stands right now, UpNext is an experiment in free travel information that could revolutionize the way you plan your next vacation or trip. It’s not there yet, but it does seem to be putting the right pieces in the right places.


Posted in: iPad Apps and Games, iPad Travel, iPhone Apps and Games, Reviews, Travel

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