Posts Tagged Location
We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, the fairytale children who trailed bread crumbs behind them to mark their path in a confusing forest. Thankfully, we have more reliable methods of tracking our paths—and Magic Measure is a new iPhone app that aims to do so using your iPhone. Magic Measure drops digital breadcrumbs in your wake and “magically” measures the distance you’ve traveled. It’s certainly more convenient than trying to hunt down a trail of real crumbs.
To determine the distance between two or more locations, you simply have to open the app and tap a button when you reach each marker. Magic Measure pulls data from the iPhone’s well-known location feature, which allows your iPhone (or internet-connected iPod Touch) to determine your location using GPS. It then calculates the distance between each point, overall distance, and the latitude and longitude of each point.
The real “magic” of Magic Measure, however, relies on multitasking. Set Magic Measure to gather “breadcrumbs” in the background, and it will periodically check your location. When you’re done with your hike, jog, commute, or other journey, you can view your path, which is represented as a series of red pushpins (“breadcrumbs”) stuck into a map. Your path also includes data such as distance between each “breadcrumb” and total distance traveled. Best of all, you have to put in truly minimal effort (a button push) to have Magic Measure do the heavy lifting of tracking your journey for you.
The developers of Magic Measure note that the app can only be as accurate as the information it’s given, and therefore recommend treating Magic Measure’s distance estimates as, well, estimates. Nevertheless, the estimates are close enough to provide some interesting data.
Magic Measure is available on the App Store for $0.99.
It seems that everyone theses days is checking into every location that they go near, whether they enter or not. While I understand that getting people into stores is a store owners dream, the real goal, which is what MyTown would like to exploit, is to have them pick up and buy products.
“Location is just a way to drive them to the store, but ultimately people want to actually be able to sell products, so this is one step away, getting closer to the finish line to point of sale.” Booyah’s founder Keith Lee says. “And that’s really where we want to go in terms of validating activities that you do in the real world.”
To validate products, the new update makes MyTown the first location based check-in app that includes a barcode scanner like the one that you see in RedLaser. Using the iPhone’s camera, users can scan codes and instantly unlock any points or promotions that the item has stored.
Ultimately, Keith Lee wants users to be able to walk into places like Wal-Mart and see various coupons that the store offers. The company doesn’t have a full set of retail partners involved yet, but a few have jumped on, as well as a “very large mystery consumer products company” that will be announced in August.
Someday, Lee envisions companies starting scavenger hunts and treasure finds to drive the MyTown gameplay even further. With 2.5 million users, there probably won’t be any shortage of companies that will be looking to MyTown to drive their products of the future.
There is no release date set for this update, but I’m hoping that it comes out fairly soon. The release is out now, so go get it, it’s free!
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None of these apps have any sort of human touch though. Apps like Yelp and Urbanspoon just jumble up all the places in the area and then rank them based on user ratings. You might be looking for a really cool restaurant to kick back at after a long day, but nothing that these apps have will help you narrow down your options. There’s just no differentiation between The Cheesecake Factory and the coolest place in town, and there’s definitely something wrong with that.
To fix this issue, Thrillist has made an app that hand picks the very best in food, drinks, and shopping, all with descriptive editorial, to finally give you what you want… something great.
“Search, sort, share, and save thousands of hand-picked, local favorites — from five-star steaks to two-dollar tacos, rooftop clubs to underground speakeasies, and bespoke shirts to kicks inspired by Jacques Cousteau.”
Next time you are looking for somewhere to go, just do a quick Thrillist search and see what’s awesome right around you. It’s not available in every city yet, so check out the list of cities on the iTunes page before you pick it up.
While there are hundreds of travel and city guide apps for iPhone, it looks like mTrip will blow them away with its unique spin on the traditional tour guide app.
While mTrip offers users the default sightseeing tips and direction tools for a location, it goes one step further helping users plan their trip itinerary. Better than that, the app can even create an itinerary for you based on your preferences, trip duration and accommodations. Daily schedules can be edited at the user’s discretion and the app is even intelligent enough to list attractions based on their opening hours and proximity to the user.
Once you arrive at your destination you can make use of augmented reality to see where sites are in relation to your current location as well as point out restaurants, bars, hotels and other points of interest. Travelers can also swap tips on locations via the app by adding notes and viewing those of others.
All of these features make mTrip a very useful and fully featured tool but its ability to function offline is the real jewel in its crown. Your itinerary can be customized and reworked without an internet connection and augmented reality also functions in the absence of a network. Pretty much the only feature that requires the internet is the fun little postcard tool that allows users to send messages to friends from their vacation via email or Facebook.
mTrip travel guides are currently available for London, Paris, Amsterdan, Berlin, Rome, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco and Chicago in a choice of five languages. Many more locations are also planned with more information available here.
If you’re heading to one of the above locations, tack another $5.99 on to the cost of your trip for the ultimate travel experience and do it quickly before the app returns to its regular price of $9.99
Released: 2010-06-21 :: Category: Travel
The location based app market has been popular for quite some time now, with its major players becoming household names. Foursquare, Gowalla, and upstarts like Booyah’s MyTown are showing impressive user numbers and gaining traction among mobile users. Yet at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, two new startups showed promising twists on location-based services (LBS). DeHood aims to create a new community vibe through its iPhone app and website, each of which pulls in information about their local area. Yet possibly more disruptive is SCVNGR, which takes the game dynamics present in Foursquare and makes them the center of the service, instead of placing them on the periphery as Foursquare does.
Making Checking in Fun Again
Foursquare is designed to one day become a social and local utility, with social gaming mechanics designed to encourage checkins and to get people to use the platform more frequently. With SCVNGR, going to somewhere and checking in isn’t enough. Instead, they make the entire world a scavenger hunt. At Disrupt, challenges included “Double Down,” with users suggesting companies for venture capitalists to invest in, or “Give me a ‘T’,” wherein users had to spell out TCD with random scraps they found at the conference.
SCVNGR has spent the past couple of months working with institutions like colleges and museums to build “treks,” which are essentially scavenger hunts. These are designed to drive more traffic and interactivity with the institutions. One could theoretically travel through the Metropolitan Museum of Art doing a trek, a highlights tour of sorts that was designed with SVNGR. The app includes social features as well, allowing users to see where they rank against their friends and the treks their friends had previously completed.
AroundMe is a valuable, free “location aware” business/services directory/finder. Accurate and reliable, it’s simple and easy to use and provides users with all the information they need when seeking/finding businesses or services in any area.
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While on a trip to South by Southwest, I had the chance to use G-Map extensively for the first time. It was a great overall experience that was tempered by a few shortcomings. Thankfully, XRoad has recently updated their application and alleviated several of my complaints.
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Note Pad is a text editor that lets you store notes into standard folders or in smart folders that automatically populate with notes that match the list of keywords associated with them or with notes whose location is within a certain distance of your current location. The author's web site makes available synchronization software for Windows and Mac OS X that allows you to sync the notes via wifi with your PC.
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Yelp for iPhone is an amazingly feature packed, incredibly useful app for finding services and entertainment in your urban bubble. Need to find a cafe, restaurant, tire changing station, drug store, etc that's approved by the community around it? Yelp is here to help! (I totally didn't intend for that to rhyme and even though it's lame, I'm leaving it in the review)
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With Jetset: A Game For Airports, the author's intention was to create a game that air travelers could pick up and play while waiting at the airport for their flights. It makes good on its intentions by using location services that allow you to unlock location specific souvenirs, which can then be shared with friends via Facebook. The game definitely has broader appeal than just for travelers though, with fast paced game play that is humorous and interesting.
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