Tag: Waze »
Powerslyde users suggest apps to other users, and we pull from that list to share the latest trends. Yep. That's how this whole shebang works, so let's get to it.
This week, there are some useful (some even classic) apps in the mix:
Dropbox is certainly a no-brainer, since anyone with even a free account can access files on the go. Waze, while recently purchased by Google, is the best crowd-sourced GPS and mapping app out there. And, while not as popular or well-known as Pandora, customizable radio app Slacker Radio is still delivering great stuff to many users. Then there are two lesser-known apps: SloPro is a slow-motion camera app and ooVoo is, for lack of an easier explanation, a Skype competitor. Are these better than other apps out there? Hard to tell, so if you give them a try let us know!
The App Store turns five this week, and we'll be taking a long look back at this disruptive force in the way we use our mobile devices. Back in 2008, when the App Store launched, we had no idea how far it would come in such a short time, but hindsight is a good thing.
During that time, there have been a ton of apps that changed and improved the state of the art. Here, then, are ten that we think really matter, apps that had an effect on our lives, even now. Apps that changed the landscape of what we expected from a mobile device, and gave us new ways of interacting, sharing, and understanding our world.
The grandaddy of social image sharing, Instagram created, with an ease of use and pretty image filters, a whole new social network based on images. In an era of Facebook (who eventually bought the service) and Twitter, that was no small feat.
While derided as a possible porn-chat app, Snapchat took a single idea and refined it to a razor's edge: take a picture, caption it, and share with your friends. Then, zen-like, that picture disappears. The hidden potential in this app caught on with young and old alike, changing the way we communicated with pictures. Without an archive, Snapchat lets users freely share what they might not otherwise.
Here's an app that allows anyone on any platform to exchange messages with anyone else on any other platform. In a world where you're just as likely to have friends using Android or Blackberry as iOS, this was a revelation. Many other apps tried something similar, but Whatsapp has the userbase and an easy to use, intuitive app that brought it to the forefront. Now we can stay in touch with all our friends and family, regardless of platform, for free.
The photographer's photography app, Camera+ fairly invented iPhoneography, letting iPhone users capture and edit better photos than the built in app with ease. Since its launch, the app has kept pace with upgrades in technology and the camera lenses in each iteration of iPhone, empowering real photographers and talented amateurs alike. Heck, they even pioneered using the volume button as a shutter release, until Apple shut that down, only to use it in the built-in Camera app.
Before Google Drive, before iCloud, there was Dropbox, a service that mirrors your documents across computers with a simple, unified login. The Dropbox app on the iPhone took the same, intuitive simplicity and allowed us all to access and edit the same documents on the go as easily as doing so on our Macs and PCs.
Take notes, save pictures, record audio, bookmark websites. Do this on any device you own: Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android. Evernote has become the de facto standard for network-connected note taking, and much more. You can use this app to write a shopping list on your computer, and then pull it up on your iPhone while at the store. You can collaborate with others on documents, sharing notes and notebooks with ease.
Ever been in the car when a song comes up on the radio and you just can't remember the artist that performed it? Hold your iPhone up, launch Shazam, and let the app magically recognize the music, returning the artist name, album, and easy-purchase buttons for the iTunes store. Newer features include movie preview recognition with links to more information, and television ads that, when recognized, provide links to vendor websites. It's magical technology at its best.
Marco Arment created Instapaper as a basic web app, single handedly creating the "read it later" market that many other apps now compete for. Arment started the service in 2008, built the iPhone app himself, and saw the service grow far beyond his initial vision. He's subsequently sold the app to another company, who promise to maintain and improve it as we continue forward.
Waze was one of the first social mapping and traffic app, allowing users to share road conditions with each other while on the go. It may be one of the most unappreciated apps on this list, but it continues to serve a loyal and vocal user base, providing real-time help from users to help us all plan the best route possible.
The check-in craze started here, with Foursquare. Becoming the mayor of a location, along with various gamification features, provided a stickiness not seen before the apps release. Even with privacy concerns dogging its every step, Foursquare has managed to remain in the public imagination as the way to let our friends know where we are at any given time.
RSS is great, as are Twitter and Facebook feeds. But what we really want is a place to see all of those things at once, published in a slick, easy to use layout. Enter Flipboard, still the best darn social news reader around. It makes the various web sites and social feeds we all rely on much prettier and interesting to look at, letting us keep up to date without having to dip into several different apps to do so.
Founded as a streaming internet radio service on the web, Pandora made the transition to iOS brilliantly, becoming a force to reckon with in the competitive streaming music market, as well as a household name known by one and all. While other services continue to chip away at the venerable service, offering on-demand music access, Pandora continues to be the music access app of choice on iOS devices everywhere.
Can't decide where to eat? Shake your iPhone and Urbanspoon will randomly choose a restaurant nearby that matches your criteria of price, cuisine, and distance. Released in August of 2008, Urbanspoon was the first app on the App Store to combine GPS location data with a database of local dining and drinking establishments, creating a loyal community that reviewed meals, restaurants, and service for other users.
Waze is more than a navigation app; its developers promise to help us all outsmart traffic together with a combination of social and database-driven technologies. The new update adds even more social features, including collaborative driving directions, live maps, new interface and design, as well as iOS 6 and iPhone 5 support.
Here's a list of all the new features:
✓ See friends driving to your destination & everyone's ETA
✓ Send a pick up request to grab anyone's location & navigate to them
✓ Share your drive by sending a live map of your route & ETA to anyone
✓ New design and UI throughout
✓ Sign in with Facebook
✓ Nearing destination bar
✓ Toll road usage indication
✓ Private messages
✓ Parking location pin
✓ Support for iOS6 and iPhone 5
This week at 148Apps.com, we pondered life after the change from Google Maps to Apple Maps. Carter Dotson took a look at his Favorite Four alternatives to Apple's built-in guidance system: "So, there’s a bit of a brouhaha over iOS 6 switching its maps provider from Google Maps to TomTom and other Apple sources. Yes, the 3D flybys in the maps are pretty, but the lack of details once had in Google Maps and loss of transit directions is a backbreaker for some. Sure, Google Maps has a mobile website that can be added as a web app, but maybe it’s time for something all new. Unless or until a separate Google Maps application is released, here’s four fine alternatives for mapping and directions."
GiggleApps writer Amy Solomon got cooking with a kids' game called Dr. Panda's Restaurant: "My son and I are thoroughly enjoying Dr. Panda’s Restaurant as this app has so much to offer in cooking fun for children of all ages. This app consists of a two-story restaurant, each containing a two-person table to be filled with the animals who get welcomed by Dr. Panda, now the chef of this restaurant as well as the one who greets these animals before they are sent to their table. Eight animals are included, as are ten recipes to cook."
And finally, AndroidRundown.com featured a KickStarter Spotlight on Lifx. Joseph Bertolini writes, "Lifx is an LED light that connects to any home wireless network and is controlled by a smartphone. It would have been easy for the developers to just simply stop at changing the color, and I, frankly, would have been satisfied. But seeing as this is a KickStarter project, it is a safe bet that these developers did not become complacent. Some simple additions, such as dimming and batch operation are included, but the one that I am most impressed by is the ability for the light to deliver phone notifications. Imagine every time a text message comes in the room blinks green or blue for Facebook notifications. There is also an option to program lights onto specific actions and cycles, such as dimming over a period of time or turning on every day at 8 am."
And that about covers it for the week that was. Joins us every day for the latest news, reviews and contests - and keep track of it all by following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook. See you in 7.
So, there’s a bit of a brouhaha over iOS 6 switching its maps provider from Google Maps to TomTom and other Apple sources. Yes, the 3D flybys in the maps are pretty, but the lack of details once had in Google Maps and loss of transit directions is a backbreaker for some. Sure, Google Maps has a mobile website that can be added as a web app, but maybe it’s time for something all new. Unless or until a separate Google Maps application is released, here’s four fine alternatives for mapping and directions.
Transit directions are notably missing from iOS 6 maps. However, for those needing to get around, HopStop provides valuable directions. Supporting many major North American cities, just choose the starting address, destination, departure/arrival time, and preferred method of transit, and the app provides helpful directions, including alternate arrival/departure times for buses and trains. It even includes some transit options that Google Maps doesn’t, such as suburban Pace buses in the Chicago area.
This app uses OpenStreetMap data to power its maps, relying on the free user-supported data supplied to provide reliable up-to-date information, similar to Wikipedia. It uses this data to provide a free turn-by-turn navigation solution. The hook is that data on traffic, accidents, speed traps, and more, is all provided by people also using the app. Simply driving around with the app open can help intelligently detect where rough traffic is based on slower speeds. Waze can even find cheap gas along routes based on user-submitted reports.
This app offers over 7800 maps of cities and places all over the world, which are all downloaded direct to one’s device. So, where data service is spotty or nonexistent, this app still provides valuable street data along with various locations and landmarks available offline. It’s perfect for the iPod touch and wifi-only iPad. The maps are curated by the development team, including their CEO who wears a sweet hat.
Long before there were Google Maps, there was MapQuest. While The Lonely Island declared Google Maps “The best”, who’s got an app on the App Store now? MapQuest does! Find important places and get turn-by-turn directions using their main app, or use their “Local” app to find the best restaurants and bars based on crowdsourced information. MapQuest is a survivor, and will be around to give us directions when all that's left is Twinkies and cockroaches!
Waze has been a fascinating example of the power of crowd sourcing since its inception in 2010. We've loved it ever since with its steady stream of updates keeping things fresh. Now comes one of the more ambitious updates.
Update 3.2 now provides Waze users with the means in which to keep track of real-time gas prices along their route, along with the ability to update prices themselves, where neccessary.
The new category search makes it simple to check things and at certain participating locations, it'll even be possible to receive exclusive in-app discounts on gasoline. Partnerships have already been arranged with Kum & Go, Mid-Atlantic Convenience Stores (Exxon and BP stations) and Vintners Distributers (Shell) locations.
One other major new feature is the addition of waypoints to coincide with the new categories, including gas stations, parking lots and car repair shops.
Waze has little competition given its free nature, but now there's all the more reason to check it out.
Waze is out now for both iPhone and iPad. It remains free.
What's the best way of knowing how to travel around an area? A satnav app like TomTom? That would be an easy thing to assume but it's actually the wrong answer. The best way to explore anywhere is via local knowledge, right down to knowing where the regular traffic hotspots are or a new set of roadworks, recently installed in the area.
Waze has done a pretty good job in the past of providing social mobile navigation that combines gaming and crowd-sourcing in order to provide real-time, live maps and data. We already covered how useful Waze was last year, but it's now even better thanks to a significant update in the form of 3.0.
Waze 3.0 has had its entire UI redesigned in order to implement a new and more minimalist interface. Two large buttons form the focus for much of the app, ensuring it's easy to use. It's also pretty glorious to look at with cutesy logos making for a much more attractive appearance than what we all know and are used to with navigational apps.
A new search engine means that Waze is fully integrated with Yelp, Foursquare and Bing. This means it's easy for users to search for, navigate to and check-in at numerous destinations they might not have already known about. Such functionality makes for exciting developments such as real-time POIs (Points of Interest) such as the recent OccupyWallStreet protests and other similar fast moving events.
A wall type communication system has been added to Waze Groups, enabling users to chat with others in the area. A Waze mood feature provides more social networking fun, also.
Full text to speech functionality has been added for US and Canadian users along with other minor but ever useful changes such as the speed boost that Waze has profited from.
All these features put together means that Waze is now a pretty intelligent and worthwhile alternative to other Sat Nav products, even more so given the fact that it costs absolutely nothing to download!