Version Reviewed: 2.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Even in an area that's familiar, it's easy to overlook a new place to visit or not even notice it's there. After all, we all get tied into habits and going to the same places over and over again. World Around Me aims to not only offer helpful advice in an unknown place, but also to offer some suggestions in one's home town. It's handy, even if it's not the most stunningly attractive travel app out there.
With little set up required, World Around Me gets straight into the action. Users are presented with a selection of options covering popular choices such as restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as more practical things such as doctors, gas stations, hotels, and pharmacies. Entertainment is included too, in the form of movie theaters, museums, and parks. For those looking for more specific things, a search bar further adds to the variety.
Regardless of choice made, once an option is picked World Around Me gets to work highlighting where the nearest places are and in what direction. Such information is placed as an overlay, on top of what the iPhone's camera sees. For places particularly near, it's very handy as a form of guidance tool. Tap on one of the search results and brief information such as an address, website, and phone number appears. Alongside that are reviews of the establishment where possible, reminding one of if it's worth visiting said place. For those wanting to avoid the overlay, a list of places can also be brought up on screen.
That's mostly all there is to World Around Me, keeping it fairly simple yet effective. That works to its advantage given it's a speedy app that's far from fiddly. Being able to use it so quickly and simply means that it's an app one could actually use while walking around looking for a place, rather than being distracted by complexities. While it won't win any prizes for its looks, it will be quite handy when discovering a new area or simply learning more about one's home.