The Maps app has been going through some growing pains, but it has been getting better. Its upcoming iOS 9 iteration looks to be even better with the addition of a new Transit view.
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They made it just in time for Christmas. Google has released their Maps app for all of your travel woes.
Nokia, yes, Nokia, has released a polished social maps app. Here brings a few of the features back to iOS 6 that the Apple Maps app is missing. For one, there's support for transit. Also included is the ability to explicitly download a section of the map for offline use, like when traveling somewhere you won't have access to cheap data. The social aspects are interesting with Nokia touting that the apps evolve over time with user interaction. Give it a try if you are still unhappy with iOS 6 Maps.
City Maps 2Go is an app I've used many times. It allows you to download a map to use offline. Great for when you are travelling where you won't have data -- or won't have cheap data. It's a great app and free today.
Location-Based App Grafetee Promises to be More Than Another Location-Based Service Thanks to the Finnish Police?!
Its exclusive functionality is location-based bookmarks. This allows people to share notes based on their current location, including photos. These bookmarks can be shared privately with other users through an 8-digit alphanumeric code, that allows them to join in and create their own notes. For example, a private directory of restaurants and bars visited could be created and shared between friends. This works without logging in to anything, and photos are shareable between platforms, as the app is on both iOS and Android.
But where Grafetee will be at its most immediately interesting for users is the way that it integrates in third-party services: right now, it uses various APIs to add in Foursquare tips, Yelp listings, Flickr and Instagram photos, Geocaches, and even Wikipedia listings nearby. All of these can be toggled as different visual layers, or displayed in a text list.This is where the developer of the app hopes its long-term value comes from: being able to add in other services to make it more useful. One creative use is in the developer’s native Finland, they made it possible to let users report information to the police with Grafetee. As explained by Juha Huttennen of Grafetee: “The Finnish police for example, is using Grafetee to crowdsource crime-related data that is not urgent. So they don’t want you to use the app instead of calling 911 but they want you to give out data if you find something that threatens security or if there is a distrubance that you want the police to note and perhaps later act on. Like…if there is a street crossing that is dangerous, or if there is a stop sign that people usually disregard or whatever. They want to collect stuff like this from the public, instead of getting these calls to 911 or direct emails complaining about the same things. It definitely helps them to ease their workload and gives the public a channel.” It was launched nationwide in the past weeks. How did Grafetee get involved with the Finnish police? “I called them.”
One of the other benefits of Grafetee’s approach is that it isn’t necessarily crippled if it grows too big for its britches: controversies over shut-off API access have arisen around Tumblr, LinkedIn, and Instagram with Twitter, for example. With Grafetee providing their own bookmarking service, if Foursquare pulls access, they still have other services, including others that may come into the app’s ecosystem, including ones that may pay to be part of the app if it catches on. Given the potential of its open framework and the fact that a governmental organization is already using it, it’s just a question of further adoption by not just users – but those who may get use out of a location-based app like Grafetee.
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.
HopStopTransit 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.
WazeThis 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.
MapsWithMeThis 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.
MapQuestLong 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!