I badly want Waze to be a success because the idea is just so perfect: a free navigation app that integrates user-generated traffic information. So, you're stuck in traffic someplace, you whip our your iPhone, and let the world know that they ought to take a different route if they're traveling the same road that you are. It's a wonderful example of crowdsourcing. The trick is to get lots of people to use it. And increasingly people are. But if you live someplace where there's not much coverage, the app has less value than other places where it's really caught on.
Spyglass ($0.99) is yet another creative use of your iPhone's camera. You can view your environment via the iPhone camera and digitally zoom in in up to 5x. In addition, the app uses augmented reality to superimpose compass and GPS information as well as horizon tilt right over the live camera feed. You can also enable the maps feature and have the same information superimposed on a map.You'll need an iPhone 3Gs plus an Internet connection to use the maps feature.
If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.
- New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
- Updates are not included in the New Releases
This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.
The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems. It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page. That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.
Want to thank everyone for the great support and comments in our recent giveaway of AT&T Navigator software. Want to especially thank Telenav for sponsoring it. The winners are listed below along with instructions on claiming complimentary subscription services. I wish everyone could have won, but if you didn't this time, remember to please tune into our blogs regularly for more great contests in the future.
There is still one day left in our giveaway of free AT&T Navigator subscriptions. Get your navigation-related comments up here or on the original post by Saturday, 24 Oct 2009 (11PM EST) for a chance to win one of 3 copies. See original post and rules here...
Telenav, the developers behind the AT&T Navigator application have released an update that now incorporates landscape view and also integrates iPod controls into the application. They have generously offered up 3 one-year subscriptions, so get a related comment up here about your favorite GPS services/apps to have a chance to win a copy (deadline: Saturday, 24 Oct 2009, 11PM EST). YouTube video and contest rules after the break...
Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.
In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps. Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately. Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.
On one hand, more choices are a good thing. But I have some concerns.
Where To? is offering an introductory price of .99 until August 23, so this is a good opportunity for you to try this app. It uses the iPhone GPS to give you local information, such as the nearest steakhouse, bank, or movie theater. Version 2.0 was recently released and uses several of the new features available in iPhone 3.0, such as having a built-in map to display results right within the application. It has an appealing interface, as you can see from the image, that lets you quickly drill down to what you want without your having to do any typing.
Google Earth is the second title on the list of all-time top 20 free apps. Like the desktop version, this app uses satellite and aerial imagery to let you explore the Earth. It also offers information about particular locations, including panoramic pictures and Wikipedia articles, giving you an idea of what those locations look like and offering more info about them.
Google Earth uses satellite and aerial imagery to let you explore the Earth.
A number of people have reported difficulty in calibrating their 3G S Compass.
The documentation is rather vague in the procedure. It states:
"The compass needs to be calibrated the first time you use it, and may need to be calibrated occasionally after that. iPhone alerts you whenever calibration is needed.