When I’m away on business in an other city and have a little bit of time to spare, I would love to have an app that could help me find interesting things to do and see before heading off to a meeting in a conference room. Today’s app is supposed to help you spend quality time wherever you might be. Find out more about this guidebook app in our test report.
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Features & Use
As soon as the app starts up, your GPS is turned on in order to find your current location. After a successful scan of the area, your location is displayed at the bottom of the screen. You are then presented with an overview of all the available categories to search through. Social networks are also included so that you can find a friend in your vicinity.
For the purposes of my test, I selected the Gowalla Spots category in order to be able to view a list of all the check-ins close to me. To get a better overview of all the spots around me, I opted to have the results diplsayed in a list with a short description of the spot as well as how many people have already checked in and any available photos.
Once you’ve selected a spot of your choosing, you can see a detailed overview and click on a link that redirects you to the Gowalla webpage where you can check yourself in. In addition, you can share your check-in via Facebook so that your friends can know where you are. You can also share your status on Facebook without having to be checked in with Gowalla.
With the integrated map features, you can view available Gowalla Spots in Google Maps and even activate satellite mode in order to really zoom in on what your looking for.
With the help of the camera feature, Gowalla Spots in your proximity are displayed directly on your screen including the estimated distance. This feature turns your phone into a 3D compass, which means that if you point your phone south, all the spots located to the south of you are shown.
There are many different “worlds” or categories to choose from. If you check the Last.fm category, you can see what shows are playing near you in local venues. This feature is great for music fans looking to hear some good tunes in a new city.
Press Route to get exact directions on how to get to navigate to your spot by car, public transit or walking. This feature worked perfectly during my test and I managed to find every location quickly and effeciently.
I would also like to mention the Flickr category where you can find snapshots that were taken in your immediate surroundings. In this “world” you can see photos taken in locations near you including the exact distance from where you currently are and the date. I found pictures of buildings that were taken just 52 meters away from where I was standing! Pretty amazing! It’s a creative way to explore the area you through the lenses of other photographers.
There is an array of other interesting “worlds” that I won’t name because it would take up too much space in this test report. I recommend looking through all of them and finding those that interest you most. Although some of the categories may be of little use, others can be really useful for first-time visitors to a new city. The camera mode makes things that much more fun and really help you find your way around.
Screen & Controls
The layout is relatively easy and simple with well-designed menus. Everything looks modest but effecient. The only problem I had was the fact that the Gowalla Spots were so large on the screen that they covered up the map behind them,
Speed & Stability
During my test the app performed very well and even the GPS scanning was fairly quick. I also did not experience any lags or glitches when switching between different menus.
Wikitude World Browser can be downloaded for free from the Android Market.