Google Maps is now available as a standalone app for the iPhone and iPad.
This new version of the app brings vector based maps which allow for faster loading, better scaling and more offline caching. Also included are voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions and Street View.
If you were waiting to upgrade to iOS 6 because you didn’t want to rely on Apple’s Maps, upgrade away.
Google has announced that Google Maps Navigation is coming with the release of the new Motorola Droid.
Navigation is also coming to other Android 2.0 devices, but what about the iPhone?
Navigation is part of Google Maps Mobile which is available for other devices (iPhone, Blackberry, WinMO, Nokia, etc.) but no word yet on wether the new Navigation feature will be made available for these devices.
The Google Maps Navigation demo looks very cool. It’s a free turn by turn internet connected GPS navigation system that looks like it will pretty much put the standalone GPS market (TomTom, Garmin) out of business.
Features like this will definitely make people want an Android phone. So will Google keep these goodies for themselves as a differentiator (like Apple does with iTunes) or will they slow release these new features to other handsets to give Android a short term boost?
I hope Google keeps with their tradition of releasing products to as many devices as possible. That way we get great features like this, combined with the benefits of the iPhone. Is it too much to ask? Time will tell.
iLike has released their Local Concerts app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
This free app finds upcoming concerts and events in your area with links to the venue, maps and ticket info.
You can browse by shows or venues and there is a built in search feature.
While this app offers little filtering of results, it’s a quick and easy way to see what’s coming up and could be very useful when visiting other cities in the U.S. to see what’s going on that weekend.
A recommendation engine based on my iTunes library and filtering based on the type of show (rock, rap, comedy, etc.) would be useful future add-ons.
It’s also kind of fun to see who is still touring. I can’t believe Rod Stewart’s voice hasn’t given out on him yet!
If you’ve looked at real estate in the last couple of years, chances are you’ve used (or heard of) Zillow.
Zillow is a website that lists home’s currently for sale, shows past purchase prices, and estimates home prices. Using a map overlay, Zillow makes finding homes in the area you’re looking for easy.
The Zillow iPhone app is a very useful tool and pretty faithful translation of the tools available on their website. Using the iPhone’s location, the app can bring up homes in the area you’re currently in which is great while driving in a neighboorhood you’re interested in.
Zillow’s estimate feature is where most people have an issue. The estimate is usually more than the house is worth to the buyer and less than the house is worth to the seller. While the Zillow estimate may not be accurate, it is useful for comparing different homes in the neighborhood and fun to see what Zillow thinks your neighbor’s house is worth.
The free Zillow app is a must have for those brave (smart?) souls in the market for a new house.
‘Wow, so this is what the future looks like!’ That’s what I thought when I first checked out the video demo of the Nearest Tube App for the iPhone 3GS.
Nearest Tube is the (soon to be) first augmented reality app to go live on the App Store. Augmented reality is when real world data is intermixed with digital data.
In this case, Nearest Tube uses the video camera viewer, compass and GPS on the iPhone 3GS and overlays the location and distance to the London Tube entrances. The effect is very cool and useful.
I can really see this way to display map data taking off. Most maps use a birds-eye view to give direction but we don’t live in that view. Street level viewing in Google is cool but not that useful for finding your way around live.
Seeing map data appear on top of live video that you control could be very useful. Imagine pointing your iPhone at a store and seeing a pop-up that shows hours of operation, address, their menu, etc.
Hopefully Google is hard at work at providing tools like these for Google Maps.