10 of the best location apps
Lost? Let our motley band of geographically-aware apps help you find your way there. And back…
Layar (Android, iPhone)
The Swiss army knife of augmented reality location-based apps paints information on top of the real world depending on where you point your phone’s cam. You’ll feel like you’re in Minority Report. You actually look a bit silly, but at least you can find the nearest Post Office.
Globalisation is dead. Long live localisation. Based on the assumption that you won’t care if your mate is having a pint a thousand miles away, but might want to know if he’s just stepped into your local boozer, Geomium only shows you what’s going on in your ’hood.
Ovi Maps (Symbian)
The Finns’ answer to Google Maps Nav saves data offline, unlike the Big G’s offering (which downloads maps on the fly). Very useful if you’ve lost your data connection or don’t have an unlimited data plan. A must for international roaming kicks without international roaming costs.
Wikitude (iPhone, Android, Symbian)
Ignore droning tour guides – point your cam at the Eiffel Tower and this trusty pocketable encyclopedia will overlay your screen with facts and trivia.
Workaholic road-warriors unite to crowdsource nearby free Wi-Fi, discuss the availability of plug sockets and ponder noise levels and the quality of the coffee. It’s geeky, but also incredibly useful.
Nearest Tube (iPhone)
An app that does exactly what it says on the tin, namely showing you where the nearest tube station is. You’ll never have to stumble around lost after a night out again. Unless, of course, you’ve missed the last tube home. There’s no app for that.
You want to know where the nearest petrol station is? And the cheapest? MyGas steers you to it and, while prices aren’t always the latest, when that fuel light’s blinking you’ll at least have a lifeline.
Facebook Places (iPhone)
The world’s biggest social network now knows where you are. Luckily it also knows where all your friends are. And that bloke you met at a party once. Facebook has added the ability to check-in, Foursquare-style, to your current location. Resistance is futile.
Train Stop Alarm (Android)
Are you an adrenalin junkie who gets his kicks by sleeping on trains and making mad dashes for the doors when he wakes suddenly at his stop? If not, this GPS-based alarm may help you leave the train in a more collected style.
G-Spot (Android, iPhone)
Stick a pin where you’re standing and share it via email. Much easier than describing the tree you’re standing next to behind the festival toilets. G-Park [iTunes] does a similar trick for finding your parked car sleepless days later.
For the definitive list of the 100 best apps ever, toddle out and buy the November 2010 issue of Stuff magazine, out now and on sale now at all worthy magazine shops. Or subscribe here.
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