Google releases Field Trip for the iPhone

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Google’s Field Trip app is now available for the iPhone. First released on Android several months ago, this location discovery tool runs in the background of your phone. As soon as you get close to “something interesting”, an iOS notification will let you know of the POI in question. Select from a local feed of things you’d like to see, and Field Trip taps into numerous publications (Zagat, Cool Hunting, Atlas Obscura etc) to help you discover places/experiences under categories like Architecture, Food & Drinks, Offers & Deals, Movie locations and more.

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Google Maps for iOS updated with improved search features

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Google Maps, hands down the best maps app for iOS, has received its first update and users now have better integration with their Google contacts. Upon signing in with v1.1 of the Maps app, any saved addresses on your Google account will show up when you look up the name of a friend of family member. This makes it easier to find driving directions to your contact’s address, of course provided that you’ve already entered their details beforehand. To help distinguish between search results of names you’ve typed in, your saved contacts will show up with a person icon to the left, while general results with a similar names will have a magnifying glass icon beside it. Currently, Google Contacts search only works with regular Google email accounts, and is not available for Enterprise Apps accounts.

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Google Maps has finally landed on the iPhone

After months of waiting for the best maps app for iOS 6, Google has finally released their highly anticipated Maps app for the iPhone. With a slick interface and all the features you’ve come to love but found missing on Apple’s own Maps app (i.e. public transit info and Street view), it appears the long wait was well worth it.

Navigate your world with Google Maps, now available for iPhone. Get comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps with built-in Google local search, voice guided turn-by-turn navigation, public transit directions, Street View and more. Use Google Maps to discover great places to eat, drink, shop and play, with ratings and reviews from people you trust. Sign in to save your favorite places and quickly access all your past searches and directions from your computer, right on your phone.

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Nokia’s HERE Maps app now available for iOS

Nokia has released their first iOS app, which it hopes will lure users away from the various mapping solutions on the platform. Called HERE Maps, it’s based off HTML 5 and offers several features that Apple’s own Maps app lacks. Most notable of these include turn-by-turn walking directions (strangely enough, not for driving directions), community maps (selected countries), the ability to save map areas for offline use, and public transportation. You can also sign up for a free Nokia account that lets you ‘Collect’ places, which can then be viewed at a later time on mobile devices and even the web.

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Google putting finishing touches on iOS Maps app with turn-by-turn navigation

Good news for Google Maps advocates using iOS 6. According to the Wall Street Journal, Google has been field testing their long rumoured iOS Maps app and putting on the “finishing touches” prior to submitting it to Apple’s stringent approval process.

Google has distributed a test version of its new mapping app that will work on Apple’s iPhones and iPads to some individuals outside the company, said a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Google has been putting the finishing touches on the app before submitting it for approval to the Apple iTunes store, this person said, though it is unclear exactly when that will happen.

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Must have offline maps app: City Maps 2Go now free

Anyone who’s ever travelled to another country with their iPhones (and iPads) have no doubt looked up the App Store for some offline maps solution. With carriers charging an arm and a leg for data roaming fees, it’s no wonder that there are countless travel apps with offline map capabilities. The best I’ve come across so far is City Maps 2Go, which also happens to have gone free today (was $1.99). Using Map data and POI from OpenStreetMap, the app lets you separately download 7,800 maps from all over the globe – all neatly sorted by cities, counties and provinces.

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Localscope app adds support for location based reminders

Using location based reminders on iOS can no doubt be useful, but adding a specific location to the Reminders app can certainly be a drag. For instance, say you want to be reminded of a cheque that needs to be deposited when you drive by your local bank. To do this, you can create said reminder, turn on “Remind Me at a Location” and choose either your current location or enter the actual address. Unless you know your bank’s address, you pretty much don’t have a choice but to open Safari, lookup the info online, and copy & paste it back into the app. Needless to say, this is rather time consuming. Thankfully, there are easier ways to accomplish this, particularly with the help of the recently updated Localscope app for the iPhone.

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Onmaway lets your loved ones know you’re on the way home (without Texting and Driving)

Were you ever tempted to send a short text message while driving to a spouse/partner/friend just to let them know that you’re on the way? Now when I last checked, texting and driving at the same time is highly ill advised (not to mention illegal in most states/provinces), so there has to be a safer and easier way right? Well that’s where the newly released Onmaway for iOS comes in. With the app, users can share their location in real time using the iPhone’s GPS functionality. Simply select the other party via sms or email, choose the duration of how long they can track you and a customized message. Your friends and family will then receive a link and be able to view your location in real time via any web browser. For longer trips, there’s an Epic Journey mode that allows you to share your location on Facebook or Twitter every 4 hours.

Onmaway requires iOS 4.2 or later, and with more recent iDevices (3GS or iPhone 4), you’ll be able to run the app in the background as well. Demo video and more info after the break.

Onmaway - Share Your Location without Texting While Driving Ka Pow Interactive, Onmaway, 2.9 MB – $1.99

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The Cartographer in Review – Old-style maps on your space age iDevice

Travelling abroad with an iPhone, one thing I always miss the most is cell data. While theoretically I could turn on roaming, I would have to mortgage my house to do so. And this also means that unless I find a Wi-Fi hotspot I’m stuck without the lovely Google Maps that I, as many others, have grown so accustomed to. And with my wife making extensive use of the handy My Maps feature of Google’s to plan our trip, this is even more depressing. And then I learned about The Cartographer by Tasty Pixel.

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skobbler: free GPS by dint of OpenStreetMap

If skobbler’s devs have one thing painted in their collective brains at the moment, I reckon it’s “OpenSource for the win!” or some such motto. In the USA, skobbler, the OpenStreetMap-based turn-by-turn navigation/GPS app, is a huge win for what may well be the future of navigation apps: open source mapping. You the customer can also be the mapper, and God only knows that you know your locale better than any Samsung-style megacorp who tries to tell you that they know better. Hell, rather than waiting for the bigwigs to finally update their software, thousands of your mates on a variety of platforms are mapping the world for you.

In case you aren’t in to oil spill-suckers, there is also a pedestrian/bicycle mode. Perhaps its killer feature though, is that the US version  comes with no monetary strings attached – at all. Needless to say, skobbler has been a hit in its native Germany and ruffled quite a few feathers in the process, but those feathers probably don’t belong there in the first place.

skobbler US ? truly FREE turn-by-turn voice navigation skobbler GmbH, skobbler US, FREE

Screenies and more after the gap:

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