GetMeThere iPhone App Review.
Tired of using the iPhone’s compass and maps apps to get safely to your destination? Me too. When I’m out and about, I occasionally take out my iPhone to pinpoint my location and my destination. Between then and getting to my destination, I take it out almost every other intersection. And that simply won’t do. This week I tried out the new GetMeThere instead.
GetMeThere is a neat little app that basically lets you walk with your iPhone out of your pocket, look at the map and walk on the road at the same time. It simply uses a sort of augmented reality to let you see where you’re going through the iPhone’s camera.
How does it work?
Once you start the app, you need to let it know where you’re going and allow it to use your current location. You can either pick up your destination from the Address book, perhaps you’re going to visit a friend, or search for a destination manually.
Once you have your destination, GetMeThere will show you a Google Map on the screen pinpointing the two locations. Hit “Start Tracking” and you’re on your way. The iPhone’s camera will turn on so you can easily view both the app’s compass and your surroundings.
At the top of the screen, the app will show you your destination, how far till you get there (in miles) and your signal strength. The compass keeps you on the right track and the camera lets you walk safely without tripping over other people.
You can always go back to the map view by tapping the green double arrow on the top-right of the screen. An additional menu will slide from the right and hitting the pin-like icon will take you back to the map. Additional options include adding the current destination to your favorites list and also seeing a Google street view of your destination.
As you approach your destination, the app will ask you if you want to switch back to maps view instead. For me, this one didn’t make a lot of sense, as the closer I get to the door, the higher the chances I might miss it. So that’s when the iPhone’s camera view will come in handy.
What’s wrong with this picture?
I mostly have two concerns with GetMeThere. Looking at the world through the iPhone’s camera is not the same as looking at it with your own eyes. I sometimes felt like a horse wearing its glasses that allowed him to only see what’s in front, with no peripheral view.
My second concern is that the app works only when in range of an internet connection. Walking for 3-4 miles with your 3G on is not really an option unless you have an unlimited data plan.
GetMeThere remains a highly entertaining app, but in the end I think I will stick to looking at my device to check I’m on the right track every other minute. Walking around holding my iPhone up made people look away, like I was filming them.
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