In October, Google pushed an update to their new Android Wear platform that allowed smartwatches to become even smarter–now, they are able to use GPS technology, and the tech world rejoiced. But, as it turned out, app developers weren’t ready for it, and the list of apps that use Android Wear’s GPS technology is pretty small. The list of apps that utilized Android Wear’s GPS without the addition of a smartphone was even smaller and included Google’s MyTracks app. Now, two months later, the popular app RunKeeper is joining that lineup.
When looking for a gift for that impossible someone (because let’s be honest–we all have one) I have found the best thing is to look for something unusual that they might not consider getting for themselves. If you have someone on your list who is interested in technology (GPS or otherwise) or who is constantly forgetting things, then the Royce Leather Freedom Wallet is definitely something to consider.
This genuine Italian Saffiano leather wallet features GPS tracking technology (via Bluetooth) so that you’ll never have to worry about losing your wallet again, and a stolen wallet suddenly isn’t as terrifying as otherwise. The wallet uses the Trackr mobile platform and Bluetooth technology in order to send alerts to your cell phone and allow you to pinpoint the location on a map. This new luxury wearable technology is available at Macy’s and retails for around $100. read more
If you’re looking for off-road navigation then you probably have a dedicated GPS device that you use instead of a smartphone. Even with off-network capability, these apps aren’t incredibly helpful most of the time when you’re backpacking in the middle of nowhere, or trying to find your way through a rural area. And, while I’ll never try and sell you that smartphones are better than GPS (they aren’t) if you have an iPhone, this new app might be something worth looking into.
Maps 3D Pro costs about $5 on iTunes, and is actually designed for hikers, cyclists, skiers and outdoor enthusiasts. Not only does it give you terrain and altitude details and download to your phone, but you can actually select what kind of map you want based on where you’re going. Maps 3D Pro draws maps from NASA satellite views, 3D topographic maps, Open Street Maps (for city navigation) and USGS maps just to name a few. You can look at the maps in regular 2D or in beautifully rendered 3D, depending on your needs. You can even zoom and rotate around the 3D version–sort of like a Google Earth for your phone. If nothing else, it’s kind of pretty to play with. read more
There is no such thing as a foolproof addressing system. Lattitude/Longitude coordinates are extremely accurate, but most people are just confused by the string of numbers. Physical street addresses are easier to understand, but also harder to find in unfamiliar places and often inaccurate. Now, a new startup company is attempting to revolutionize the way we give directions and discover new locations.
The company what3words has taken the entire globe and divided it into a grid of 3 meter by 3 meter squares–a total of 57 trillion squares. Each square is then assigned three random common words to identify that particular spot. The ingenious thing about this mapping system is the level of accuracy without the need for special equipment or any additional knowledge (which is often the case for latitude/longitude). read more
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. And maybe, just maybe, a string of pictures is worth more than a map when trying to navigate indoors. At least, that’s the thought behind a new app platform developed by Ziiio. This wayfinding app takes interior navigation down a different route that, to me, seems like it will be bit more useful in complicated buildings like hospitals or conference centers.
Using Bluetooth technology placed in hallways throughout the select building, the app is able to tell where the phone is and compare it to where the user wants to go. Then, using real pictures of hallways, the app will give literal turn by turn directions to any location inside that building. It doesn’t involve GPS, WiFi or any new technology and it’s so simple, I think it’s genius. read more
It seems like more and more, GPS mapping and navigational apps for smartphones are getting social integration in an attempt to be even more plugged into our lives. While I’m personally not sure that I approve of this—I mean, do people really need yet another reason to be distracted by their phones while driving?—it seems worth noting regardless.
Earlier this week, Telenav’s navigational app Scout received yet another upgrade designed to push the app to be used as not only a navigational aid, but also as something of a social meetup app. These new features will offer real-time location and ETA sharing within groups, much like Glympse does. Users can also message each other from within the app (which seems like a horrible idea). read more
Sure, mapping your daily runs is awesome, and can really help you track your fitness progress and goals. But what if you could do some good as well (I mean, it IS the season for that sort of thing, after all)? Well, a new app released for Android and iPhone (with Windows Phone coming soon) is designed with that idea in mind. Called Charity Miles, this app will track your run, walk, or bike ride and help you earn money to donate to the charity of your choice.
In this mobile age, it seems to be far more common to see someone navigating with a smartphone than with a dedicated GPS device. And, of all of the cell phone navigation apps available, Google Maps is undoubtedly one of the most popular. On Wednesday, Google Maps introduced a new update designed to help catapult them to the top of the list of mobile navigation apps.
The most recent update, which is available for iOS and Android devices, will make slight tweaks to the interface to make it more user-friendly. The update also will improve the accuracy of the estimated time of arrival and, most importantly, has added integration and support for Uber and Open Table within Google Maps. read more
SkyGolf has announced a new mobile app designed to complement their golfing watches and other accessories. Utilizing the GPS in your phone, SkyCaddie Mobile allows golfers to search SkyGolf’s extensive library of more than 35,000 courses. The app is available for free on Android and iOS, but also has a premium version available for $30/year. The premium app includes additional features such as mapping, detailed green information, auto-hole information and various other metrics.
The free version of the app, however, has some pretty good functionality and allows golfers to score their rounds, capture basic stats, find course ratings, scorecards, dress code, prices and even includes in integrated camera function to record highlights and moments. read more
GolfNow, the popular golfing technology platform, has launched their new GolfNow app for both Android and iPhone. The free version of the app allows for tee-time reservations and booking along with some basic information about prices, time and rating.
However, for the serious golf enthusiast, the premium app adds some pretty nifty features like golf course mapping. The premium version of the app costs $29.99 for a year subscription and allows access to more than 5,000 courses in the US and a few international courses as well. It might be a little pricey, but if you golf a lot I can see how it would be totally worth the money. read more