Ever since the iPhone has had a built in GPS, location based applications have been useful and popular. I have personally looked at many of these apps and love to see the innovations developers are able to come up with. Of course, it was just a matter of time before these apps started integrating with social networking as well as other GPS apps. Localscope proves to do both by allowing users to search around their location using a variety of social engines and will allow directions to be sent to the Tom Tom navigation app. Tons of features and choices allows Localscope to be unique to each user’s needs and preferences. Let’s take a look.
Search for places near you using Google, Bing, Foursquare, Twitter and Wikimapia. Changing the search service is as simple as swiping the icons to the chosen site. If you are looking for something specific, over 30 search terms are chosen by tapping the term. You may also “Browse all nearby” to see everything that is included in the current area. The eight closest items will be shown in the new list. More can be shown by dragging the list upward.
You can customize the search results in three different views. List view will include the business name along with the address. To the right of the entry is a direction arrow and distance to the location. The arrow will move as you move to always point in the correct direction of the place and the distance will continually update. Tap on the destination to open options. Map view utilizes Google maps to show a real time view of your current location along with pinned locations for searched items. Tapping the red pin will display the name and address of the location and tapping the blue arrow will open the options menu. The augmented reality view uses the phone’s camera to mark the locations when pointed in the correct direction. The view works well, but I have not used augmented reality in many applications. A target will highlight the direction of each location and can be tapped to open the options menu.
Opening the options for each location provides opportunity to do just about anything with the information. The menu includes all of the options as well as a small map of the location and GPS compass arrow pointing in the correct direction. From this screen you can call the location, open Google maps to get directions or add to contacts. My basketball boys wanted to eat at a certain restaurant after watching the girls play in Austin on Thursday. I searched for the location using Localscope, called to let them know the group was coming then opened up a map, added directions and guided the bus in for lunch. Basically, what often requires a web search then a map search and several different apps was all completed easily in one. If you want to share your location, several options are available for one tap sharing.
A new and unique feature in Localscope is the ability to utilize the service along with GPS navigation applications. Currently, directions to locations can be instantly entered and used with Tom Tom and Navigon apps. Unfortunately, I only have CoPilot Live on my iPhone and was not able to use these features. Basically, instead of just opening the maps app, the navigation app will open and guide you to the chosen location. My fingers are tightly crossed that the developers are working to add other solutions, especially CoPilot to work with the app. This can make search and navigating quick, easy and fully integrated.
I have tried several similar apps, but I love the interface and options in Localscope. Being able to see nearby places as well as search for something in particular, call the location, navigate to it as well as share makes this app a must have for everyone. I have been truly impressed by the speed and accuracy of all of the services provided. Go check out Localscope here in the app store.
What I like: Easy, attractive and customizable interface. I have found the app to be quite accurate and fast.
What could be improved: Addition of CoPilot Live to integrated navigation. Having to figure 8 calibrate the phone each use gets annoying.