Ask the iPhone.AppStorm Editor #1

We’re kicking off a new post series today called “Ask the Editor”. This is a great way for you to ask questions and get help for all things iPhone. Whether you’ve just purchased your first iPhone and need help setting it up or are a pro with an advanced technical question, I’ll tackle your question and see if I can help!

We had some great questions submitted this week, so read on to find out what my responses are (and how you can submit your own questions for the next article). Two of them are GPS-related so if you’re into navigation, you won’t want to miss this post!

Is there an iPhone app that allows me to input GPS coordinates of places I like to eat or visit, so when I tap “Nearby”, it will list all the bookmarked nearby places?

CT Shop

Great question! So basically, the functionality that you’re looking for is to be able to keep a custom list of the places that you like so that when you’re in a given area, you can quickly see a filtered list of what’s around you. I can definitely see how this is much more useful than a huge list with everything in the area!

Fortunately, Yelp for iPhone has a feature that I think is right in line with your goals. With Yelp, you can add “Bookmarks” for all the places that you like. Then, all you need to do is tap the “Bookmarks” tab at the bottom and you’ll see a map of your current location along with pins for any businesses that you’ve bookmarked.

Yelp is a free app that has way more functionality than we can discuss here. Bottom line, there’s no reason not to have this great app installed on your iPhone.

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Yelp Bookmarks

Out of all the iPhone navigation apps like TomTom USA, Garmin StreetPilot, and Navigon which of them do you get the best bang for your buck?

Lenzi

Navigation apps can be quite pricey so it’s definitely important to do your research and determine which app suits your personal needs best before purchasing. The choices you’ve listed above are all great and very similar in their feature sets. Garmin StreetPilot has had a couple of wayward updates lately that have caused its user satisfaction to tank, so it might be a good idea to steer clear of that one for a while.

This leaves Navigon and TomTom. The Navigon app is a bit nicer and has the added bonus of doubling as an iPad app. However, it’s a whopping $59.99. TomTom’s app has most of the same features and a better reputation for up-to-date maps and will only run you $34.99. So to answer your question of which is the best deal from a price-conscious viewpoint, I’d definitely have to go with TomTom.

That being said, we recently did a review on MapQuest 4 Mobile that you might want to check out (U.S. only). This impressive little app is completely free and offers voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. I was personally happy enough with this app that I haven’t seen the need to purchase one of the pricier GPS alternatives.

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MapQuest 4 Mobile: Free GPS Spoken Driving Directions

Is there an app that will allow me to speak a text message?

Latanya

I think there are a lot of users looking for this functionality so I appreciate the question! There are a few options in the App Store for speaking text messages, but there’s really one app that stands out in this area above the rest: Dragon Dictation.

Dragon Dictation is completely free and has superb voice-to-text capabilities. You can use it to jot down your ideas, update your status on Twitter or Facebook, send an email, and yes, even shoot out a quick SMS message.

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Dragon Dictation

Didn’t See Your Question?

If you asked a question but didn’t have it answered today, don’t worry! I’ll do my best to get to it in a future week. If you’d like to submit a new query, you can do so here:



  • Dilbert Ascended

    Dragon Dictation has large obnoxious Ad at the bottom that covers & obscures. There no way to purchase the app & they added the Ad banner with a “big fixes” app update.

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