Our lives can get so busy at times. We need to take one of the kids to soccer practice, the other one needs to go to ballet, then the whole family needs to meet for dinner afterwards and it is crucial that you are all on time. Between my wife and I, we can try and text or call each other to stay in touch to make sure we arrive on time or to see where the other one is, but that can take up a lot of time, and to do this on the road is definitely not safe.
Now there is an alternative that can help, with an app named Twist. It gives you the opportunity to let someone know where you are and how long it will take to reach your destination without having to risk texting while you are driving. If this sounds intriguing, then follow along after the jump.
Creating a Twist
When you create a Twist, you need to choose a destination and someone that you want to keep updated about your progress. The nice part about this is the person that you chose to keep updated doesn’t necessarily have to have the app installed on their iPhone for them to get the notifications. Another neat feature is that it can integrate with your iPhone’s calendar, and if you have put in a location for an event you can just tap on it and your Twist is created.
As you are creating your twist, there are a variety of sharing settings that you can configure. You can choose to let your Facebook and Twitter friends know that you are using Twist at the moment (it won’t put out your current location so you don’t have to worry about that). You can also choose to send a departure notification, sharing your location at times throughout your drive, as well as an arrival notification.
Twist Along The Way
This is where the app gets really cool and very useful. Let’s say you have now created your new Twist and that you are heading home and that you put your wife as the person to notify. Once you leave, she gets a text message or email (depending what contact you chose) letting her know that you have left and your estimated time of arrival. Along the way, she will get more messages from Twist letting her know your updated ETA and distance from her location. The best part about it is that the person you choose to communicate with doesn’t necessarily need to have the app installed or even have a smart phone. Being that you can choose to text or email anyone, this makes it very easy to choose anyone, and not limit you to only selecting people who also have the app.
As you are driving to your destination, there are a few features that you can use along your route. For one, there is a map feature that can come in handy if you need directions to get where you are going. Unfortunately, you cannot see directions in a list, which would be nice, and I hope it gets added in future updates. Second, there is an Info tab where you can see a street view of your destination. Twist is able to get this with the help of Google Maps, which is kind of nice, especially if you have never been to the place before. You can also see the weather in the city of your destination, which could come in handy as well. You can also take pictures along the way to your destination.
A final feature that I thought stood out was the messaging aspect of the app. If you go along your route and you hit traffic, you can message someone to let them know that you might be late. What is nice about this, is that if someone that doesn’t use the app gets your message, they are given a link to the web site where they can respond if they choose to.
Hardly ever do I come away from an app in it’s 1.0 phase and think that they did a really good job. Twist, I have to say, was one of those that really impressed me. I loved the practicality of the app, and how useful it was for me and my family. It is so easy to use and set up, and I find myself using it all the time.
In addition, the developers of Twist did an amazing job of not only giving you very useful features, but they made it so that everyone could use it, iPhone or not. I hate when apps limit you to using their app only to one device; it makes it so detrimental to the growth of the ecosystem. With Twist, you don’t have to worry about someone else having an iPhone or smart phone. They can receive texts, emails and even use the web app to stay up to date on your whereabouts and when you are going to arrive. That’s smart thinking on their part.
If you are looking for an easy way to let people know where you are and when you are going to get to your destination, you have to try Twist out. It is well made and definitely well thought out, and can come in very handy for a variety of situations. This is one that will be staying on my iPhone and I am very interested to see what new features they add in the future. I highly suggest you go download this free app and start having some fun with it.