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maps

My first iOS experience came by way of an iPod Touch that was given to me at Christmas  in 2008.  I remember feverishly setting it up so I could comb the App Store for goodies; making sure to download all the best apps and games available at the time. Now that Christmas is upon us this year, some fortunate few are being introduced to iOS for the first time.

When you find your way into the App Store for the first time, you’ll soon discover that it houses a lot of apps. Like, millions. Many of them bring a unique feature to the iPhone that you don’t get from first-party apps, but then there are the apps that compete with Apple’s offerings. Now, being that Apple owns and operates iOS, its apps often include killer features that you won’t find in third-party alternatives. However, even with this advantage, some third-party apps are capable of offering a superior experience.

With this in mind, I’ve rounded up a list of what I believe to be the best free and paid alternatives to Apple’s first-party iOS apps. Read on and get ready to download! (more…)

When Apple announced turn-by-turn direction support in the all-new Apple Maps at the launch of iOS 6, many wondered where this would leave existing satellite navigation apps that had, at the time, been riding high in the top grossing charts of the App Store. In addition to Apple’s own service, Waze sprung out of nowhere with its more social way of providing directional navigation, live traffic and speed trap information to iOS users in a completely free package. More recently, Google released their all-new Google Maps for iOS that also includes full turn-by-turn directions that’s powered by the software company’s extensive mapping service.

With Apple, Google and Waze offering free functionality to what you would have previously payed upwards of $50 for similar functionality, some companies have had to radically change their approach towards pricing. One such company is CoPilot, which has moved its CoPilot GPS app towards a freemium-based pricing policy by providing the foundations of a complete navigation app that you can tailor to suit.

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Seven months have passed since Google Maps made its return to the iPhone, and, boy, people sure have been thankful. Since it’s return, Google Maps has racked up over 32,000 ratings — most of which are incredibly favorable — and has maintained a high standing as one of the top free iPhone apps in the App Store. To call Google Maps’ return a success is the epitome of an understatement.

Personally, I didn’t get caught up in the Apple Maps vs Google Maps hoopla. Being a loyal Waze user, I sat on the sidelines and watched the endless bashing of Apple’s attempt at providing a map and navigation service. However, that doesn’t mean I wasn’t eager to sample Google Maps when it was released, as well as when version 2.0 was made available earlier this month. Does the newest version of Google Maps have what it takes to be my go-to map and navigation service? Find out after the jump. (more…)

Apple’s mapping system didn’t exactly work out as the company had hoped. After years of rumors and high hopes for the alternative to Google’s solution, Maps in iOS 6 was far from a success. It had so many bugs that all users could do was complain about the app rather than use it. In the end, they transitioned to alternatives like Waze and Maps+, or even Google’s own Web app, which was recently improved for iOS users. None of these really solved the problems for those who enjoyed the old ways. Now there is a fix.

Google worked hard on its own Maps app for iOS, bringing all the old features in a new and modern user interface. It’s won over a lot of users so far and since Google is more reliable when it comes to this sort of thing, there’s no reason not to use the free app. Or is there? (more…)

Just going from here to there, especially when here and there are daily destinations, can become more than a little monotonous. The city you live in is no longer somewhere special but just a place you pass through everyday.

Now imagine you’re seeing your town for the first time and trying to navigate your way through it with only the knowledge of your immediate surroundings. A common video game trope, Fog of World is bringing this sort of discovery to the real world. As you travel a map of your neighborhood or city, the fog lifts, and you discover your world all over again. (more…)

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. (more…)

With summer just around the corner, we can all look forward to getting out of the house a bit more. Unfortunately, gas prices tend to jump up this time of year, so getting around town will start to become much more expensive. At times like this, those of us who would like to avoid those high gas prices, (or simply don’t own a car), turn to public transit.

There are are a number of apps that can help you navigate public transit in a specific city. For example, New Yorkers have a number of great options for understanding the subway routes. But I’ve been looking for a solid, well-rounded public transit mapping app for the iPhone that can work anywhere. I recently came across HopStop, and have been using it for a couple weeks. My thoughts after the jump. (more…)

Your iPhone is great for connecting you to the people you love, but it can also be great at connecting you to the world around you. When you plan a roadtrip, you just don’t get out the giant road atlas and the stacks of paperback sightseeing guides anymore. For a long time now, you’ve been going to the Internet for all of your maps and activity planning. And now you’re leaving those reams of paper behind and looking to your iPhone.

For your next big roadtrip to America’s great parks and preserves, National Parks by National Geographic has you covered. Those piles of guides that were outdated in only a couple of years are now on your phone with updates from National Geographic in their National Parks app. Filled with colorful shots of the parks and packed with things to do once you get there, National Parks is a go-to for tourists to America’s national parks and preserves. (more…)

Quick Look posts are paid submissions offering only a brief overview of an app. Vote in the polls below if you think this app is worth an in-depth AppStorm review!

In this Quick Look, we’re highlighting MUD MAP – Australia. The developer says MUD MAP – Australia transforms your iPhone into a powerful handheld GPS with maps. It’s an awesome bit of gear for hikers, hunters, trail and mountain bike riders, or anyone exploring the great outdoors. Maps are stored on the device so it keeps working even in the most remote regions where a phone signal is non-existent. MUD MAP is THE navigation app you can rely on, anywhere, anytime.

Read on for more information and screenshots!

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Quick — can you name the closest recycling location in your neighborhood that accepts paint? How about all the greenhouse gases? And what’s your carbon footprint? I like to think people would be a lot more successful at making environmentally friendly choices on a daily basis if the options were convenient and the information was readily available.

With that in mind, here are five apps that make “greening” up your life much easier, and even a little fun. They can help you find recycling centers in a snap, identify safe foods and products, reduce your carbon footprint, and more. Hit the jump to take a look.
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