AroundMe - app of the week # 19

Some apps are great to have in order to learn something new and to entertain you. And then, there are those apps which are created to make everyday life just a little bit easier.

AroundMe belongs to the last category. You’ll never feel a stranger anymore if you have this app, not even if you’re in a foreign city. You’ll get to find instantly everything you need around you (a bank, the petrol station or a hotel, the ATM or the nearest coffee shop). AroundMe is not a new app, it has been developed and launched in 2008 by Tweakersoft and within 6 months from its launch it has been already downloaded 5 million times. However, it has been completely redesigned and updated this month, in order to have the same look and feel as the new operating system, IOS 7. It is between the first apps which have been updated for the new system, together with other top apps, such as: Facebook, Twitter, Shazam, Evernote, NYTimes, Kindle or Digg. The app is available in about ten different language and it’s compatible with iPhones, iPod touches, iPads and is also designed for the Android devices. Now, if you’d like to download the app but you can’t or you don’t want to update to IOS 7 yet, you don’t have to worry. As I wrote recently in an article on our blog, Apple allows now older IOS users to download the last compatible version of the app. How does AroundMe work The idea of this app is simple and efficient. AroundMe will ask for permission to use your location (the location services need to be turned on), then through GPS and Wifi it pinpoints your bearings and offers a list with locations and businesses in your area. Whether you’re new to an area or don’t have much time to complete some tasks and you need to find certain locations quickly, AroundMe is all you need.

The list is then broken into Categories (Bars, Banks, Hotels, Hospitals, Restaurant, Parking, Movies and more) and you can find the locations around you from each category, with the closest location listed first. With Google Maps’ help, tapping on your choice you’ll see a map, contacts for that location and also, links with tips from Foursquare. When viewing a location on a map, you can choose between standard, satellite and a hybrid of the tool. Of course, it is also possible to find certain places and destinations whilst being somewhere else.

You then have the option to save a location to Favorites and use it next time you need it, and you can even share the results on Facebook or Twitter . Also, a weather forecast by WeatherPro for the next 3 days is integrated in the app.
As a musician who spends a lot of time on the road, I've found this app very handy, for example: I'd left my shoes at home, 100+ miles away, for a "suited and booted" kind of gig. I needed to find somewhere to buy cheap, crap shoes just to get myself out of trouble. Around Me to the rescue! DavrosCC
A disadvantage of this app is that you can’t retrieve the info from the Favorites or previous search results offline, without being connected to the Internet. Another thing, which might be annoying for some people, is that the free version of the app usually shows advertising on the top of the search results. However, you can upgrade to a version free of ads, but you will need to pay for this. All in all, this app helps you to scan the area and find what you need with just a few clicks (easy and free of charge). If you ask me, it’s something that every iPhone should have integrated from the moment you buy it.
May 07, 2014