App of the Week: Apps That Helped on My Vacation...and a Few That Didn't
|Photo by Jeff Balke|
|Nevermore, Instagram. Nevermore.|
The accuracy of the Google Maps app and the ability to simply type in the name of a store or restaurant as opposed to an address makes it a must-have for any road trip. But it has some issues. For one, tapping the screen zooms in, which is easy, but getting back to a wider view is a pain, particularly when trying to quickly see where you are. Additionally, the routes it chooses are odd at best. It did navigate very accurately a route, but what it chose was a bizarre and terrifying series of tiny roads teetering on the edges of 500-foot drops without warning.
I have raved about this app and it is still my favorite source of weather on the phone, but its inability to quickly adjust to a new location is frustrating. Once it hones in on where you are, all is well, but getting it to do so is a more complicated process than should be necessary.
I had high hopes for this app and, in some instances, it was very helpful. The problem is in its limited range. Off the interstate, it is nearly worthless. On the interstate, it's invaluable. I hope the app grows to include more roads over time. It would be substantially more versatile if it did.
I love the funky picture-taking app, but its connectivity requirements are frustrating. Without 3G, it is nearly impossible to get a photo to load. Even with it, there are times when Instagram fails. That wouldn't be an issue if it would go ahead and save the photo as is in the iPhone's memory, but that isn't the case. So, be REALLY careful not to delete the image from Instagram and think you can start over later. You can't. You just have to leave it and wait for a better signal.
The Basically Worthless
Even with a decent signal, Facebook failed to load my timeline, had all sorts of errors and glitches and gagged over and over. Someone at Facebook or a third party really needs to do something about improving access to the biggest social network on the planet via a cellular network.