Smart phone users are always seeking the latest and coolest apps for their iPhones, droids and other mobile communication devices. One of those mobile apps that has skyrocketed in registered users over the past couple of years has been a photo taking/sharing app called Instagram, and it's unique use of GPS geo-tagging has only helped the app grow.
Instagram basically allows its users to capture photos and then edit them using various filters, cropping and focus options. These filters include black and whites, retro vibes and all sorts unique editing options to make a simple image look funky fresh. Instagram also has an option that gives the user the ability to add the location of where they took each photo to be added to their posts. The addition of locational data is completed through the use of the GPS tracker chip based in the user's smart phone. Once a user takes a photo, has the image ran through Instagram's editing filters, and adds the geo-tagged location of where the photo was captured they can then post it to their Instagram account (Facebook option also available). This allows the user to share their photos with other friends, family members or whoever else is following their account.
GPS Tracker Shop Review:
Instagram is one of the most-have mobile apps for anyone keen on social networking and photography. The mobile app is free, easy to use and at least one person you know already has it on their smart phone. However, our GPS Tracker Shop review team does have some serious concerns about data sharing, intellectual property rights and privacy when it comes to the newest changes in terms. Until that legal non-sense gets cleared up GPS Tracker Shop can only give the mobile app 7 out of 10 stars.
One of the worst things to ever happen to iPhone users was an operating system update that resulted in the highly popular navigation app Google Maps being replaced by the highly flawed Apple Maps. This first version of Apple Maps had people everywhere who were used to receiving accurate and reliable navigational data from Google Maps instead lost en route to their intended destination. After getting bombarded with negative feedback from iPhone users about the Apple mapping program, Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter of apology to those who were left with a negative experience. This apology set in motion a chain of events that resulted in the introduction of a brand new version of the mobile application Google Maps for iPhones. Excited that there was now an alternative solution to the poor performing Apple Maps, GPS Tracker Shop quickly jumped at the opportunity to test this latest navigational GPS app.
According To Google Maps:
Once the team at GPS Tracker Shop had downloaded the newest version of Google Maps to an iPhone 4 that would be used during testing, the free mobile navigation app was opened and ready for use. The very first thing that happens once the navigational GPS app is opened is that the program uses the GPS tracking hardware in the user's cell phone to pinpoint their current location. This is displayed using a blue dot that flickers on the mobile version of the mapping program. Since our team wanted to use the navigation GPS in a real life scenario, the experts at GPS Tracker Shop decided to utilize the app during a lunch break to see if the mapping program could locate and guide the testing team to a local restaurant.
After Google Maps was opened and the mapping program located our position using GPS tracking, we touched the navigation arrow icon on the right side of the search bar. From their GPS Tracker Shop selected the "choose your destination" option, inputing the name of a local restaurant.
The greatest feature of Google Maps is that mobile navigation GPS app is absolutely free for download for iPhone users. This basically means people can literally download the mapping program to their iPhones and use the navigation system without any cost or registration.
What the team at GPS Tracker Shop discovered was that Google Maps was incredibly accurate and provided simple data that made it simple for our users to move from position A to position B. Therefore, the review team at GPS Tracker Shop highly recommends mobile users download this mobile app!
When the calender flips to December it is clear that old man Winter has arrived. The beautiful orange and yellow leaves that once decorated Autumn trees are gone, and the cold brisk air has pushed many wildlife out to seek warmer weather. Although colder nights, slower work commutes and shorter hours of daylight are some of the aspects of Winter most people tend not to enjoy, the change also signals the start of snowboarding and skiing season for many outdoor enthusiasts. Winter means it is time to pull out that Burton snowboard from the garage and get her waxed up for some fun in the snow. That just leaves the boarders and skiers with the decision on which mountain or ski resort they want to visit, but that decision may have gotten a whole lot easier thanks in part to a GPS tracking app that accesses real-time weather reports and forecasts from locations all North America!
About AllSnow Mobile GPS App
AllSnow is one of the latest and most user-friendly sports apps designed for mobile communications. Available for free download at the Apple iTunes store, AllSnow is essentially a all purpose snowboarding and skiing app that provides the most accurate trails, real-time weather reports, snow conditions and even finds discounts on many local chairlifts. Not only does the mobile app make it easy to quickly find out the exact weather conditions at a persons favorite mountain resort are, but AllSnow also can act as a GPS tracker, recording everywhere a snowboarder carved up!
AllSnow Popular Features:
Snow Conditions Produced Daily
Expected Daily Snow Forecasts
Various Trail Maps
Discounted Lift Tickets To Popular Mountain Resorts
Snow Park & Ski Resort Directions & Routing
GPS Tracking & Mapping
• Locational Documentation Of Snowboarding/Skiing Activity• Real-Time Reporting & Statistics• Interactive Mapping Showing Recorded Track History• Breakdown Of Snow Trails By Name
GPS Tracker Shop has numerous vehicle monitoring experts who love carving up the powder at local Southern California mountain resorts such as Big Bear and Mountain High, and that is why the GPS experts were quick to download and test the AllSnow app. Under testing, the mobile app was downloaded to an iPhone 4. When local resort info and weather conditions were accessed at our offices in Riverside County they appeared to be spot on and accurate. However, when that data was attempted to be accessed again while actually on the mountain the results were mixed. This probably had to do with spotty cellular coverage due to the mountainous terrain interfering with cellular coverage. Therefore, GPS Tracker Shop recommends for best results that users utilize the AllSnow mobile app in a area with decent cellular coverage.
Our final thoughts on the mobile app were that all in all it had some awesome features, and since it was free for download their really is no risk or harm in people trying it out. The GPS tracking portion of the app was pretty limited compared to some of the more sophisticated real-time GPS systems or GPS data loggers on the market designed specifically for personal monitoring, but it was still somewhat fun to mess around with.
Facebook places almost no value on the privacy of its users and that is why it came as little shock that once they acquired Instagram that policy changes would be fast coming. The most recent policy change that infuriated users basically stated that Instagram would be given the ability to take the images of its registered users and sell or use those photos without needing any form of consent. The idea that family photos, personal images or any digital photograph displaying artistic expression captured by users could be taken without permission by Instagram and used for profit or exploitation was simply ridiculous. The uproar among users was swift and it only took minutes before technology blogs were blowing up about the absurdity of the policy. And this is just one of the many changes to policy that Instagram pushed forward that reeked of legal BS. Policy changes that make it almost impossible for its users to keep photos private.
Basically, if users want their family photos, artistic images or any other photographs captured then shared on Instagram to be private then the best thing to do is not share the digital content on Instagram to begin with. Policy changes will always be used to give a company the ultimate level of control over user driven content. That is why this Instagram user has chosen to delete his account and all data associated with that account.
Would you be okay with Instagram having some form of shared copyright to your personal photographs captured using the their mobile app?
Should users have the ability to make profiles and photos completely private?
Are you concerned with the GPS tracking feature now used on Instagram that tracks where a person is at when they take a photograph?
The only thing that people remember from the infamous iOS6 update was that it brought the guillotine upon Google Maps. This was a premeditated move by the usually smart thinking brains at Apple to push their own mapping program (Apple Maps) on their ever-growing customer base. Unfortunately, they greatly over estimated the efficiency of Apple Maps and it was only a matter of time before the technology blogs were blowing up with stories about people getting lost because of the inaccuracies of the mapping program. Apple CEO Tim Cook wrote an open letter of apology, Google Maps was re-introduced and Apple was left figuring out what to do next in order to gain market share in mapping programs designed to store user locational data via GPS tracking.
Apple has always been on the cutting edge of technological products in both software and hardware. This is why it was so surprising to see the Cupertino-based company debut something stamped with the iconic Apple logo have so many shortcomings. However, the launch did provide some valuable insight in that smart phone users wouldn't accept anything but the most efficient mobile apps on their cell phones. That has resulted in Apple looking outside of their offices to find a mapping solution for mobile devices, and the rumor is they may have found it in a tech start-up company called Waze.
Waze: A New Type of Mobile Navigation GPS App
Waze is a combines social networking and real-time GPS navigational technology to offer users a different type of experience with their mobile navigation apps. What makes this navigation GPS app so different is that it shows the constant changing road conditions that other GPS systems fail to reflect. Through the assistance of an online community contributing to Waze, users are guaranteed to have access to the most accurate traffic conditions. The coolest thing is that users make this passive contribution by simply allowing the Waze app access to the user's GPS tracking data stored on their smart phones! The routing features and real-time traffic conditions are standard features of many GPS navigation systems, but one of the things that makes Waze stand out from the pack is that the mobile app also gives users the ability to report automobile accidents, police traps, or any other potential hazards that can slow or stop traffic.
Although no press release or public announcement has been made on a possible deal, anonymous sources on both sides have stated negotiations are fairly advanced. In fact, the rumor is that Apple is willing to pay nearly half a billion dollars to acquire Waze, but the mobile navigation app company is suggesting the figure should be closer to the three quarters of a billion dollars. This actually shows how much value Apple places upon locational data acquired from GPS tracking because last year Waze only generated approximately one million dollars. Capital that was generated primarily through advertisements.
After hearing about the rumors surrounding an Apple acquisition of Waze, popular technology blog TechCrunh contacted the Silicon Valley giant for clarification. Unfortunately, when TechCrunch reached a company spokesperson they were informed no comments or statements would be made in regards to rumors.
Clearly, Apple is in desperate need of user-friendly, accurate and reliable mapping solution for smart phone users. But after the massive disappoint felt among mobile phone users who were forced to use Apple Maps for their navigation needs, Apple must not only develop a mapping program equivalent to Google Maps but one far more superior. Something truly unique and innovative: words that have defined the tech giant. This is why Apple must do everything possible to acquire Waze, regardless of the sticker price.
UPDATE: Negotiations between Waze and Apple appear to have broken off and the Cupertino based company is moving forward with their own online mapping program software for mobile phones.
Roughly about a month ago, iPhone and iPad users everywhere were informed of iOS6, which was the latest update from Apple that was supposed to give users over 200 new features for their mobile communication devices and tablets. As usual, iPhone and iPad users quickly updated their devices in order to access the latest and greatest features offered from iOS6. The only problem was that the new update left many iPhone users pissed off because Apple installed their own satellite mapping program on each mobile device, while at the same time removing the ultra popular Google Maps app. This left iPhone users everywhere frustrated because the new satellite mapping program that utilizes GPS tracking for routing and navigation failed to come close to perform as efficiently as Google Maps.
Google Maps has easily been one of the most popular mobile applications for smart phone users. This is because the free program is user-friendly, accurate, detailed and simply an amazing tool for helping people in unfamiliar locations get from point A to point B. However, the routing and navigational program also essentially acts as a GPS tracker, recording the locational data of its users. GPS tracking data that companies such as Apple felt had immense value. So much value in fact that Apple scrambled to put together its own competing mapping program to acquire the GPS tracking and locational data of its users. Unfortunately, they scrambled a little too quickly, which resulted in a poor product.
Apple is always making headlines when it comes to technology and innovation, but when the Cupertino company released iOS6 they included their own mapping program that fell significantly short of the gold standard that the company has set when compared to their computing and mobile device solutions. This is because the navigation program Apple debuted was far from a polished product, leaving thousands of users with a bad taste in their mouths. This is because the Apple mapping program would guide people the wrong direction on one way streets, miss exits and a number of other situations that nobody would want to deal with while traveling in an unfamiliar area.
For weeks now the technology headlines and forums have been discussing the many shortcomings of the new Apple mapping program. Stories about popular monuments being shown on the wrong side of the street only highlight both the problems of the Apple mapping program as well as the quality of Google Maps. Seemingly, everyone has a personal story about the new Apple mapping program, and it providing inaccurate or incorrect information. Even one of the technology editors for GPS Tracker Shop experienced this on a recent trip:
"Driving east bound on Interstate 210 from the 5 freeway, we started to get to the end of the Interstate in the Pasadena area. In order to stay on the Interstate we were supposed to exit on the right side, something the Apple mapping program failed to point out. Once we missed our turn we again routed the quickest avenue home through the city of Pasadena. On about the third portion of the directional information the mapping program stated we needed to make a left on a particular road. The only problem was that left was a one way road, making it impossible for us to turn left. After a number of issues such as this we were forced to open Google Maps in the browser and route us home."
Apple holds itself to a very high standard on all products, but their desire to take GPS tracking and locational data from their users for probably marketing purposes (and to piss off Google) led to the release of a product that simply was far from ready for consumer use. Surprisingly, Tim Cook even wrote an open letter to Apple users about the mapping program debacle, apologizing that it did not meet consumer nor Apple expectations. Only time will tell if Apple will make the necessary adjustments to their mapping program in order to compete with Google Maps. The suits know how valuable that GPS tracking data from users is, and if they want it they will need to improve their mapping program.
UPDATE: Apple has continued to release new updates to their operating systems and this has resulted in many of the Apple mapping program shortcomings being resolved. However, this technology expert still feels that the Google Maps mobile app is still superior when it comes to GPS navigational technology.