Summer’s here. Vacations, fun places to be and visit, and stuff to capture on your camera phone. I wanted to share a few of the best vacation apps, available on both iPhone and Android that are both fun and useful, and you can put to use prior to leaving town.
Google Now (www.google.com/now) isn’t new, but it is starting to gain traction and is only available on the latest Android operating systems and iOS. Google Now is Apple’s Siri on steroids. It’s a personal assistant you can ask question to, but it also displays “cards” on your phone based on your calendar events, periodically will give you updates on how long it will take you to get home from your current location, location-based weather updates, or when the Dbacks game starts. My favorite feature of Google Now? It’s intuitive. It lets you know what’s going on, wherever you are. Concerts, events, farmer’s market – Google Now will let you know so you don’t miss a thing. I’m finding Google Now to be a great tool for keeping me on track in between real estate appointments, but personally it’s just great to know what’s happening around me. Flights, appointments, and events are huge when travelling, and that makes Google Now a great app for the summer.
Field Trip (www.fieldtripper.com) is just freakishly awesome. I’ve been using it for about 3 days and it’s what prompted me to want to write this post. Once Field Trip is installed, you will start to find out all kinds of great information about where you live, and where you visit. Upon install it immediately notified me that I was in McCormick Ranch and provided an aerial photo from 1975 and the history of the Ranch. Cool. Today, I had an appointment in Downtown Phoenix and while driving past Fashion Square Mall, I received a notification of the entire history of FS, from it’s original open-air design, to it’s enclosure and expansion to compete with (of all places) the Los Arcos Mall (now SkySong). Closer to Downtown, it brought up Helsing’s Coffee Shop at 2 E Camelback Road (now AJ’s Plaza) and a very interesting story at 7th St and McDowell – the history and photo of The Coffee Pot, a depression-era low-cost coffee shop and deli with an enormous coffee pot on it’s roof. For a places, history and nostalgia junkie like me, this is gold. I haven’t been outside of Scottsdale and Phoenix yet with Field Trip, but so far it’s my favorite app and I can already imagine it being indispensable for both my real estate business and a trip away from home.
Vine (www.vine.co) is just fun. Shoot 6 second video and share it on Vine and Twitter. Since Twitter owns Vine, the integration to view “Vines” within Twitter is seamless. You can stop and start your recording as you wish, so Vines can be one shot, or really cool start-stop videos. Vine is perfect for shooting a few seconds of waves breaking, something interesting on your road trip, or a quick audio/video message to share with friends. There are some very, very creative and fun Vines to view from people around the world within the app.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know all about Instagram (www.instagram.com), it’s billion dollar sale to Facebook, and it’s cool filters and social sharing. Instagram is very fun and I’m very active on it (follow me @GeneMontemore). The big deal with Instagram is that as of today, they’ve added the ability to record 15 seconds of Vine-like video, with added filters. There are some very talented Instagrammers out there, and I can’t wait to see what they produce with filtered video. No doubt you’ve seen many Instagram images, and may be a user already, but the video addition is huge. Aside from this significant upgrade, Instagram plays nice with Facebook, where just about everyone shares their images, whether real estate-related, vacations, or kids. If you love socially sharing images, Instagram is an essential app, now more than ever.
Enjoy your summer, and we hope these apps enhance your memories and experiences.
Just spare us the cat photos.