It is officially Spring and the newness of the season is contagious. It’s time to shed the extra layers, pull out the sunglasses, take a deep breath of fresh air and get moving. Whether you are leaving behind your winter hibernation, traveling for a spring break or like me and moving across the country, you are going to want to get out and find something fun to do and somewhere delicious to eat.
Enter Wikiplaces and GoodFood - both of which are available for multiple smartphone platforms, so can we all maybe try to get along this week? I am sure the apps look and run similarly on different phones and platforms, but I can only speak (and write) from my experiences on the Palm Pre Plus. So here goes.
Wikiplaces is an app that utilizes your phone’s GPS and location services to find Wikipedia-archived places of interest close to where you are - wherever you are. There is no need to enter your location or initiate a search. Just launch Wikiplaces, and the app populates a list of places from Wikipedia that are near your location. With each listed item, the app provides its distance from you along with links to the Wikipedia article and a map. This app helped me to find some kid-friendly activities and museums as well as interesting information about our current city. I also plan to continue trying out this app as I seek new ways to entertain and pacify my toddler as we travel on cross-country.
GoodFood similarly uses the GPS and location services on your phone to find area restaurants. When you open the app, GoodFood searches and maps all restaurants in the vicinity that have been rated by others in their social-networking community. Not only can you see the ratings and reviews left, but you can even see pictures if they have been posted by the other users. Depending on your mood, you can sort restaurants by distance, rating, price and genre.
After eating at Chili’s yet again, we decided it was time to try something new and different in our travels. GoodFood helped us to find a phenomenal little Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of the South, which is not an easy feat. The food was a pleasant surprise and the tiramisu actually made us consider applauding. Regardless of what your needs are, if you are hungry, GoodFood can be particularly useful. Looking for the ease and painless experience of your favorite tried and true chain restaurant? GoodFood will let you know of any in your area. Wanting to be more adventurous and try the local fare? GoodFood can let you know what’s recommended and what you are better off skipping.
Both Wikiplaces and GoodFood are extremely intuitive and easy to use without the need for instructions. While they are simple single task applications, they are efficient at what they do and do it well. These may not be the kind of apps you will find yourself using everyday, but they are great in a pinch when hunger or boredom strikes. And best of all, they are free, so why not give them a try?
Anyone else find a great app available for the Pre Plus worth noting?