With this creative iPhone app you can get all the latest info on what’s happening around the world from people who are actually there using Localmind.
The overall idea for this app is for users to check-in through either Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook and then once inside you can look for other Localmind users anywhere in the world. Once you’ve found a user in a place that you’re interested in you can ask them for information.
Once you’ve checked in via one of the various social sites this app throws you straight into the action. Now this would normally make things confusing but in this case anyone who has used the primary iPhone maps app will be half way there. The main screen opens into a map of your local area where you are shown as a blue dot and other users on Localmind will be shown as a yellow marker. To further simplify local navigation and searching there are two buttons at the top of the screen; one centers you on your current location and the other shows you other Localminders in your local area (up to 25km).
The whole point of using this app is to ask or answer questions and this process been made very quick and easy. Ask your questions by simply tapping on the yellow Localmind marker of someone in a location that you’re interested in, tap ‘Ask’ and then ask away. The bottom of the screen is the main navigation area and lets you view the questions you have asked and questions users have sent you as well as updating your profile and returning to the main map screen.
First let me say that this app has benefits way beyond our current comprehension, as it is essentially in a ramp up phase and the potential is limitless. In other words, the variables of how often this app will make your life easier are immense. For example, imagine you are on your way to the bar and you want to know how long the line is, or if you are heading to a movie and want to know if the show is sold out. Simply ask a fellow “Localminder” who is there ahead of you and your knowledge is updated in real time. Now with that in mind, we must examine the content.
The content that this iPhone app offers is in some cases the best and in others the worst. It is of course user generated content and that means you are at the mercy of each user’s ability to provide useful and valid information. In an ideal world you would find all-knowing, highly articulate users in every location you needed information about at any time of the day. Unfortunately this isn’t always going to be the case because with iPhone apps like this you are heavily reliant on the popularity of the app and the kind of users that are going to be using it. On a bright note though it does appear that this app is beginning to build up its user-base and that means that for many it could soon prove to be an invaluable tool for researching information in a plethora of locations.
Like Facebook, foursquare and the many other social networking services out there Localmind has a great chance of become a viral success amongst users around the world. This, however, is the key to how useful it will be as an information gathering tool. Right now the combination of its easy access and use, growing popularity and the fact that the app itself is free makes it a great app to download, even if it’s just to say you were an early adopter when the user-base explodes.
Localmind iPhone app [ iTunes Link ] requires iOS 4.0 or later and is compatible with iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad. A small expedite fee was paid by the developer to speed up the publication of this review.
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