If you’ve been missing Google Maps app on your iPhone or you’re looking to get more from a maps app, check out AR-Maps. Similar to Nokia City Lens, mentioned in the Lumia 810 review, AR-Maps lets you use Apple or Google Maps on your iPhone and adds a camera view with a layer of text to identify what you’re seeing in front of you.
The app uses a split screen, with the camera view at the top of the screen and the map view at the bottom. As you move your phone, the orientation of the map moves with you.
You can use this app for navigation and to discover places of interest around you. You can also use this app if you’re lost or disoriented. The app shows you a hybrid view of both the buildings ahead of you through your camera lens and the map with the names of the streets.
Here’s a video showing how the app works:
The app has a search function that lets you search for nearby keywords, your history, the phone book and places on the map. You can also share your current location with a friend via email or a text message, in case you’re lost, running late, or trying to meet up with others.
What You Should Know
You can switch back and forth between Apple Maps and Google Maps within the app in Settings.
The app is free but has ads. The ads appear infrequently, but when they do appear along the bottom of the screen, they block the menu bar. Tap on the edge of the screen and the menu bar will reappear and the ad will disappear. Let’s hope a paid, ad-free version comes soon!
AR-Maps connects to the Internet to work. If you’re away from Wi-Fi you’ll be using cellular data on your phone so mind your data limits.
Because the app is using your camera, GPS, gyroscope and other features on your phone, this app can drain your battery quickly. If you’re using the app in the car, make sure to plug your phone into a charger so you don’t arrive at your destination with a depleted battery. When you’re done using the app, close it. I’m serious. If you ever doubted my guidance in Close Your Apps!, this app will restore your faith in my advice. Leave this app running in the background for a while and say good-bye to your battery charge.
If you’re looking for a free maps app that lets you use Apple maps or Google maps, adds augmented reality and notifies others where you are, check out AR-Maps.
AR-Maps is free for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch in the iTunes App Store.
Staying Safe when Shopping Online
If you’ll be shopping online on Black Friday, Cyber Monday or any other day of the year, be sure to stay safe when purchasing products from websites. According to Trend Micro, phishing incidents are up over 200% since 2006 and over 10 million malware sites have popped up on the web.
Trend Micro offers these tips for staying safe with your online shopping:
- Only visit websites with HTTPS in the web address, especially if you’ve never visited the site before. Look for the padlock icon at the lower right of your screen or in the address bar as a good indicator of site’s security.
- Websites don’t need all of your personal information. A website will never need your date of birth or social security number for you to make a purchase.
- Keep it Private. Don’t shop in a public “hot spot” or in places with unsecure networks. Limit online shopping to when you are at home on your password-protected Wi-Fi network to be sure of uninterrupted and safe shopping sessions.