A few months ago, we reviewed GPSToday and called it one of Windows Mobile's killer apps. We also hinted back then that some more features were to come in future revisions, specifically relating to social networking and communications.
Welp, that time has come. This week, GeoTerrestrial updated their program with a bunch of lil' fixes and improvements and few big ones, including GeoMail. GeoMail is simply a method to send your current coordinates or street address via email/sms to friends and colleagues.
The other major update is a new standalone version. With the popularity of HTC's TouchFlow interface, running 3rd party Today Plugins is a bit of hassle. Now you can download a separate non-plugin version of GPSToday. Sweet.
Read on for my quick overview/review of GPSToday's GeoMail feature.
First, some other minor updates that come with 0.9.9.3:
- Weather updating mechanism is tightened up
- Today screen flicker is removed
- Now you can change the temperature display color on the today screen to suit your needs
This is now probably one of the best features of GPSToday. Ever been meeting up with someone in the city and you want to send them your location? Not very easy if you use Google Maps or Live Search as (1) You can't send people your blue dot (2) Just because you see yourself on the map, doesn't mean you know the actual street address.
GPSToday and GeoMail solve this by simply looking up your GPS location, converting to a street address and with just a few clicks, being able to send that info via email or SMS.
But what's really cool here is how GeoMail handles this feature. When you send the info via email, the recipient gets 3 options via links
- A link to a map for desktop users
- A link to a map for mobile phone users
- Option for GPSToday users to open the info in GPSToday (via menu)
In other words, the program does not need your recipients to have GPSToday installed or some special software on their end. That non-proprietary feel is very nice and GT seem to have covered all possible scenarios of real users.
If sent via SMS, the recipient will get your geolocation & street address. And the super cool part: if you have GPSToday installed and receive somebody's geolocation info via their GPSToday...it automagically opens up your GPSToday to display their location with a little message. They then show up on your map as a little pin, with their name and even their message.
Hands off, no fiddling, no copy n pasting, no looking up. It just does it for your. Plus you can respond back to the person with your location and a message. You can even send to multiple recipients.
Registration for GeoMail
One quibble some may have is that you need to register an account to use GeoMail. Like the program itself, it's free and there are no gimmicks here. Though you may wonder why you have to register (we did) and this is what GeoTerrerstrial had to say:
The reason is that next version onwards geomail will allow sending/receiving locations by choosing recipient usernames, via the geoterrestrial network (a third way over sms and email). That method will be a bit slower than sms (but free unlike sms), and much faster than email. Even better than that, it will also allow us to de-couple sending/receiving methods based upon user preferences. For example, a user will be able to send a message via email, but the recipient will receive it instantly via sms, and so on. We think that will be really neat.
And as a teaser, GeoTerrestrial lets us know of another new feature they are working on, cryptically called GeoGroups which will also take advantage of the "geoterrestrial network". You heard it here first :-)
Plus, as far as signing up goes, this is pretty painless as you can do it all on the device and they require no personal information (just a username and password). Still, we suppose one could argue about security risks, so if you have a fear (or a reason to fear) someone spying on you...well, you should probably not even have a phone with GPS.
What can we say? We're smitten with this program. It's free, it looks cool and it's probably one of the most useful applications to take advantage of your device's on-board GPS.
With GeoWeather (weather based on your current location), GeoTagging (automatically tag your photos with your geolocation info), GeoLogger (log your movements, hikes, etc.),the future GeoGroups (?!) and now GeoMail, GPSToday is packed full of features that are just (geek alert!)...really awesome.
If we had any gripe it would be this: somehow add a GeoMail icon to the Today Plugin, or give us an option for an expanded Today Plugin. We think it'd be really cool to just one-click (via icon) launch GeoMail without having to launch the map and go into some sub-menu. But that's a minor criticism.
Two bigger issues are still no-compatibility with non-Touch Screen devices (we feel for you Moto Q9 users) and street address lookup is still U.S. based only.
But hey, if you're in the U.S., have a touchscreen WM device and GPS...this seems like a no brainer.
Post your thoughts and comments below!
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