Travel apps for iPhones are plentiful. There are travel apps from just about every airline, cruise line, travel supplier and social media application around. Some iPhone apps are flush with content, offering a unique way to enrich our travels, other iPhone apps not so much. New generation travel apps like FourSquare and others take advantage of the latest geo-tracking technology, allowing us to pin our way around the world, find information other users may have posted about destination and more. HipGeo‘s travel app takes it all a step further, opening the door to a nearly seamless package of automatic journaling software that could make them top the list of travel apps. This is social media via iPhone apps with some meat to it, as opposed to a social media world that often seems more like the story of the emperor’s new clothes.
Just off a tour of Scotland, Wales and Ireland in Great Britain ending in Rouen, France, we came back home and found a detailed itinerary of exactly where we were on a timeline of the Journey. Loaded on as an iPhone app, HipGeo tagged my location any time the iPhone was in use. It turned those tags into a storybook version of my travel so accurate that it recorded even my movements within a destination.
Literally, while I was taking pictures with the camera in my phone HipGeo was automatically pinning my location. If I had taken all my photos through the HipGeo travel app, it would have automatically matched the time on the photo to the closet match date, time and location. Its that “location” part that works and drives the new app that we put to the test.
I had been invited to preview HipGeo before it’s July 31 release. At the time, I had a lot going on so I didn’t pay much attention to the app. It was one of those things that take more time than I have to learn, so off to the side it went.
Harshest criticism: User instructions need to be easier meaning the developers will have to make the program easier to use. Re-writing an instruction is one thing, rewriting the program is another. Regardless, on our first trip I had simply left it turned on and returned to a detailed tracking of my movements.
Must-have update: I want to go back now and make HipGeo trips out of previous travels on my MacBook Pro. In a perfect world, I would be able to go into iPhoto, select a number of photos, upload them to HipGeo and click “Create Trip” which HipGeo would do based on the embedded location and date information found in all digital photos. Then I could go back, see the photo and add comments. Yes, that would be wonderful.
Now that I know more about how to use HipGeo, one piece of advice: Do a sample travel log of your day. Take photos wherever you go. See what is waiting at the end of the day, at least in one form or another.
Its hard not to be instantly intrigued if not hooked when HipGeo automatically produces an animated storybook of your travels. Of all my iPhone apps, this one might be the best and most used.
I also like that, for social media purposes, part or all of it can be made public or private. When outside your normal calling area, HipGeo still records your location but posts later, when wireless Internet access is available or you return to your normal calling area, eliminating the chance of overage charges too. Another social media feature, already built in, is sharing our travels with others. I have not even touched that yet but it promises to be more relevant than other travel-sharing apps, if for no other reason than the ability to share video, a new addition to the latest release.
Now follow along as I visit several places in Seattle then on to Alaska on Holland America’s Oosterdam for a 7-night round-trip Seattle Alaska Adventure. Knowing a bit more about what HipGeo can do, this one should be rich with descriptions and photos, adding to the quality of that journey. A must-have in your arsenal of iPhone apps.