The iPhone applications that don't travel well

3 November 2008

Since Apple launched its App Store in July, owners of iPhones or the iPod Touch have been able to download hundreds of games and books, tools for navigations, social networking widgets and a Chuck Norris joke generator. Some of the applications are fun, free and flimsy, others are complex and costly.

And then there are those applications that are next-to-useless, but cost you hard earned coin before you discover exactly how useless they are. For example, if you're in the market for a travel guide - content ideally suited to a device you carry with you - there isn't a great deal of choice. Frommers initially led the way with four guides - London, New York, Paris and San Francisco - which are comprehensive if a little wordy, for £5.99 each.

At the other end of the scale, let's introduce you to the travel guides where there's every chance you'll know more about the locale than they do. There are 16 destinations available in the GUIDEYOU range, which sort of suggests they should be comprehensive. So why is nearly every piece of feedback about them negative? Within a few seconds of purchasing one for £3.49, you discover the reason: they're bloody rubbish.

Specifically, there's a complete lack of content. GUIDEYOU New York includes reviews of just four bars in Manhattan. Unbelievably, the Statue of Liberty isn't included in the list of tourist attractions, nor is Times Square. You thought New York was good for shopping? Apparently not. There are only nine stores in the whole city, and one of them is an ice cream factory.

If that wasn't reason enough to avoid like the pox, the entries are written in broken English throughout. The view from the Brooklyn Bridge, for example:

One is most gapingly exposed to the pulsing energy of this amazing city.

And then there's Central Park:

Encompasses 5p% of the area of Manhattan. The park was opened in 1873 and many hauses and churches were torn down in order to enable its construction. A relasxing getaway from the New Yorker hectic.

And just where is the Hudson Hotel?

356 West 58th Street (zwishen Eighth und Ninth Avenue)

Apple has banned several apps from its Apps Store, but the quality threshold is still shockingly low in places. Bitterwallet's advice? Treat apps the same way you'd treat any other product; they may only cost a few quid, but take some time to read up on them before purchasing.

TOPICS:   Mobile   Gadgets   Travel

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