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Where To? adds augmented reality

Mel Martin

I've looked at Where To? in the past, and found it a well thought out way to find points of interest in your vicinity. Another plus is that it integrates with the Navigon and TomTom apps so that you can send information for precise navigation.

Now the app has added a new wrinkle: augmented reality. Basically that means, in either portrait or landscape mode, your camera will activate, and points of interest in categories that you select can be seen layered over the real-time image. The closer the location, the bigger the marker. Generally, I think augmented reality is overblown and not all that helpful, but the developers of Where To? have overcome some of the hazards of the feature and made it easier to use. When lots of labels appear very close together, you can zoom in and move them apart. Improvements have also been made to eliminate compass lag, which has affected more than a few AR apps.

If you liked Where To? before, you'll like the improvements. The augmented reality feature is an additional $0.99 cents over the US$2.99 purchase price of the app, and you can try the feature free for 30 days. I think this implementation of AR works well, and it has clearly been thought out. There are plenty of free apps that will give you the same information, like Around Me or Google Places. If you don't opt for the AR feature, you'll get maps of your destinations or a list view with the closest locations at the top. All the apps draw from the same database, but I like the integration of Navigon and TomTom, and I think the AR is actually useful rather than a gimmick. I do think it should have just been included in the basic purchase price, but on the other hand, I think it is worth the extra dollar. Where To? runs on the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad. It requires iOS 3.0 or greater.

Gallery: Where To? with Augmented Reality | 3 Photos

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