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Localscope for iOS gets a solid update just in time for your holiday travel

Mel Martin

I've been using Localscope (US$2.99) since its debut. Localscope is a discovery app that gets data from 20 different sources to show what is around you with useful background information.

The overhaul for iOS 7 looks very nice, with new colors and transparency. Controls disappear in context to what you are doing, so everything is very clean.

I tried the app this morning while sitting at the St. Louis airport waiting for a flight. Immediately, a map popped up showing my location, and there were guides to the closest restaurants and other facilities the airport offered. There were even Wikipedia links to more general information about the airport.

Gallery: Localscope | 4 Photos

If you arrive at a place you are not familiar with, Localscope gives you a quick briefing with local knowledge in one place. There's information from Google, Facebook and Yelp, as well as photos from Instagram and Flickr that can illustrate your immediate surroundings. There are also 2D and 3D maps.

To me, some of that info is noise, and the app lets you turn off the feeds you don't want to see. I particularly didn't need to see Instagram and Flickr photos. They take up too much screen real estate.

Although the app has added a lot more information, it is actually easier to use than previous versions. That's largely due to the GUI changes. A few things are lost in this release. YouTube links are gone until some API issues get sorted out, and Qype has been acquired by Yelp, so results are merged.

The timing of the release is great, with holiday travel on tap for many of us. You have a great local guide in your pocket, and it should be in every traveler's collection of apps.

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