Fresh iPhone Apps for Jan. 5: Garmin StreetPilot, Layar update, GeoRing

Jan 5, 2011
Tech

Popular navigation system maker Garmin has finally stepped into the app market with StreetPilot, a navigation system with a high price tag, but lots of features to fill it out — and it’s still cheaper than buying a Garmin navigation system. It tops our Fresh Apps list today, but we’ve got a couple of other […]

Popular navigation system maker Garmin has finally stepped into the app market with StreetPilot, a navigation system with a high price tag, but lots of features to fill it out — and it’s still cheaper than buying a Garmin navigation system. It tops our Fresh Apps list today, but we’ve got a couple of other interesting (and cheaper) offerings for your perusal below.

Garmin StreetPilot (iPhone) $39.99

When it comes to turn-by-turn navigation systems, most everyone has probably heard of Garmin. While a Garmin unit for your car can cost a couple hundred dollars, Garmin’s Streetpilot app, which is filled with great features, will only cost you $40. It’s a lot for an iOS app, but you get a lot for your money.

Garmin provides turn-by-turn directions, voice prompts and traffic updates, like a lot of other traffic apps, but it goes a step further by taking the initiative to make sure maps are updated at just about all times. It also integrates iPod controls and your iPhone contacts list, so you don’t have to leave the app to access them and get lost in the process. Garmin will even keep track of the weather and let you make calls from within the app.

Layar Reality Browser update (iPhone) Free

An augmented reality app, Layar is meant to show you what’s around by overlaying information about your surroundings on your iPhone screen as you pan its camera around. It features a ton of different “layers,” which are various augmented reality sets to go into the app, both free and paid, and includes search functions for area businesses and attractions.

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Layar’s recent update deals with fixing some camera issues, making sure you can always use your layers effectively, even when your camera’s jostling around. Users using versions of iOS 3 should refrain from downloading Layar until a fix is issued, however — there’s a bug in the app that causes it to crash on earlier iOS versions. Shouldn’t take long, as the App Store seems to be pretty well abuzz with the problem, and developer Layar B.V. is working on it right now.

GeoRing (iPhone) $0.99

GeoRing lets you tag your calls with different music and GPS information, as well as monitor their length and incoming time. Those things are pretty standard, of course, but the real useful feature of the app is that it allows you to use any song as a ringtone without additional setup, and without paying for conversion through iTunes.

After downloading a place-holder “silent” ringtone and syncing it to iTunes, you can let GeoRing run in the background and replace the silent ringtone on your incoming calls with any song from your iPhone’s music library. You’ll need an iPhone 3GS or 4 for the app to work, but people who like to change up their ringtones often will find a lot of value here for just a buck.

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Phil Hornshaw

Phil Hornshaw is a freelance writer, editor and author living in Los Angeles, dividing his time between playing video games, playing video games on his cell phone, and writing about playing video games. He’s also the co-author of So You Created a Wormhole: The Time Traveler’s Guide to Time Travel, which attempts to mix time travel pop culture with some semblance of science, as well as tips on the appropriate means of riding dinosaurs. Check out his profile.

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