It looks like Apple has even more in store for its mapping solution that'll make its debut in iOS 6 this fall. According to a Bloomberg report, iPhone users will be able to use Maps directly to check in to the local spots that they're visiting courtesy of Yelp's check-in service. Of course, this leaves us a bit confuses, as almost no one uses Yelp check-ins when compared to Foursquare or Facebook, but we're guessing that Apple doesn't wanna get too reliant on any one company for iOS features. Still, in this case, we think Yelp is a bit of a disappointment for system-level iOS 6 check-ins.
Read More | Bloomberg
Foursquare has released a major revision and revamp of its iOS and Android apps, introducing a brand new user interface. Foursquare 5.0 aims to make it easier to find places to go and activities to do, as it now takes into account the time of day, the local weather, and your location before recommending something to do. It also now incorporates a Like button on venues, which it will then use to find more places that it thinks you'll like when you are using the Explore function. You can grab Foursquare 5.0 now from the App Store and Google Play.
Google is once again trying to show that location services are really important to them with the release of Google Hotpot, a social recommendation engine for Places. According to Google, this service will provide recommendations "powered by you and your friends" to businesses and locations you happen to be near. Right now, Google Places mostly provides information and facts about restaurants, clubs, banks, or anything you can find on a map, as well as imported ratings from outside sources like Yelp. Hotpot adds the ability to like or dislike a location on the spot, and provide your opinion. Then, the engine will present that additional information from your social circle. The new feature is available on Android phones now and on the web, and uses your Google account to allow you to rate businesses.
Read More | Google Hotpot
2009 is just about over, and we are just in time with our annual top 10 list of the most-watched Gear Live video episodes. Over the past year, as expected, there was a bunch of Apple gear that made the list, but Microsoft gets the top two spots with our Xbox 360 dashboard tour, and the Zune HD hands-on preview. Also getting an honorable mention is the Motorola DROID and Elgato Turbo.264 transcoding device.
My pal Robert Scoble announced that the Yelp iPhone and iPod touch app that was recently updated included a hidden Augmented Reality feature. Obviously, as soon as we saw, we had to give it a shot, and we figured we’d do it on video. Augmented Reality apps use the camera on the iPhone, along with overlaid information, to present location data while looking at the “real world” - it’s very cool, and you can expect a bunch more of these types of apps to make an appearance on the App Store very shortly upon the release of iPhone OS 3.1.
In this demo, we show you how to unlock the Monocle mode in the Yelp app, and also give you a look at what exactly it does. For now, our early opinion is that it’s a cool idea…it just needs to be refined a bit to be truly useful.