2010-06-07

St. Andrews App

I took a while to find, but after reading on the CBC web site that the little town of St. Andrews (aka Saint Andrews) , New Brunswick had an iPhone app, I was quite intrigued.

In the days of fast Internet and Google Street View, it is a wonder that tourism boards produce pamphlets. But they do. So I installed the goExplore apphttp://j.mp/StAndrewsApp or http://j.mp/standrewsapp ) and downloaded the in-app tour.

First impression: Pretty good! My expectations were pretty low (I expected a web site called an app), but it turns out there are enough iPhone/ipod touch features to make this download-worthy (the app is free).

Basically, each tour is a Google Map with pins on it. You press the pin, and you get information and usually a short video. You can use many of the app features without Internet access (as long as you have downloaded the tour). This is quite useful for iPod touch users as well as for visiting Americans who want to avoid international roaming fees. Even if you have disabled Internet access on your iPhone, the GPS feature of your iPhone will tell you where you are on the app's map (this is extremely useful, as I experimented while in Havana with my Lonely Planet iPhone guide. I can assure you, there is no cellular Internet in Cuba).

The list of tours available in the goExplore iPhone/iPod touch/iPad app is quite eclectic. After exploring St. Andrews, you can check out the College of Science and Mathematics and Austin. Not bad for one app! :)

I have to admit, after playing around with the app, I put St. Andrews on my list of places to visit. Simply viewing St. Andrews on Google Street View would not have been enough to convince me the town was worthy of a visit. So perhaps there still is a place for tourism pamphlets, paper or electronic.

Below is an embedded Google Street View map; it is not part of the St. Andrews app. Note the ad for "Garden Gate Bed and Breakfast" when you put your mouse over the picture. If you don't have Flash (because, for example, you are reading this on an iPhone/iPod touch/iPad), you can see it here.

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