App of the Week: As The Crow Flies (iPhone)
Developer: Idle Witness
With the warmer weather starting to creep in at long last and festival season almost upon us here in the UK, there are hundreds of thousands of people waiting to flock to events big and small across the country.
If you’ve ever been to one of the bigger festivals, especially one as huge as Glastonbury, you’ll know the oh-so-painstaking task of finding your little tent amongst a sea of others. It’s a problem akin to finding your car in a multi-storey car park, but on a much bigger scale.
Our App of the Week this week contains the solution to both of these infuriating problems; aiming to save you hours spent searching. ‘As The Crow Flies’ is a simple yet very effective app that mixes GPS positioning with a social twist.
The idea of the app is to use the integrated Google Maps to pinpoint your location, which can then be saved within the app. Because the app uses Google Maps it’s as easy to use as the standard Maps app is on your iPhone – with pinch to zoom and the choice between Standard, Satellite and Hybrid maps.
You can do this when leaving your tent at a festival, your car in a car park or anywhere else that you might have trouble getting back to. When you need to find your way back, simply fire up the app and open your Saved Locations and choose your previously saved location. You’ll now be following the crow on screen to help you get back, which we feel is much easier than squinting at Google Maps and continually zooming in, out and scrolling around to keep up with the route.
The actual navigation part of the app uses the digital compass inside your iPhone so that the crow on screen will always point you in the right direction, no matter which way up you hold the phone. If you don’t want to follow the crow you also have the option of opening up the map to follow your route in the traditional way.
Below the crow is the remaining distance to your location and the name of said location, which constantly updates as you walk. It’s accurate down to three decimal places of a mile, which is very handy if you’re looking for something as small as a tent!
Once you’ve saved your location you can share it with a group of friends from within the app by selecting the ‘Flock Friends’ feature. You can also send your current location, and if your friends have the app installed they can automatically see where you are and use the app to quickly join you. If they don’t have the app installed they will receive a text message containing a link to easily download it.
We tested out ‘As The Crow Flies’ by parking somewhere in amongst a 10 storey car park and giving a friend our iPhone with the app loaded up. They managed to find their way to our car in under 2 minutes, (we were parked on level 8!) which we’re sure is a fraction of the time it would have taken us without the app.
If you’re brave enough to take your iPhone along to a festival this summer we highly recommend trying out ‘As The Crow Flies’ – it could save you hours of time wasted wandering around.