Tuesday, May 03, 2011

iMapMyRuns now!

I’ve never really had a pressing need for a high volume mobile phone plan, the ones that come with the cool phones (for either work or personal reasons) and have never been able to justify the cost of a mobile wireless broadband modem or plan (except for a fortnight in NZ the Christmas before last – but in NZ you can get true prepaid wireless broadband where you buy data and use it – imagine that, you buy it and keep it. They don’t take it off you in 30 days, because you paid (pre-) for it!)

Finally, inevitably I guess, with Google’s global assault on iPhone, Androids have become available for those of us who know how cool all this technology is but could never really justify a $50 – $60 monthly plan, just for “cool”.

The $29 Optus plan I signed us up for a month back, not only provides ample calls and data for my needs, but comes with a free wireless broadband modem and 2gb of data per month. Great value.

So now a month on, and I’ve discovered the joys of download apps from the Google market place – free ones of course!

The current list exists of:

Seesmic – Twitter client, only because the pre-installed Twitter client mysteriously stopped working after a couple of weeks?? (others have had the problem – couldn’t find a resolution, now don’t need one)

Angry Birds – because you just have to apparently.

Google Docs – because I have always used Google’s browser based version and was curious, and besides, you never know when you may need to edit a spreadsheet on your phone, on the go.

Skype – again curiosity rather than necessity – already have an account and I want to see how it would work. Who knows, I may even end up lashing out and buying some Skype credit?!

A weather app – just because I don’t want to be the only one at Cricket or Footy that doesn’t seem to be able to look knowingly at the phone and say “there’s rain coming!”

and, my current favourite…

iMapMyRun. This is one I heard discussed on the radio while driving back from our Easter camping trip and “had to have”.

I’m a measuring freak, and I’ve been jogging regularly now for well over 12 months so I’m ready to admit, the habit might be sticking…anyway, better than coming home and slowly mapping my latest route on Google Earth, because I have to know how far I just ran…why not strap the phone on, and let it’s GPS facility combined with this nifty little app, just tell me exactly what I just did. (Of course, the phone now replaces the iPod for music as well).

It comes complete with elevations across the entire run, total time taken, average speed and all the stats you would expect. Added to that you are walked through the process of joining their online community. (www.imapmyrun.com). Here you will find thousands and thousands of users world wide and the runs, walks, rides etc they are logging every day. There’s even about 30 users in Torquay and I’ve looked at new runs I’m keen to try already.

When you here the phrase Social Networking it’s natural to just think, “oh, Twitter and Facebook” (maybe Four Square and Linked in if you’re a little more in the know) but apps and niche communities like this with subtle features peculiar to that community (and there are plenty of them, even just in the exercise and fitness field) have immense reach and value.