Check-in apps can be rather pedantic, but Evzdrop promises a better solution for the user who wants to share where they are and what they do without being boring and annoying their friends. That’s because Evzdrop is in and of itself a social network, encouraging its users to write Twitter-esque microblogs at the places that they check in at. Thus, a check-in becomes a story of what happens at that specific time and place, and users can also share photos of the places they’re at. Locations can also respond to their check-ins, and even offer special deals to those who check-in, or just provide feedback on bad experiences. Users can also follow locations to see what other people are doing at those locations â€“ for example, following a sports stadium to see what people at the events are taking photos of. The app already has a community built around it from its iOS launch, and is now available on Android on Google Play.
PerBlue have announced the latest in their Parallel series of games that use real-world locations for virtual-world gameplay. Their newest one, Parallel Zombies, will add some new real-time action elements.
Parallel Zombies is essentially an MMORPG that takes place on Google Maps. There’s a zombie apocalypse, and it’s up to the player to fight off the undead, and to help rescue survivors. The world is made up of real-world locations, just crawling with the brain-hungry hordes.
Parallel Zombies is designed to be more of an action-style game than past titles, where tapping to move to a certain location was the goal. Now players have a virtual joystick on the left side of the screen to move about the world, with a series of action commands, such as weapon usage and abilities, on the right.
Real-world locations will appear as special mission areas in the game, such as hospitals will appear in the game, and will actually be hospital areas that can be explored, often with people to rescue. These survivors help flesh out the story, but they also give bonuses, and can help out the player by providing things like fast travel spots, to make getting aroudn the map easier.
Zombieland rule #29 is to stick together, and Parallel Zombies allows for just that, with live online multiplayer. Groups can be created that will search for other players who want to team up, and then they can explore either the overworld together, or even go into the missions in map locations. At the end of missions, players will ge to see who did the best in the areas.
Parallel Zombies is currently in testing for release next month, and an interesting wrinkle is that it’s going to be Android-only. Previous titles such as Parallel Mafia were overwhelmingly more popular on Android than iOS at about a 4:1 ratio, so they’ve decided with Parallel Zombies to just focus on releasing for Android. We’ll have more on this promising Android exclusive as it nears release.
Mobbles, the game that uses geolocation to let players track and capture cute creatures based in the world around them, has a special creature in honor of E3 for convention-goers.
Those at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which is hosting E3, can load up Mobbles and get an exclusive creature: Cuby. Heâ€™s an interesting Tron-esque fellow with a cubed head, and the ability to transform into an arcade machine. Do not attempt to put quarters in Cuby.
Cuby can be acquired by downloading either the iOS or Android version of Mobbles, and opening up the Mobbles Radar. Cuby should then show up, and he can be fed, played with, and raised like every other Mobble. Those who get Cuby should be careful, because Mobbles can potentially die, and who wants to lose Cuby? Itâ€™s on your guilty conscience if you screw this up, E3 attendees. Hurry up, because heâ€™s only available through the 7th.
5 Miles is an app that looks to try to combine geolocation with short-form messaging services like Twitter. The way it works is that users broadcast out a message, preferably ones looking for people for some kind of activity, from looking for players for a game to people to come out to a party. This message lasts for 24 hours, and is broadcasted out to all other users within a 5 mile radius, hence the name “5 Miles.” Thanks to Android’s permissions for apps, devices running 5 Miles can receive these messages, called “fivecasts” to their device when they travel into the range of a fivecast. Fivecasts can also be mobile, and the epicenter of a fivecast can move as the creator of the fivecast, called a “fivemaster,” moves. This has the benefit of making this geolocation service potentially more viral, and ironically more disconnected than other services that rely on geolocation. See, as fivecasts are inherently mobile, and designed to capture as many users as possible, this increases the possibility that messages are relevant to people, and that the service can spread. It’s essentially the inverse of Foursquare, where it is about drawing in users to a certain location; this is about using location to attract users, but is not about the specific location. This is an interesting service, with a free Android app available for users to try out.
Go2Note tries to solve a simple problem – sometimes when we’re looking up locations, we want to write down notes about these locations. It’s a very simple idea, no? The problem has been that such a solution did not exist…until now. Go2Note allows users to look up locations, and type up notes that will be attached to those locations in the Go2Note app. Locations can either be found through automatic location detection, or by doing a search for specific locations. The app allows for notes to be filtered by local notes, so users can see the notes nearby them. This local distance can be configured to be a radius from as small as 50 yards to up to 50 miles. The app is completely free to download, and is completely ad-free as well. This app could have many uses, like noting when at a restaurant which items were good, or to note things like instructions about a place. There’s plenty of potential uses for an app like this, and it’s free as well! Download it now from the Android Market.
So here’s a quandary: what do we do with all these teens and young adults that can’t put down their phones? They’re constantly Facebooking, tweeting, and Angry Birding on their phones, and too busy to notice the real world around them. Well, over on the other side of the pond, British young volunteer service v, and their web initiative vinspired have an ingenious solution to try and get more teens and young adults to volunteer and help out their community, as well as their resumes and curriculum vitae – a smartphone app, which is now available for Android.
This app allows for young Brits to look up volunteering opportunities “with nearly 1000 charities and community organisations.” It is possible for users to look up the closest opportunities to them based on their postcode or to locate by way of GPS, so they don’t have to go very far to volunteer. Each opportunity has a list of details, times, and even photographs. As well, there are even opportunities for users to do good things from the comfort of their own homes, like helping to prevent cyberbullying (which is apparently just as much a hot button issue overseas as it is here; we’re not so different after all!)
The app also logs completed opportunites so users can keep track of them for use on their resumes, and frequent volunteers can even apply for awards through v. The Android app has also been reviewed with one of my favorite Android Market user reviews I’ve ever read, as “Hannah” describes vinspired’s Android app as “A proper androidy android app that looks lush and works like it should.” I’ve never thought of describing an app as ‘lush’, but that’s why I’m not British. In all seriousness, though, making it easier for young people to find these opportunities through the technology that they already use is a good thing; other organizations could take a cue from what vinspired is trying to do. The vinspired app is now available for free from the Android Market.