A new Streets update is available. This time we focused on stability improvements and bug fixes. Also we changed the way we link back to the Maps application: Now, we don’t change the map type (Map, Satellite, Hybrid) in Maps according to the selected type in Streets.
Download the update on the App Store now. And remember: through the end of July, Streets is available at the introductory price of $0.99. After that it’ll cost $1.99.
Before I get to the real meat, let me give you a short update on Streets. The updated and renamed 2.0 version of the app was launched a week ago and received great feedback so far. The New York Times reviewed Streets and writes:
the Streets app shows the Street View in higher resolution than Google does. A user can zoom in on – and read – signs that would be undecipherable in Google’s own Street View.
With that little update out of the way, I’d like to go through the details of the Streets API allowing to launch Streets from 3rd party apps using specially crafted URLs. Where To? uses this technique to integrate Street View panoramas in a seamless fashion.
Support for x-callback-url
Streets is designed to be also used as a helper app that plays well together with other apps. This requires a bidirectional connection to let the user return to the calling app easily. For example, this is the user experience of a Where To? user using Streets:
The Back button with the icon of the originating app (plus the app name on iPad) takes the user back to the originating app with a single tap. No app switcher juggling needed. To implement this, we’re following the x-callback-url specification with the addition of a parameter for the source app’s icon. If desired, Streets can return to the calling app immediately if no panorama photo is available for the given location.
To specify Street View panoramas, in the simplest case you just send the latitude and longitude of the location. If you want to go fancy, you can specify everything from the concrete panorama ID, the view heading and pitch through to a custom panorama title.
All the details including how to detect if Streets is already installed on the user’s device can be found on our Streets API page.
Promoting your Streets enabled app
We’re glad to introduce apps making use of the Streets API on our blog. Just let us know. Also please contact us and explain your needs if you’re missing a certain API. We’re open to expand this API for new use cases.
Only three months after its initial release we already have the first major Street View update for you! The 2.0 version features a new icon and has been renamed to “Streets” – more succinct and hopefully easier to find on the App Store.
We’ve been busy putting a ton of new features into this release. Without further ado let me walk you through the new stuff:
A blue overlay now indicates the street view coverage to inform you whether street view is available for a given location. Depending on the region you’ll also notice blue and orange dots next to the blue roads. Blue dots represent user-contributed panoramas and orange dots are displayed for businesses with indoor panoramas. The coverage layer is also displayed in the mini map in the corner of the panorama view.
Alternatively, you can display the current traffic conditions in the map.
We’re now using Google vector maps and high resolution satellite imagery instead of the stock iOS map component providing a richer, more detailed map experience. You can tilt and rotate the map using the touch gestures known from the Maps application.
Speaking of high resolution: Did you know that Streets offers a much greater resolution and zoom range of panorama pictures than the Google Maps app?
You can now share interesting panorama findings with your friends via email, iMessage, Facebook and Twitter or save them as geo-referenced photos in the camera roll. If you’re interested in watching fun street view panoramas, just follow @streetsapp on Twitter or Facebook. Of course, we’re also gladly accepting your findings. Just @reply us or post to our Facebook page. Can’t wait to see what you’ll come up with!
To learn more about the current panorama location or display directions, you can display the location in the Maps app or in our Where To? app.
And finally, if you’re curious how long ago a panorama image was actually taken, we’ve got you covered, too: Just tap on the title bar once and the image date is revealed!
I hope you’re as excited as we are about the update! Now, go ahead and grab it from the App Store. And of course, if you like it, why not spread the word with a short review on the App Store?
If you’re not on board yet, don’t wait any longer: Streets 2.0 is available through the end of July at the introductory price of $0.99. After that it’ll cost $1.99.
Last year, in Where To? 6.0, we introduced integration with the new Audi A3 using the Audi MMI connect app. This app was rolled out in Germany first and is now available in most European countries.
To send a destination to the car, just select “MMI connect” from the list of directions apps. The Audi MMI connect app automatically launches and displays the destination. Tap “Send” or drag the destination upwards onto the car image. Then the destination is automatically transferred to your car dashboard.
You can even save one tap by selecting “MMI connect” as your preferred directions app by tapping the bookmark icon and selecting the app. Then you just need to long-tap the directions button to transfer the destination to Audi MMI connect.
The Where To? 6.1 update is available. We’re now using the system Twitter account(s) so you don’t need to type passwords anymore. You can share places and reviews via Twitter and login to the Where To? community of place reviewers. Reviews can now also be shared via Mail, Message and the clipboard, besides Facebook and Twitter. And the displayed reviewer name can be changed in the Sharing settings (changes activated with the next review).
A new update of Street View is available. By popular request, we added a way to delete the recent searches in the app. Recent searches are displayed if you haven’t entered anything in the search field yet. To delete them, just press the delete button on iPad. On iPhone, you first need to drag the results list all the way to the top to reveal the button. After deleting you’ll see the standard list of the nearest gallery places.
Another small feature we added: Sometimes, the title label in panorama mode covers an important part of the picture. Now you can just tap on it and it shrinks to a small pin. Tap again and you’ll see the title label again.
We also fixed the following issues:
Spinning wheel when launched from Maps is fixed
Accidental zooming is prevented when quickly tapping the panorama arrows
Street View now enjoys one week of App Store shelf life and so far the feedback has been quite positive! The app climbed up to #7 in the iPad top paid charts in Germany and #3 in the US paid navigation category for iPad. As you can imagine, we’re more than pleased!
When talking to users and journalists, there’s a common question:
Why should I buy Street View instead of the free Google Maps app?
While we usually don’t talk about competing apps, I’d like to make an exception this time because it’s such a common question.
Available for iPad Street View is a universal app that runs both on iPhone and iPad. Google Maps is only available for iPhone.
Mini Map When you’re stepping through a panorama, you easily get lost. Street View’s mini map in the corner always displays the current location, the viewing direction and the field of view.
Better resolution Compare for yourself. Street View allows to zoom-in much closer and to decipher the details whereas in Google Maps you just see muddy pixels:
Maps integration When launching Street View from Maps, it displays the street panorama right away and lets you return to Maps with a simple tap on the back button.
Gallery places Finally, Street View’s gallery places take you to fun and famous places in a snap.
Please don’t get me wrong: The Google Maps app is great in many ways. Just think twice if street panoramas are important for you: A specialized app might be the better choice.
Fixed crash when entering the search bar if access to the address book was rejected
Improved overall stability
I sincerely apologize we didn’t discover these issues during our beta tests. Now head over to the App Store and grab the Street View 1.0.2 update. Also, if you could leave us a good review, we’d be super happy!