Where To? 11 is the biggest update in its history. We added a ton of new features and moved to a freemium business model (more on that later).
The new Augmented Reality (AR) view visualizes nearby locations in the live camera view, on top of reality. You can point your iPhone at the street scene and view nearby shops and services without having to read a map or list. AR in Where To? works worldwide and is not restricted to a few supported cities as in the Apple Maps app.
You can can now organize your favorite places in collections, for example for an upcoming trip. You can also import collections from KML, KMZ or GPX files and share them with friends.
Navigating to a selected place is easier than ever with Where To? 11: Along with the option to get directions from more than 60 supported third party apps, the integrated wayfinder is more prominent and now also offers public transport directions, in addition to the existing car, bike and pedestrian routing.
Being a first class citizen on iOS, Where To? 11 supports dark mode, adds context menus in various places, and improves its Siri integration by letting you install a “Search nearby” Siri shortcut. When speaking the activation phrase, Siri refines the question by asking for the category you want to search for.
Where To? 11 also adds configurable home screen widgets in various types and sizes. So you can show selected or the last viewed places or categories right on your home screen.
Also new in version 11 is the share sheet extension “Open Location in Where To?”. It detects addresses in text or websites but also opens places from other apps. As an example, you can open places from travel apps such as Booking.com, OpenTable or Foursquare and save them in a collection. The Maps apps from Apple, Google, and others are supported, too. It also works for many websites with place information and text selections with addresses.
On the content level, Where To? 11 adds price ranges, home delivery options for restaurants, increases the number of locations with menus and reservation options and supports photos in reviews.
New business model
Where To? is now free to download and the standard feature set is free. A Where To? PRO subscription is available at $2.99/year (or $0.99/quarter) with a one week free trial. The subscription is required for the following premium features: AR, directions, favorites & collections and location reminders. If you’ve purchased Where To? 7.x – 10.x, we thank you for being a loyal customer and give you a free, lifetime Where To? PRO subscription automatically.
As a free download, it’s now easier than ever to give Where To? a try as an alternative for your location finding needs. Remember, we’re putting a strong focus on user privacy and don’t create any user tracking profiles. We’re not in the business to sell your data!
If you like the new features of Where To? 11, please consider showing your appreciation with a lovely rating in the App Store. Thank you so much!
The Streets 4.6 update just published on the App Store has been optimized to run on the new Macs with Apple Silicon processor. Now you can virtually travel the world right from your M1 Mac. To display the Street View panorama for any location in the Maps app, just drag & drop the pin over to Streets.
We also simplified this task on iPhone where drag & drop between apps is not an option. The new Share extension “Open Location in Streets” allows you to view a nearby panorama for any location from the Maps app or any other app allowing to share locations. We tested apps such as Yelp, Tripadvisor, booking.com and many others. In fact, you can even mark an address in Mail and share it with Streets to view nearby 360° panoramas.
Download Streets 4.6 from the App Store and please keep your ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ratings coming if you like the update!
My stance on the Apple/Epic drama: Epic deliberately broke App Store rules every developer has to follow. Why have they done that? It looks foolish to intentionally break the rules just to launch a huge campaign when faced with the foreseeable consequences.
However, they’re certainly not dumb and lose $25,000 per hour for fun. It was a well orchestrated campaign instrumenting their user base in a PR fight against Apple and suing them at the same time. They wanted to get kicked out of the App Store in order to portray themselves as the David fighting against the Goliath and have a reason to file an already prepared lawsuit. They try to compel Apple to a better deal. Certainly their timing is good since Apple is under increased scrutiny with the current App Store antitrust investigations.
As an indie dev I certainly welcome any reduction in Apple’s fees. While I do appreciate what an amazing platform Apple has created with the App Store in the last dozen years and while I do think Apple should make fair money running it, their 30% cut is no longer appropriate in my opinion.
So Epic fighting the 30% cut should be more than welcome for us indie devs? Not so fast. I’m not sure this will be the outcome of this Epic/Apple tug of war. Epic is a multi billion business and their interest is most likely not aligned with us indies. So while I hope for change, I hope there will be change that everyone benefits from, not only the big guys. Epic wants to legitimize their payment infrastructure outside of the App Store. That’s certainly not what most smaller developers want to build and operate.
Drew McCormack wrote an interesting proposal how a new App Store sales model could look like. I think it would be fair to let every commercial app pay their share for the cost of running the App Store, and not only tax App Store revenues. Currently, multi-billion dollar companies with ad-based business models pay nothing for the App Store platform while every purchase is taxed with 30%. By requesting a fair share from everyone based on download volume, the “sales tax” could be lowered substantially.
We should also not forget there are quite a few issues besides the sales model: unclear and overly broad rules, incoherent application of those rules, the lack of an independent ombudsman or panel to resolve disputes – to name just a few.
The best aspect of Epic (and others such as Facebook) picking a quarrel: There’s quite a momentum now to achieve meaningful change of the App Store. I’ll be watching closely how this will unfold.
The popular open source framework to easily add in-app settings to your iPhone apps has been released in version 3.0. Normally, iOS apps use the Settings.bundle resource to add app-specific settings in the Settings app. InAppSettingsKit takes advantage of the same bundle and allows you to present the same settings screen within your app. So the user has the choice where to change the settings.
But InAppSettingsKit goes one step further. It not only replicates the system settings feature set but supports a large number of additional elements and configuration options if the settings screen is displayed within the app. Many developers even remove the settings pane from the system settings and solely rely on a rich in-app settings screen.
InAppSettingsKit 3.0 comes with the following new features:
List Groups (great for a variable number of items such as tags or accounts)
Toggles with checkmarks (instead of switches)
Text field validation
Support hiding sections
Support of the iOS text content type (allows auto-filling the name, email address and more)
Even though InAppSettingsKit is written in Objective-C, it plays nicely with Swift. In 3.0, I added nullability annotations and using properties instead of getter methods to improve the Swift interoperability. In fact, I rewrote the sample app in Swift to show this.
For many form-like table view UIs, InAppSettingsKit is a great choice because it saves a ton of error-prone code. Simply configure the UI using a static plist and only add a few lines of code for interactivity such as dynamic section hiding or input field validation.
In Streets 4.5, we revised the Apple Watch app and introduced a true sphere viewer without distortion. You can now look around in all directions, not just horizontally. Either move your arm or just pan around using the finger to turn around or up and down in the panorama.
Tap the panorama once to select it (visualized with a green border) and zoom using the digital crown.
The update also includes the latest round of bug fixes.
The Where To? 10.9.3 update released today introduces support for Universal Links top open Where To? place links right within the app instead of the website. We also worked on the loading performance to make results appear more quickly. This is especially noticeable in categories such as post boxes, national parks, playgrounds and more. Then we improved the zooming behavior when results are initially loaded. In previous versions the map sometimes zoomed several times while loading the results. Now we zoom just once when all results are loaded.
In Where To? we put a lot of effort in respecting your privacy. This means, we never sell user location profiles – or even create them in the first place. So far, we still asked for “Always” location permission as soon as you wanted to create location alarms to notify you once you arrive at or leave from a certain place. In 10.9.3 we changed that functionality to use a newer API and thus no longer require “Always” location permission. As a consequence, we removed that permission from the app entirely and only ask for your location while the app is in use.
The update also supports sending your destination info to the “TwoGo” app, an interesting car pooling app. TwoGo allows to share or ask for a ride with users traveling in the same direction. In contrast to Uber, Lyft and the likes, TwoGo riders only pay a nominal fee to the driver covering gas and car wear and tear. The platform is financed by large companies encouraging their employees to share rides and thus saving valuable parking space. You can find more information on B2RIDE.