Cool Apps: Field Trip

I love information.  I love learning new things about my hometown and the places I visit when I travel.  Whether it is a historical landmark, cool building, point of interest, or nice/interesting place to eat, I want to know about it.  Being into technology helps with all this because we are seeing so many advancements when it comes to social discovery and it makes it a lot easier to find out about cool things around you as you move throughout the world.  That is why I am really liking one of Googles new apps, Field Trip. 

First let me say that Google has really stepped it up over the past 6-12 months when it comes to software design.  Apps that used to be terrible now not only look good, but act as they should and are far less buggy.  Plus they are releasing quality new apps for both Android and iOS which is awesome.  This will force companies like Apple (which has sucked in terms of software lately) to innovate and compete more, which will only be better for consumers in the long run.  Alright so lets jump into the app.

The basic idea of the app is that it monitors your location as you move around, and when you get close to points of interest, it sends you a notification.  By default it wants to tell you about everything it can but you can filter it down to only the things in which you're interested.  You can view via a list view or by map as you travel, and as far as the notifications go, you can get a lot, a little or none at all.  I really feel like Google has thought of everything with this app.  

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What I thought was the most neat was the topics and sources you can choose from to let Field Trip know what to tell you.  You can filter by architecture, historic places, lifestyle, offers, food & drink, cool & unique, and arts & museums.  And if you tap into each one of those categories you can pick from a list of sources and tell each one of those to show you more, less, or nothing at all if you uncheck the checkbox.  Again I really feel like they thought of everything here.  For example, I was driving the other day and got a notification to go to Chipotle. Chipotle? REALLY?  Not only is that place an embarrassment of a food establishment but I don't need an app to tell me to visit one so I was easily able to go into the settings and shut off anything that might tell me to go to food places like that.  

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I've been using the app since it came out just in the area where I live and work and have already found some neat things close to home that I never knew existed.  I can only imaging what I'll find when I take this app on a vacation with me.  

Field Trip is free for iOS, and of course Android.

Download on iOS  //  Download on Google Play

Gmail App for iPhone

A couple of weeks ago, I needed to search for an email that was probably a year old.  I tried to use the search feature of mail app on iPhone but the search came up empty.  I knew the email had to be in my account, but for some reason it wasn't coming up.  I remembered that Google had a separate email app you can download and that if I was going to find the email, using the app made by Google would probably be the best way.  

I had tried the Gmail app when it first came out a while ago but it was horrible.  It was slow and extremely buggy and I deleted it pretty quickly.  

This time though I found it to look, and work much better.  I found the email I was looking for in seconds, and the experience was so good that I deleted my Gmail account from the built in iPhone mail app and started using the Google app exclusively for my Gmail account.  

iOS Email App

iOS Email App

Gmail Dedicated App

Gmail Dedicated App

A few reasons why this has been working out really well for me:

  • Since most of my email is done using my work account, I can keep each separate now.  This helps to navigate mailboxes easier as well as stop accidentally sending personal email from my work email address by mistake.

  • I have multiple Gmail accounts and the new app supports fast switching between them.  
  • Thank you for a new email sound!  So refreshing!!!  I really think Apple needs to come up with a few new sounds for email to freshen things up a bit.  I am getting sick of the stock email sound and the other sounds they offer aren't that great.
  • Works great in notification center.  This was a huge problem when I first tried the app.  I would get tons of notifications for just one email.  

  • The Gmail App  flat out looks and works really well.  

Gmail was already the service a LOT of people use for their email, and now Google is getting so much better at mobile software design (where Apple just isn't keeping up these days).

I'm glad I made the switch and if you haven't given it a try, I suggest downloading the Gmail app today.

Gmail app direct download link