HipGeo

HipGeo mapWhen it emerged that a ‘bug’ in iOS had meant location data wasn’t being deleted off my iPhone I was quite pleased. I was able to download a bit of software and see everywhere my phone had been. It was great looking back over a busy year of travels. I’ve been checking in on Foursquare for almost two years now and there are a few webapps I can use to plot my check-ins on that but they are all a bit basic. New app HipGeo could be what I’m looking for.

HipGeo is a well funded and talent filled start-up which has just released the first version of its iOS app. The app tracks your location regularly to plot a map of your journeys. You can add photos and comments as well as following your friends. Each day it produces a diary entry of what you’ve done. It is a basic offering and I presume auto-import of Foursquare, Instagram, Twitter etc will come along soon.

I’ve used it over a few days where I’ve been travelling out of London and I can see it fulfilling my desire to look back over what I did a few months/years ago.

The big problem, which you can probably guess, is battery usage. HipGeo has tried to manage this by only using GPS occasionally but I found it drained my battery within 10 hours (alongside my regular iPhone use). I count on my phone when I’m travelling around and I cannot risk using something that will drain it. But phones will get better at tracking location without hitting the battery.

The other problem is privacy. You can keep everything private, share with friends or the world. This level of data is something I want to keep private. That wipes out the fun of sharing I get from Foursquare. It also makes it harder for HipGeo to build awareness.

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Memolane

MemolaneContinuing the theme of looking back over what you’ve posted to the web there’s Memolane. It is a work of brilliance that pulls together what you’ve added to Twitter, Flickr, last.fm and a lot more into a beautiful timeline or, rather, lane. Moving back and forward by day is a simple drag or you can quickly jump back months and years by clicking on the lines at the bottom.

It does privacy simply and expertly. You set each source as public, just friends or private. That means anyone can look back over my public Flickr photos and last.fm scrobbles but only I can see my TripIt trips.

Memolane unlocks your history. I’ve been recording my gig-going in last.fm for years but it is hidden away in an unattractive set of pages on that site. On Memolane I remember them all with a few swipes and clicks.

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about.me

about.meI’ve been meaning to create a webpage that pulls together all my online stuff and presents it in a professional/formal way. I’ve been meaning to do it using about.me. This morning I finally did it.

about.me is kind of product I like – one that does only one thing and does it well. You get a single page with a splash image, your name, headline, biography, links and that is it. There’s just one big problem: you cannot stop it advertising about.me. Its header is fixed on everyone’s pages and a little advert appears when someone views your page asking if they want to create their own.

Somewhere along the line, about.me must have got desperate to build their user base and they are ruining their product by doing it. Sad thing is I’d gladly pay a small amount to remove these but I cannot.

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