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Daily iPhone App: World Live Cams

An app for webcams for our Daily iPhone App? I have to admit, I'm a webcam junkie. There's something about being able to peek in on places around the world that seems like the future to me. Slothcam has always had a spot on my Dashboard (and I bought the app), but World Live Cams caught my attention recently. Perhaps because every time I boot it up I see Kernersville, NC -- the place where I spent summers on my granparents' farm. But aside from nostalgia and my own personal interests, World Live Cams is a pretty good app if you're into webcams at all.

When you start it up, the app will give you a pre-populated list of about a dozen cams from around the world. If you keep scrolling, this list just goes until forever. Search is capable and fast, so typing "England" instantly brought up a massive list of cams from the UK. You can also search for things (like "dogs"). There's a map view, which enables you to pinch, zoom and scroll your way around an iOS map, spotting live cams at locations and zooming into those. The map is cool, but not quite perfect yet. Social tools for "liking" a camera are there, but I warned the developer they need some work as well.

Now to be fair, World Live Cams lacks features of some other cam apps. I spoke to the developers, who are keen on adding more features over time. However, their first task was to build their own server infrastructure. What this means is that they can do things like monitor cams for uptime, and if a camera ceases working, they can remove it (and add it later if it starts up). Plus, many features are tied to their servers, which means they can push some updates to the app without waiting for the usual approval process.

Most importantly, the team behind World Live Cams is dedicated to improving the app. Some features coming soon include a universal version (with higher resolution for the iPad) and allowing private IP's for security cameras. These guys are thinking about what features people want and implementing them. So yes, World Live Cams is a bare bones product right now. Even so, I think it's worth a buck. Considering the plans for future updates, it's worth the initial investment if you like cams or plan to use them yourself.

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