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Daily iPhone App: GPS everyWhere has great promise but isn't quite finished

It's hard to do something truly new or unique when it comes to GPS software. You've got maps, a destination database, throw in some traffic and weather. I've spent a couple of days with an app called GPS everyWhere + HUD Mode. That's a mouthful, but there a quite a lot of features to talk about and some big missings.

First, turn the app on in the car and you'll get your speed, a compass, your average speed, your latitude and longitude, altitude, a Google Map, temperature, weather, humidity, wind information, predicted maximum and minimum temperatures, and a choice of screen themes. Here's the gee whiz feature. There is a HUD (heads up display) mode, that reverses the screen. You put your iPhone on top of your dash, the data on screen reflects off your windshield, and you have a display superimposed on your view of the road. It works in portrait or landscape mode.

The app has promise, but here are the inevitable caveats. First, this isn't a true navigation app. There's no way to set a destination and get turn-by-turn directions. Bummer. All you see is your position on a map. I'd rather get some directions than my latitude and longitude. Second, I have to question the wisdom of putting your cellphone on top of a dashboard, where your car is the hottest and the iPhone is likely to shut down with a heat alert. Finally, it's tough to see the HUD during the day, but it is excellent at night. You'll need to set the brightness of your iPhone to full, but even then driving around in a bright sunny day I couldn't see a thing.

I really like the idea of this app, but it needs to be able to let you see a route to a destination. All the fresh thinking in the world won't make an app truly useful until it solves some problems for a user. If you're happy to just get weather, altitude, and see a map, this app is a great idea, especially with the HUD view at night. I'd like to see the developer move ahead with this app, because it's creative and could be useful unless you live in a warm climate.

The app is a 19 MB download, requires iOS 4 or later, and runs on anything from an iPhone 3GS or later. The app is on sale for an unspecified time for $0.99 in the App Store. There's a demo video here, and note we're only seeing the HUD mode at night.

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