Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The long wait is finally over! Our new version of the ShowNearby application for iPhone has finally been approved by Apple! The 1 week approval process felt like a month to us.

To thank CJ for his hard work, we shall give him a huge round of applause! We would also like to humbly request that our readers pause reading this blog post at the end of the sentence and give CJ a clap too!

Of course, this puts a ton of pressure on our Android Master Jose who sulked the entire week away after the submission to the app store. Well, in any case Jose, its time to stop sulking and get back into the battle! Millions (give and take a little) of Android users are looking to you to up the ante! The blog team conducted random spot checks on Jose to see if he's hard at work...

Take a closer look and see if you can spot the difference between picture A and picture B.... (there is a difference!)


Picture B:
24 hours later: Jose still hard at work
Picture A:
8am : Jose hard at work

Give up? The difference is that the coffee cup in picture B is empty! Now that we know Jose is hard at work, lets take a look at some of the new features of ShowNearby on iPhone!

The new version has several cool additions! Check out some of the screenshots below. Our users have grumbled that they wanted to be able to rearrange the categories so they could put their most relevant ones on top instead of having to scroll all the way down and look for it. Well, ask and you shall receive! You can now rearrange your categories from this page!



Users who take public transport frequently can simply drag the 'bus stops' or 'MRT' category to the top of the list for easier access!

Bus Stop Level Upping!

Bus Stop Level Up-ped!
Have a friend who's always "out-of-cash" at the wrong times? (i.e. right before the bill comes) Give him a subtle hint by making him download ShowNearby and put ATM on top of his list! As usual ShowNearby will not be held responsible for any strained relationships. Kindly do not tell your friend/lover/relative that you did it because we suggested this to you (because we'll just remove this section and deny it altogether!)

No Excuses now Cheap Skate!
Huh? Did you say you couldn't find
your Bank's ATMs?
Check your Bookmark page Cheap Skate!
  
Some other requests include showing nearby movie theatres which is also available!

We also included directions to help our users get to a place! Thanks to the map's auto-rotate function on the iPhone, our walking directions feature can easily navigate a user to his place of interest!




The little blue arrow points you in the direction of your POI. You can rotate your phone and the map automatically rotates to continue pointing you ahead! This feature empowers you to walk looking down!

Oh and if you bump into someone because you were staring at your phone instead of looking at where you're walking, simply apologize and say "I'm sorry but I love this app too much to take my eyes of it!" We'll love you all the more!

Well, that's all we have for our users this time! But do stay tuned. While we're writing this post, our developers are already hard at work coming up with even more features!

Lastly, a quick check back with Jose...

In humans, Rigor Mortis commences and dissipates
approximately after 72 hours.

Yup, hes still there... :)

Cheers!
Friday, August 13, 2010
One of our ShowNearby Widgets customer spotted something different on Google Maps today and brought it to our attention. It's an interesting error from Google Maps and we felt it deserves a spot on our company blog!

ShowNearby Widgets allows businesses who have a physical shop or address to display their position on a map. Strangely though, while the address of that particular customer was somewhere in Ubi, he took the effort to zoom out from his store location and spotted the discrepancy.

Enough with the hints, take a look at this screenshot and see if you can spot the error....




Not clear enough? Reaching for that magnifying glass already? No worries, ShowNearby's got it covered. Here you go! Close up view....




Still unsure? Ok last try...



Notice how the land of shorthaired, green and M16 carrying 18 year olds (Pulau Tekong for the unsure) have "relocated"! Jurong island has also magically spawned itself with the spawn swimming over to the eastern side of Singapore!

Can someone kindly tell Google that Singapore has a very sensitive activity coming up soon and thus they should not play around with our islands too much....

PS: Thanks William for bringing it to our attention!
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Adding to the ever increasing pool of Android Users in ShowNearby is our lead developer Choy Peng Kong! A new convert, the ex-dumbphone user has finally made the quantum leap to jump onto the smartphone bandwagon! He is now the proud owner of a HTC Desire which we will shamelessly use for our own internal testing purposes...

Notice anything different with PK? Hint: Its metallic and shiny...

Now then, a quick check on ShowNearby's phone OS statistics...

Android-ers
Lee Changjin (Dual-phone Wielding Ability Unlocked)
Daniel Poon
Oliver Junior (We promise we'll get down to doing a family page for you)
Jose Nidhin
Choy Peng Kong

iPhoners
Derek Low
Lee Changjin (Dual-phone Wielding Ability Unlocked)

Other not-worth Mentioning Legacy Stone-Aged Phones
All the other technology laggards in our family page

With this new addition, the Android family within ShowNearby is growing from strength to strength!

Before: Flabby, cute green creature...
After: Power up!











 
But having said that, we at ShowNearby play real nice. It really doesn't matter if its an Android, iPhone, Blackberry (coming soon!) or otherwise. As long as it runs ShowNearby nicely, its a great phone! All OSes are created equal (some more equal than others though...)

equal :)
We could do with more iPhone wielding colleagues, this is getting way out of hand. Anyone keen in working with ShowNearby do visit our career page. We are always on the lookout for talented individuals with drive and passion for location based services on mobile and web!

Cheers!
Thursday, August 5, 2010

So by now, most discerning members of the smartphone carrying public are aware of the problems surrounding the iPhone 4. Apart from the huge price tag and low coolness factor because everyone else is getting one, there's also that "minor" but pesky connectivity problem.

But despite that, we know many loyal iPhoners cannot bring themselves to try another phone. So to service those users, we at ShowNearby racked our brains to come up with solutions to help our ShowNearby on iPhone 4 users tackle their iPhone 4 issues!

Problem 1:
Low coolness factor
Solution:
Download ShowNearby on iPhone 4 (makes your phone unique!)

Problem 2:
Connectivity Problem
Solution:
Download ShowNearby on iPhone 4

So you might be wondering how on earth does downloading ShowNearby help solve the connectivity problem that even the folks at Apple could not solve and simply danced around the problem. Well, we'll simply introduce a new category:
 
ShowNearby Payphones!
 
We even bumped it to the top of
the list!
Not too many payphones left
around Singapore. Nearest payphone
8km away!!!
Phone losing its connectivity? No problem, just use ShowNearby (you might need to use Wifi signal to find your location first though...) to find the nearest payphone! These traditional landlines never fail you! No such thing as holding it the wrong way.

And since its position is fixed, you don't even have to worry about entering a location with weak signal strength! We'll even tell you the rates. It's $0.10 for 3 minutes of talktime! Pretty good value for money we'll say...

We also included details about the payphone POI such as whether its coin operated and which direction its in!

Hope you've got coins!
And lastly, we know that many people (including ourselves) have already forgotten how a payphone looks like and thus might not realise even if it was sitting in front of us. So just for this category, we'll include an image of the payphone as well!

Ahh..The good old days!
With this, you can have your cake and eat it too! You get to play all the cool apps (sadly, Android apps don't even come close) and still get the phone functionalities (albeit indirectly)! All you need to do is download ShowNearby.

Cheers!

P.S: We know we didn't really solve the problem about the high price tag. We're trying to solve that problem ourselves but to no avail either....

P.P.S: The above blog post was done partially in jest. We'll only include categories if our users start requesting for it. So unless it really happens, 'ShowNearby Payphones' probably won't be coming to an iPhone 4 near you!
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Over the past few weeks, we have received several feedbacks from our users regarding some intermittent problems that they were facing about their phones being unable to find their location. So we felt we should start putting together a list of locations in Singapore known to have location detection or data connectivity problems.

If you guys have any other areas where you have difficulties accessing our application, feel free to comment below or shoot us an email and we'll maintain that list! And maybe we'll go have a 'nice' chat (*cough complain *cough) with the friendly customer service operators at Singtel/Starhub/M1 with that long list...

We do however want to express our heartfelt thanks to one extremely supportive user Gaurav for helping us troubleshoot the issue though. We still owe you dinner no matter what you say, so feel free to claim it from us or we'll just invite you down for our next company outing/dinner!

89 Zion Road: Notice the tall buildings surrounding the area!
Spells trouble for location detection...

If you have tried GPS/WiFi/Cell Triangulation but your phone is still unable to get your location, then we'll tell you 4 important conclusions:

1) Thats a good excuse to get yourself a new phone.
2) Get a Blackberry and loan (give) it to us for testing purposes.
3) Get an iPhone 4 and give it to us.
4) Time to launch ShowFaraway!

About ShowFaraway:
ShowFaraway is a custom top-secret feature developed by us that allows you to search for amenities in locations other than the one you're currently in. It's secret because it goes against our company values of showing what's near....And the developers have kept it secret until now...

In light of spotty 3G, location detection problems, we have no choice but to reveal this little known feature of our application!

All you have to do is to manually set your location by holding down the location bar on the homescreen, then drag the map that appears to your approximate location, press menu and say set location.



Any amenities you search for will now be for that manually set location. Access to ShowFaraway should be limited and used only by users with location detection problems and only under dire circumstances.

Lastly, please try not to spread this message about ShowFaraway or heads will roll....
Monday, August 2, 2010
Introducing location based promotions! ShowNearby recently got it's feet wet with location based promotions. And our very first customer is none other than our friendly neighbours just below our office! What a coincidence that ColorBar (for hair) had a renovation and wanted to do a re-opening special...



Should have just called it "Hair Bar"
Pay attention to the small text in the above picture. It says clearly "For Hair". So just to set the record straight, despite its name, Color Bar is a saloon and does not serve any alcohol (at least not to the best of our knowledge). 

And so we approached them to run a location based promotion on ShowNearby Android which they gladly obliged. Check out how the promotion appears on the Android. Its the obvious blue colored column! This blue column only shows up when a user access our ShowNearby Android app within the vicinity of Color Bar.

Home Screen Showing Promotion!
Promotion Details




















Do you know what this means for you iPhoners out there? Yup, it means if you visited Color Bar, you paid full price when you could have paid half! Yup, should have got an Android eh? Well, the battle is still on between download figures for iPhone vs Android and right now, the green guy is still leading and so his followers get exclusive promotions!

Seriously though, we'll roll out similar features for the iPhone very soon. So not to worry too much!

So if there's anyone out there who would like to try if Location Based Promotions will work for your business, do contact us and we'll work something out with you! (Don't worry it won't cause an arm and a leg)

You'll decide the details of your promotions, the locations where it should be shown and a few other factors. We're generally also quite easygoing with the text you choose to display on the home page. But somethings just obviously cross the line...

Not going to happen!

Cheers!