Embedded GPS capability is a common feature of smartphones, and GPS chips are increasingly being integrated into basic feature phones. Most users think of GPS as a way to navigate when travelling or to check in on location based services like Foursquare or Gowalla. However, there are several applications that allow you to do much more with your smartphone’s GPS functionality. Ranging from playing in a virtual world to avoiding a speeding ticket, here are five free apps that will expand the GPS capability of your smartphone.
1. Parallel Kingdom
One of the most compelling ideas of The Matrix movie was the idea that there is virtual world that links to the real world. Parallel Kingdom plays on that concept by creating a virtual world on top of a map of your actual location. You’ll meet other players, kill mythical beasts, and go on quests around your community.
This app is perfect for when you’re visiting an unfamiliar city and want to catch a movie. Showtimes will use your current position to find nearby theaters and list the movies playing at each location. Furthermore, it will play trailers for select movies so you can better determine which film deserves your hard earned cash.
Platforms: Blackberry, iPhone
While no one should break traffic laws, there are times when you may be in a hurry and need a reminder that there are speed traps and speed cameras all around you. This application uses voice announcements to give you an incentive to slow down.
4. Google Earth
Platforms: Android, iPhone
While Google Maps are available on most smartphone devices, the Google Earth application provides a richer view of your surroundings. You can view pictures of a location left by people who have been there and also read Wikipedia entries about historical sites. You can use Google Earth to be your own tour guide or plan your next vacation.
Platforms: Android, Blackberry, iPhone
If you’re like me and have a slight fear of public restrooms, SitorSquat can help you deal with using a bathroom that has questionable cleanliness. This application will find public restrooms around you and show ratings left by other users.
These five applications are just a sample of the dozens of GPS programs available for smartphones. As more services are created to take advantage of location information, expect a continued expansion of what you can do with the GPS chip integrated into your smartphone.Category: Apps | Tags: apps, foursquare, google earth, gowalls, gps, iPhone, parallel kingdom, showtimes, SitorSquat, Trapster