Boston’s Big iPhone Contribution
Two weeks after the release of the Apple 2.0 software for the iPhone and the line at the Cambridge Side Galleria is still longer than Space Mountain. But if you already have your hands on one (and it’s working), then go to the new Apple App Store and download Where, a location-based application to see if any of your friends are still waiting in line.
uLocate Communications, Inc, the Boston-based software company that created Where, started seeing astounding numbers two weeks ago with the opening of the Apple App Store. More than 250,000 people have downloaded Where for the iPhone and, at its peak, more than 100 people were adding the free application per second.
Where allows users to download mobile applications, called widgets, that use a GPS locating system to interact with and provide information about your immediate surroundings. After the jump, a few of the cooler widgets.
Buddy Beacon: This one allows users to update a location status so that their physical location appears on the maps of friends in their network. This seems most useful when you’re drunk on a Friday night and searching for equally drunk friends cavorting in the same neighborhood. Whether because of this or just because of good old-fashioned stalking, the Buddy Beacon widget is the most popular of the lineup, according to VP of Marketing Dan Gilmartin.
GasBuddy: Shows the prices of all three grades of gas for all gas stations within a certain radius.
Eventful: Lists events going on in Boston (or your respective locale) with user-updated content.
Starbucks Finder: Allows you to find a Starbucks without looking up from your phone. The only thing easier would be actually looking up from your phone.
Zipcar: Where and Zipcar collaborated for over a year to provide users with information on how to find the closest Zipcar to them.
SkyMap: Identifies the constellations in the night sky. This one sounds wonderful, if we could ever see the constellations in Boston’s night sky.
Where and its widgets operate on Nokia, BlackBerry, iPhone, and iPod Touch and through most of the major carriers: Alltel, Sprint, AT&T, and Helio. Dan Gilmartin notes that there has been a huge increase in demand for GPS-equipped applications since the App Store’s launch. He cites the “Media Effect” (the largely media-generated hype surrounding the iPhone) as one cause behind the spike. “Success on the iPhone has been fantastic,” says Gilbert, “and we’ve seen that success and demand spread across all platforms.” You’re more than welcome, Mr. Gilmartin. Because if there’s one thing we in the media like to cover more than the iPhone, it’s covering ourselves covering the iPhone.