Location based services and Maps company MapmyIndia has launched a new app, MapmyIndia ShowNearby, for iPhone (download), Android (download) and Blackberry (download) platforms. It also intends to launch a version for Windows Phone 7 and the mobile web in the near future. The app allows users to find and locate places of interest (POI) in the vicinity including Coffee Shops, Eat and Drink, Chemists, Movies, Shopping, ATMs, Banks, Hospitals, Petrol Pumps among others for all Indian cities. The app is based on the ShowNearby application, which is a venture of the Singapore based start-up by the same name, offering location based services.
– The app’s functionality is similar to the Google Places app available for Android and iPhone, however it leverages MapmyIndia’s maps for directions and for locating a POI on the map.
– Users can browse through categories or search using keywords. There are sub-categories within categories, for example under the Eat and Drink category one can browse across restaurant listings on the basis of cuisine, pubs and bars and even roadside dhabas.
– The Listing view comprises of the name of the place along with the address and approximate distance from the user’s current location. At times, there’s also a phone number under a ‘General Info’ link button and add contact details to mobile device’s native phonebook. Users can locate the place on the map, get text based or on-map directions, share the listing via SMS and E-mail and report for inaccuracy.
– Although, according to MapmyIndia, listings also include details like hours of operation and other details, most listings did not offer much additional information, at the time of writing this post. Users can also save listings under Favourites for quick access. Categories can also be re-arranged according to the user’s preference.
– MapmyIndia informs that the app will also allow businesses to add listings and promote their ventures by offering deals or running location and time based offers, or communicating information about new product launches and events through the app. However, we believe that the company will enable features for businesses via their Places of Interest deck, since the app does not allow users to submit listings.
– The company also intends to add additional features such as movie showtimes and reservation, and restaurant reviews in future releases.
– We don’t like the blank space in the listings and feel that the app should have richer listings including phone numbers, hours of operation, closing days, nearby landmarks or things like ‘cost for two’ (for restaurant listings).
– A lot of listings are old, and some of the places including coffee chain outlets have shut shop. So we’d suggest that listings should be reviewed. Also, searching for recently opened outlets did not display results. For instance, I tried searching for Gloria Jean’s Coffee, which opened an outlet in a nearby mall, but the app did not return any results.
– Restaurant reviews is a good idea, and maybe MapmyIndia could work with the Zomato API to offer menus as well. The same could be done for movie tickets.
– Although, directions were pretty accurate, we’d prefer a maps+text view, similar to the Google Maps interface for directions.
– The Help Tips are perhaps placeholders for promotions and deals that will be added in the future.
– A good start, but we’d like to see richer listings in the next iteration of the app. Also, since we’ve only tested the app in Delhi, we’re not sure how it works in other places. Do give us a heads-up if you’ve tried it.