Review: Neosistec CarFinder
OTA Install: bb.Neosistec.com
Version: 0.70 Beta
Josep just let me know about a new free application by Neosistec that uses GPS to help you find your car. The only caveat is that it requires GPS on your BlackBerry. It worked great on my BlackBerry 8310.
The software is a great idea and reminds me of a Coffee finder GPS application that used to be floating around. I have always had issues finding my car when I go to sporting event, concerts, and amusement parks and I find that CarFinder is a perfect solution instead of remembering that you parked at DisneyLand in Goofy level 2 Orange.
Check out the full review after the jump…
The way it works is that you start up the application when you get out of your car and click the set GPS location button on the main screen.
It will then target the current location you are in and store it. You then go about your business and when you want to find your car again you open the application.
You then have three options to find your car. The first option is for the application to show you a compass to help direct you to the GPS location of your car. The second option allows you to open the location in BlackBerry Maps. The last option allows you to send the location to a friend. Since I have no friends I did not have a chance to try out the last feature .
I have to apologize for not having screenshots of the application in action but I do not get GPS reception inside my apartment to get actual screenshots and I was not about to stand out in the cold with my laptop. I really wish somebody would come out with an application that sits on your BlackBerry and allows you to take screenshots without a PC.
I only had a few caveats with the application. First of all AT&T users have to perform a little work around to get BlackBerry maps on their devices since AT&T blocks the application icon by default. This is not Neosistec’s fault but may cause issues for some. Second of all I wish there was a way to open up the map in Google Maps but that might be a limitation of the BlackBerry. Third, it took quite awhile for the application to catch the GPS coordinates from the BlackBerry. Sometimes I had to wait for 3–4 minutes until I got the fix even though BBmaps would catch in less that 1 minute. Last of all I have always been a little annoyed when developers put large static banners on the top of each page. As you can see in the screenshot of the homepage the banner takes up half the screen.
Other than that I have only good things to say about Neosistec’s CarFinder. Neosistec consistently comes up with great software but I usually have to rely on our friend Josep to translate them to English. Sadly there is no product page but there is really no need for one.
- It just works
- Integration with BlackBerry maps
- Send location to friend is a cool feature
- Slow GPS location pickup
- Bad English translation in the application (Just read the EULA)
- Large banner on top of application
Conclusion: I really wish RIM would release an API that allows other applications to triangulate your location using cellphone towers without GPS. Since Google did this in Google Maps I have fallen in love. It allows me to have a pretty accurate location in less than a second so that I don’t have to wait for the GPS to fix on the location. This would be a great way to bring location based services to BlackBerrys without GPS. Hopefully Neosistec can find a way to integrate this in the future. Otherwise I highly recommend this application for anybody with a GPS BlackBerry and a car. Maybe in the next revision they can find a way to help my wife find her keys…