New York City is probably best known for its skyscrapers and millions of people, not the trees that line its avenues. A new iPhone app goes out on a limb to give a little credit to the oaks and maples. And it’s doing it thanks to open government data.
There is a new way to play FourSquare, the location-sharing game that just celebrated its first birthday. Kickball is an iPhone app that uses the FourSquare API (our FourSquare API profile) to let users check-in or see their friends. But it adds a few features that may have you leaving behind the flagship app that first made FourSquare so popular.
The mashups included below all clarify mountains of information. Using APIs, they gather the data and show it to the user in a way that makes sense. In one case, it’s a bar chart of emotions expressed over Twitter and other realtime search engines. Another takes your LinkedIn connections and displays them graphically. The other brings a handful of APIs to your iPhone, responding to your voice.
A new iPhone app is trying to take the fiction out of Science Fiction. Movies have long portrayed people in the future speaking commands to computers. Siri, based on $200M of research and development, is trying to make it so.
Last month mobile-to-mobile communications company Bump decided to share its technology, which allows for data transfer between two iPhone or Android phones. For example, its flagship iPhone app swaps contact info and photos when two phones “bump” (as in “fist bump”) near each other. Bump introduced an API, but to little fanfare.
Zillow has released an application for iPhone users that builds on their Zillow API, the Microsoft Virtual Earth API and the iPhone’s GPS capabilities. The Zillow iPhone app detects your location and shows data about nearby homes, including market values, photos, and which ones are for sale. It’s a great example of a mobile mashup application that uses multiple APIs in meaningful location-aware context.
If you’ve ever wished you had quick access to your medical records wherever you are, developer Ford Parsons has created a native iPhone application you might want to try. Health Cloud uses the Google Health API to bring your medical records direct to your iPhone. If you a have Google Health account this mobile app gives convenient immediate access to your health records. By the time you’re an adult, you’ve had all kinds of visits to doctors, vaccinations at various intervals, injuries, etc. Who can remember what happened when, what the treatment was, or even which doctor handled the situation? Centralizing this information is the benefit that Google Health provides.
There is something to be said for simplicity, especially when it comes to applications that leverage web APIs for mobile devices. Enter Sparrow, an application for the iPhone, that serves as a good example of how a few web APIs can be elegantly implemented for use on a mobile device.