July 17, 2008
Free PegNews app now in iTunes store (FINALLY!)
I was beginning to think it was going to take a shotgun, a plan and a roadtrip to Cupertino, but as of tonight, our iPhone application is finally live in the iTunes store .
It's a simple little app that geocodes your current location and throws that data into our mobile edition, making it easy to find the nearest events, restaurants, drink specials, wi-fi and garage sales.
And we're rolling out some groovy updates post-haste. Look for a listing of fun stuff like arcades, batting cages, bowling alleys, museums and the like. Plus, movie theater listings, deals, and more. We're also going to have a special button during Restaurant Week to help you find the nearest participants.
We'll also be enhancing some of the existing offering, showing general directions (pre-mapping), PegPicks, OpenTable mobile links on restaurants, user comments etc. We're even adding audio on local concert listings.
I've paid close attention to the other location-aware local apps out there, and here's my pitch for ours to take up real estate on your home screen:
We may be less mappy, but that actually makes it easier to find what you need quicker-- especially when the Google Map is but a click away. And I don't think it's hubris to say that our data is 1,023% better than the next closest competitor. We're delivering categories of data that no one else is (garage sales, for instance) and unlike all the others who bought crap data from some monolithic provider, or who think you can do events just by scraping, we actually have deep, largely accurate information. (That's not to say there aren't good things about some of the apps-- I'm going to write a story on those over the weekend, and we'll look at adopting some of the better ideas.) Who else can tell you, with any degree of certainty, the closest of your favorite restaurants open at 10:45?
Speaking of accuracy, you'll find big red "Report an error" buttons all over the mobile edition. If you find something we've got wrong, curse us briefly -- then help your fellow users by letting us know.
And, in our never-ending quest to make an honest buck while keeping the advertising useful for you, we'll be adding (as far as I know) the only neighborhood-level, location-aware advertising anywhere in the US. Most ads will be in the form of sponsored results, kicked to the top of the list, but always close enough that you could take advantage of an offer immediately.
The biggest thing you could do to help us make this even better? Click on the "Tell a friend" button in the iTunes store and send the link to all of your local iPhoning friends. A close second would be posting some reviews in the iTunes store once you've kicked the tires. We'd sure appreciate it.