Another two for one special today. First, I’m going to review the new Twist app (by Twist and Shout). Then I’m going to give away a $25 iTunes gift card. Nice!
This week, I’ve been playing with the Twist app for the Apple iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch (iOS 4.0 or later). The app sends emails to your family, friends and colleagues to let them know when you will arrive. The app also sends out alerts to tell people when you are almost there and if you are running late. Obviously, you could text out your status. However, Twist does it automatically so you don’t have to text and drive (very dangerous and illegal in Oregon). BTW, the Twist app is free. However, it’s currently available in the US only. A world-wide release is coming soon. An Android version will also be released in the future.
Twist is an integrated app. It merges maps, traffic, calendar, SMS, photos, recommendations, email, check-in and chat into a single mobile application. Twist uses GPS technology to calculate your arrival time to a specified destination. Here is something neat about the app: it factors in your mode of transportation (driving, biking, walking or taking public transit) to figure out your ETA. Here is another thing I like about the app: it uses proprietary GPS and cell tower data algorithms to minimize battery drain. Otherwise, your battery will drain fairly quickly with the continued use of GPS running in the background.
Twist is easy to use. Just tap the New Twist button and then use your iDevice to pick a destination. After that, you select the recipents you want to text status updates to. The final step is to select your mode of transportation to calculate your ETA. At this time, you can also pick what kind of status updates to share (when you leave, your location en route, and when you are close). To activate the Twist, just tap on Create Twist. That’s it.
The app works with the iPod touch. However, based on my experience, it’s not practical. This is because the app needs wireless access. In other words, the app will only work near Wi-Fi hotspots on the iPod touch. As a result, you have to limit your destinations to places with Wi-Fi access (home, the Apple Store, Starbucks, etc). That’s not very practical. To take full advantage of the app, you are better off installing Twist on your iPhone or iPad.
Twist App Features
The following are some of the features of the Twist app. I didn’t actually have time to test all the features. BTW, Twist is integrated with Facebook and Twitter. The Facebook integration is enabled and fully functional. However, Facebook hasn’t finished approving the Facebook side of the app yet. So for now it will just pop up an alert. BTW, some of the features require you to register first.
- Share Your ETA
Let others know when you will arrive by sharing your ETA. Twist uses your location and real-time traffic information to estimate your arrival and shares it via the Twist app, SMS, or email.
- Request an ETA
No more guessing. Enter the destination and your friends’ mobile numbers or email addresses, and they will be invited to share their ETA(s) with you.
- Calendar Integration
Your iPhone calendar locations can be selected as Twist destinations.
- Going There, Too
When someone shares an ETA, you have the option to share your ETA back.
- People Views
If people have shared their Twist activity with you, you’ll be able to see where they have been and where they’re going.
- Dynamic Quick Routing
If traffic conditions change, Twist will automatically reroute you from your current location to your final destination via the fastest route.
- Location Sharing and Privacy Protection
Optionally choose to share your location for the duration of your trip with only the people you invited, so they can follow your progress. Upon arrival, use location sharing to find the people you are meeting.
- Favorite Twists
Save your favorite meeting places (home, work, restaurants, schools, park).
- Check Your ETA
For those times when you want to know how long it will take you to get to a destination but are not actually traveling there, use Twist to calculate your ETA.
- Facebook and Twitter Integration
Twist lets you check in on Facebook or share your on my way whereabouts via Twitter.
- Destination Insights
Twist provides public information about your destination (weather, street views, Yelp reviews, etc).
- Private Social Experiences
Pictures and chats are shared with only those invited.
- Phone/Computer Requirements
Send twists from an iPhone. Receive twists from any SMS-capable phone or via email on a smartphone or a computer. You don’t need the Twist app to receive an ETA. For those without the app, the text message or email from Twist includes a web link for viewing real-time location and progress updates.
Set up your twist before you leave, and Twist will handle the rest, so you can focus on driving safely.
- Battery Life
Twist has optimized the use of both GPS and cell tower data to minimize battery drain.
Here are some time-saving tips provided by Twist:
- Establish a routine
Once a routine is established, daily tasks or trips are accomplished more efficiently. For regular trips such as commuting, each Twist can be saved, activated and your ETA easily shared.
- On-point and proactive ETAs
On your way to meet your family at an important event, but have to pick up something first? Let them know your ETA with a Twist.
- Make mobile and online technology work for you
Make appointments, shop and bank online. As soon as you make an appointment or set a schedule, enter it in iCal and Twist will not only get you there, but remind you when it’s time to leave.
Twist iTunes Giveaway
Thanks to Twist, a reader of my dad blog will win a $25 iTunes giftcard. The winner will be randomly selected. The deadline to enter the giveaway is Friday, July 27th (Eastern time). The giveaway is limited to readers in the USA. If you don’t see an entry form below, please wait for the Rafflecopter giveaway form to load (or refresh the browser).
[Disclosure: I did not receive anything for hosting this giveaway. The giveaway prize will be provided by Twist, but they are not the administrators of the giveaway on my blog. I am not liable for the prize. As always, the opinions expressed are mine and I am not obligated to write a positive review.]