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August 21, 2013 by Dan Nixon
Although summer is almost over, dreams of adventurous days out and far-flung getaways still fill the air here at Phones 4u HQ. To fill the void we have delved into Pica Pica (available for iOS), a rather nifty little app that brings together social network sharing and local knowledge to provide an ever-growing global guide.
What does it do?
Offering an interface that will be familiar if you’ve ever used Instagram before, Pica Pica is basically built around a timeline of images with small descriptions and geolocation data. You can search through users by name, location or themes. Additionally, a tap of the ‘Around’ tab shows the posts and images that users have been uploading in your locale.
It’s all very straightforward and easy to use, which in our book is exactly what you need when looking for info on the go.
What we liked
First and foremost this app is really easy to dive into and get using virtually straight away. You can sign-in using your Facebook login and, as long as you have a data connection, it’s just a case of following a few people and getting exploring.
If you are in an unfamiliar city, or even looking to discover a hidden gem near home, then one or two taps will pull up a map pinpointing the spots around you that have been discussed. Or if you’re planning a city break just search for it and see what users are recommending.
It’s easy to add to the database too. Just tap the camera icon, take a snap and fill in the description. It really does give you a sense of satisfaction that you are contributing to the guide, in a way that you just don’t with Twitter or Instagram.
What could be better
As Pica Pica has yet to reach the level of popularity of some of the major social networks, the spread of activity is somewhat focused around major cities and popular tourist traps. Although this will obviously change as the app gets more users, for now it does feel a bit restrictive.
Also, the mapping can be a bit erratic at times. One particularly startling example was when we noticed Chicago’s Millenium Park being pinned in northern China. We’re not great at geography, but we are fairly sure that’s wrong. Again though, we expect these teething problems to be ironed out over time.
While it may not be quite the complete article, we can’t help but like Pica Pica. Sure, the maps are a bit wayward at times and you are reliant on other users being as active as you are but it gives a perspective on travelling not usually seen.
Whether the app gets as popular as some of it’s more well known rivals remains to be seen, but as a free download with a great USP Pica Pica is definitely worth exploring.
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