I can’t count the number of times I’ve been out of town and needed to find an ATM. One that doesn’t charge me an extra few bucks just to take my money out of my account.
It isn’t always easy to find an ATM, a restaurant you’d like or a movie theater. I’m usually left scrolling through apps on my phone or a map. Now comes ‘World Around Me‘, a smartphone app for iOS and Android devices that makes it easy to find almost anything.
Open the app and you’re given several options to see what it is you want to find. Restaurants, bars, pubs, movie theaters, churches, parks, museums and yes, ATMs.
By selecting one of those categories you’re taken to a screen that mixes reality with data. It’s called augmented or mixed reality, similar to how Pokemon Go looked on a phone.
Yes, you’re seeing a live view from your camera lens but on top of the picture you see cards displayed of the options. For instance, when I chose restaurants and held my camera up at eye-level, I saw the street where I was looking through the camera lens and blue cards for each establishment. I could move the camera from side to side and other restaurants appeared with directions, how far away it is and which direction to walk or drive. By tapping on one of those cards I was taken to its Google page where I could get more information such as hours it is open, phone numbers, a link to Google maps, and reviews from other users that were left on Google.
It’s much better than a map or Yelp listings as I the distance changed as I moved closer to the restaurant. I can see it being very handy when you’re walking around a mall or hotel looking for something and wondering which way you should turn.
“World Around Me” was named one of Google’s apps of the year in 2016 and it’s easy to see why. When you look for it in the Google Play Store or in iTunes it might appear as “WAM” rather than the full name.
“World Around Me” is free but with some ads popping up on the bottom of the screen, but $2 will get you the Pro version to remove the ads.