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Macworld 2011: Appletell’s surprising finds

Sections: Apple News, Conferences, Features, iDevice Accessories, iDevice Apps, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Macworld, Opinions and Editorials, Originals

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One of our favorite things about Macworld are the unique items we stumble across on the show floor. Yes, we get the press releases and we see the company names on the maps, but they don’t always tell the full story. Sometimes, you just need to see the product in action or speak with a developer for it to fully click. Here are the items from Macworld Expo 2011 that caught the Appletell staff by surprise.

Ed: CoPilot

CoPilotCoPilot entered the U.S. iOS marketplace this past year with an iPad navigation app for North America that works on the iPhone and iPad, but they also introduced an iPhone specific U.S. version of CoPilot Live this past summer. I had heard a little about it (even though Jake reviewed CoPilot Live HD for iPad 3G this past May, giving it four out of five Apples). What really took me by surprise about CoPilot, though, is the price.

As they showed me the current version, I realized CoPilot Live is clearly in the premium navigation app category, unlike many inexpensive navigation apps. You download all of your maps to the device along with a robust POI database. This means that you can use the app offline and it won’t chew up your data plan if you are not on unlimited or if you are roaming.

CoPilot has full turn by turn directions and multitasking support for iOS 4.2.

The biggest advantage that CoPilot has brought to the table is their own mapping data for the U.S.A. and Canada. This means they do not need to pay a licensing fee to another mapping provider like their competitors do. Because of this they can be aggressive in their pricing. The North America version of CoPilot Live is a respectable $19.99, but what really blew me away is that you can purchase the full U.S.A. version for $4.99.

We will be posting a full review soon, but it is clearly the most full-featured navigation app I have found for under $5 or even under $20.

Product [CoPilot]

Josh: Runmeter

RunMeterRunmeter is an iPhone application meant to help users track a large amount of stats related to their swimming, cycling, running, or just about any kind of workout. However, it wasn’t until after I received a demo of the product in the Mobile App Showcase at Macworld that I realized just how cool and interesting it is. For instance, Runmeter even took the time to add support for pausing and starting your workout stopwatch using Apple’s push to talk headphones. That’s just one example of abvio, the company that makes the app, thinking about their customers.

Another great feature of the app is how it tracks and reports information to you during your run. The upcoming release of Runmeter, version 5.0, will expand upon this even further. Via a settings page for the application, users will be able to specify exactly what the app says to them during their run, such as, “You are running at X miles per hour with X amount of time remaining in your run.”

While a running app may seem kind of boring, abvio has certainly put a lot of thought into Runmeter, and it may even help me to get out and go running again.

Product [Runmeter]

Kirk: Gymbl

I think I walked by YOUBIQ’s booth nearly a dozen times before I stopped to see just what the Gymbl is. I’m glad I did. This is easily the most fascinating tripod/case I’ve seen for the iPhone 4, both by design and function.

As a tripod, it’s comfortable to hold and easy to set up. It’s only a few inches high, but that makes it quite portable for your portable iPhone. If you need more height, YOUBIQ sells a tripod adapter will attach the Gymbl case to any tripod.

YOUBIQ Gymbl

With a simple flip, the Gymbl becomes a hands-free stand for when you’re using your phone to watch a movie, as an alarm clock, etc.

What I really like, though, is that the Gymbl puts the rotation point under the camera’s optical center, making is a perfect tripod for panoramas. A panorama app is forthcoming, which you’ll use to upload your photos to the YOUBIQ Could for automatic stitching. The final panorama will then be downloaded back onto your iPhone.

I’m not sure what the pricing will be for the app and cloud service, but you can get the Gymbl Grip and Tripod now for $69.00.

Product [Gymbl]

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