Review: i Tour Seoul 2 (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)

:

It’s rather rare to see a second version of an app with such marked improvements. After reviewing the first version of the i Tour Seoul / iTourSeoul app, I actually uninstalled it and thought nothing more of it. As the proud owner of a 1st gen iPod Touch and an Android smartphone, I wasn’t interested in an app that required an internet connection to read text.

It’s rather rare to see a second version of an app with such marked improvements. After reviewing the first version of the i Tour Seoul / iTourSeoul app, I actually uninstalled it and thought nothing more of it. As the proud owner of a 1st gen iPod Touch and an Android smartphone, I wasn’t interested in an app that required an internet connection to read text.

Fast forward to last month, when visitseoul.net announced a new version of the app. I downloaded it shortly after the update in early January, but have been busy with traveling and other writing projects that this fell by the wayside.

OK, the bad news first: there are still some limiting factors if you’re running an iPod Touch like me) or have expensive data roaming charges. The app will inform you how to turn the GPS on, but the message above pops up far too often. The program should be able to tell what sort of hardware it’s on, and adjust the messages accordingly.

The good news: there’s much more data available as part of the app, and if the program is going to connect to the internet, it’ll show a warning. Perhaps they got some complaints about people getting dinged for their overseas data usage. It’s a nice touch.

Start browsing by tapping ‘Main’ at bottom. The top 20 usual suspects are rounded up in much the usual way – destinations, shows, traditional Korean food and drinks – and are thrown together in an almost mish-mash arrangement.

Text, photo, and some audio explaining the area are nothing fancy. The audio bites measure in at a minute long on average, and sound like they were recorded by tourists on-the-spot.

Although the app isn’t very complex, the ‘Service Guide’ at bottom takes the time to explain the different features. These are mainly the little touches – red and blue skins (#3), language options (#4) are nice highlights.

Tap the ‘Categories’ tab at top to see plenty of information – all stored on your iDevice. There’s plenty of excellent reading here – easily enough to make your flight to Korea a little more educational. The ‘Itineraries’ button offers some excellent options if you’re coming to Korea, although only two are included on the app. One sour note: the subway map is significantly out of date – hopefully a future software update will include the extension to line 3, the AREX train connecting Incheon airport to Seoul station, and the entire Gyeongchun line.

A feature with plenty of potential – select the main category on the left, then a sub-category on the right. If relevant, a ‘grade’ of 1-5 stars also becomes available. The results are still a bit disappointing, especially in the restaurant category. With over 10,000 restaurants in the Seoul area alone, there should be more results here.

.

With an internet connection, the map and public transportation button (and the ‘call’ button, if you’re using an iPhone) work quite nicely.

In fact, the public transportation option works better than expected. The trick remains finding the bus stop (and determining the right direction), but this is a great step in the right direction. No more trying to interpret bus maps only in Korean.

In the interest of being backwards-compatible (?), the program has an option to use the older version of software. It’s unclear what benefit is offered with version 1.0 – stick with the newer version.

This is a solid offering from visitseoul.net – with enough information built-into the app, it serves the tourists and those newer to Korea quite nicely. There’s nothing particularly new or groundbreaking here, but there’s nothing embarrassing either.

Usefulness / helpfulness: (is it useful / helpful?)

Return on investment: (is it worth the time / money to figure out?)

Intuitiveness / Ease of use (can you pick it up and use it, or do you have to tinker with it?)

Looks / Design (while not every app is elegant, do you want to stare at it for an hour?)

Overall: (keep it or delete it?)

i Tour Seoul 2 is available for free for your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/i-tour-seoul-2/id405436072?mt=8.

Creative Commons License © Chris Backe – 2011

This post was originally published on my blog ,Chris in South Korea. If you are reading this on another website and there is no linkback or credit given, you are reading an UNAUTHORIZED FEED.

Share on Facebook



Leave a Comment