You don’t need ruby slippers (although I’d like a pair) to be somewhere else right NOW

I’m an expat, a foreigner, an immigrant. For as long as I live in France, which may be forever, I’ll be an outsider. Paris is where I live, but San Diego is home, and on days like today, I feel it more than ever. It’s below freezing and the streets are covered in snow. My flight response has kicked in big time. Since I can’t realistically hop on a plane and flee, the next best thing is the web. NOW took me straight to my beach in San Diego. Where it’s sunny. And warm.

This is the basic idea: NOW grabs pictures from Instagram based on the their hashtags (#Louvre) and geotags (location data attached to each picture) so that you can see the pics people are taking in a certain place.

Stay with me, there are fun and practical uses for this app! Traveling to Tokyo and want to know what they’re wearing in the nightclubs? Want to peek inside a fancy New York restaurant for inspiration? You get the idea.

By default, the app will show you what’s going on in your current location. Click the + sign at the top right for a list of specific establishments. Alternatively, you can choose to filter what you’re seeing by category (food, art, party, outdoors, concert). You can also go straight to New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Paris and London. But don’t despair! To go anywhere else in the world, pinch the little map at the top to shrink it, swipe to where you want to go, and double tap on your preferred location to enlarge it to the level of detail you want (although it would be really nice just to be able to type in the name of your city somewhere…).

You have the option to comment on photos (“experiences”) and to upload photos of your own, but unfortunately, you can only create your own user profile by signing in with Facebook. I react very negatively to apps that only allow this method of registering. (Dear app developers: 1. Believe it or not, not everybody uses Facebook, and 2. Not everybody wants Facebook knowing every app or site they use!)

But you don’t have to create a profile to use the app for a mini mental vacation, trip planning, or to see what’s hot in your city. One thing to be aware of: it seems there is a slight delay between when pics are posted to Instagram and when they appear on NOW, so if you’re hoping for real-time info, this is probably not going to help much. The app needs some refinement to make it more user-friendly, but even in its current state it offers a sweet little escape. And isn’t it pretty!?

screenshot Now. app reviewscreenshot Now. app reviewscreenshot Now. app reviewscreenshot Now. app reviewscreenshot Now. app reviewscreenshot Now. app review
Devices: iOS
Cost: Free
Now. on the App Store

About Pam

Pamela Poole put on her red cowboy boots and moved from San Diego to Paris in 2006. She's a translator and tech blogger who believes the Internet is the fountain of youth.

20. January 2013 by Pam
Categories: Artsy, Fun, Life, Photography, Socializing, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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