Developer: Miir LLC
Price: free Download on the App Store
"Are we there yet?" Ah, the mantra of kids traveling in the backseat for ages. "Are you here yet?" Just as annoying, this friend, family and colleague quip via text and phone call is no longer needed with the real-time location sharing web and mobile app En Route!, which announced an update this week.
Adding easier login options via Facebook and the ability to share trips via SMS, the 1.2 update to En Route! aims to simplify the user experience. The app was created by entrepreneurial vets Dave Smiddy (sold Infrinity to GetJar) and Ross MacKinnon (a social networking pioneer who helped build Friendster with Jonathan Abrams) who wanted an easier way to get together with friends, family and colleagues.
What's great about the app is that it has the ability to automatically notify your friends, family and colleagues when you depart, are a few minutes out and just about to get to your meet up. Location information is only shared with people that you choose and is automatically turned off at the end of the trip or can be manually stopped at anytime within the app.
“We found that a simple message about when a user will arrive addressed a lot of our user’s basic needs,” said Dave Smiddy. “Users who want a richer experience can view the trip on a map in real-time within the app or on any web enabled device.”
Their goal with En Route! was to create the social communication fabric required for sharing location information in real-time. This fabric brings together a variety of systems including basic messaging and notifications, user identity, privacy, content sharing, location data stack and social integrations.
Among other improvements is the ability to create trips from addresses within saved Calendar events, which is great for when you need to quickly share your ETA with the person you're meeting up with. The 1.2 version also makes it super easy to view recently used places and contacts, removing the need to find the same ones over and over like your home's address.
They also boosted it's accuracy of the way it calculates ETA. It's important to note that this is dynamic real-time ETA in that it's the real one based on any delays from traffic. The app seems to pull traffic data from the web and has it overlaid onto their map ETA. En Route! is available for free on the App Store under navigation.