After much work over the last year, we're pleased to announce the launch of PlaceWhisper 2.
PlaceWhisper, for those of you who haven't used it before, is a mobile application that lets you place information such as pictures, audio, and text, in a physical location that can only be accessed by someone when they're in that self same physical location. Think of it like leaving chalk messages on the sidewalk for your friends to find when you were a kid, but without the chalk, and with lots more information than you could ever chalk onto the sidewalk. Whispers can be linked together to form trails, letting you structure a journey to guide people around areas both small and large.
There's lots of things you can do with PlaceWhisper - you're limited only by your imagination. You want to create a treasure hunt around your local park for your friends to find? Create a historic tour around your village for visitors? A tour around your favourite coffee shops? Leave reviews of restaurants right at the restaurant? PlaceWhisper can let you do all these things and more.
When PlaceWhisper came out originally you were limited to leaving just short bits of text in your Whispers, and there was just one type of trail you could create. With PlaceWhisper 2 we've enhanced it so you can leave pictures and audio in addition to text in a particular location, and we've added two new trail types to make it easier to create games, tours, or whatever you want.
PlaceWhisper 2 is also much more sociable. In the original PlaceWhisper there was no way to share your creations, other than telling people to go hunt around a particular area and hope they remembered the right place. With PlaceWhisper 2 you can share links to your Whispers and Trails using email, Twitter, Facebook, or Delicious. When you access these links on your iPhone a pin will be added to your PlaceWhisper map, allowing you to easily find your friends' latest creations - but you'll still need to go there to find out what they put there!
Another useful new feature is the ability to filter what you see - if you're trying to find a particular thing in PlaceWhisper in an area with lots of content it can be overwhelming to find just the things you want on the map, so on the bottom left of the screen you'll find a filter button that tells you what's nearby and allow you focus just on that.
More than a mobile app
Starting with PlaceWhisper 2 you can now examine everything you've created over on the PlaceWhisper website. From here you'll be able to quickly find everything you've created or collected, grab that sharable link, and manage your contacts. This is just the beginning of what the PlaceWhisper website can do - we've got lots of exciting new features in development for the website that we're not yet ready to reveal yet, so watch this space.
How much is all this?
The original PlaceWhisper was free for both collecting content and creating content, and for PlaceWhisper 2 we've had to revise that a little to help sustain PlaceWhisper.
Collecting content continues to be free, so when you create content there's no cost to those who access that content. This means you can create that game or village tour or whatever you want, and people can download PlaceWhisper 2 for free and access your creation without paying - there's no barrier to accessing the content that you create.
Similarly, if all you want to do is create a little trail around your local park for your friends, then you get a small amount of Whisper creation for free.
If you want to do more than that then you can sign up as a PlaceWhisper Pro user from in the application. This will let you create as many whispers as you like, use rich media in your Whispers, and make them public for everyone to find. A PlaceWhisper Pro subscription costs just £2.99 a month. The subscription, if you opt to sign up, is paid for in app using your iTunes account - making it easy for you to sign up and manage straight from the phone.
Whilst I'm sure it'll disappoint some that we're not longer offering everything for free, PlaceWhisper has to be funded someway to keep the servers going, and we feel is a better approach than placing advertising all over the map or in your Whispers. This way, you can be sure that people see what you want them to see, not what someone else has paid for them to see. That said, we really welcome your feedback on the topic, so drop us a line if you have any thoughts.
Just the (second) beginning
This we're hoping is just the beginning of PlaceWhisper's future. This launch is almost a total reworking of the original PlaceWhisper, but it's been designed with a lot of future ideas in mind, so you can look forward to new features coming online over the next few months, all of which we're really excited about over that the Digital Flapjack bakery. Our mission is to put you in control of location based content - so rather than just finding location based apps in the app store you can go create your own and share them with your friends and the world.
So, what are you waiting for? Head on over to the app store and start exploring a new way to interact with the world around you.