New iPhone App

Half Dome – Yosemite Musings

Get / Give permits<HERE>

     I’d like to announce my affiliation with Big Escapes in the development and production of applications (Apps) for the iPhone and other web enabled “smart” devices. We are building content for a Half Dome App that will include Preparation tips as well as GPS triggers to Points of Interest along the hike. We’ll have narration, video, olde tyme photos and text. We’ll emphasize vignettes of relevant information to make the hike more than just “The Bataan Death March.”  I’ll keep you posted as things move along.
     Big Escapes has just released an App called Yosemite Falls. You can find it at the Apple App store for $4.99. Click <HERE>. It is an immersive, entertaining, and educational walk around the forests and oak woodlands to a close up view of Lower Yosemite Fall. Along the way NPS Rangers Bob Roney and Vicki Mates highlight the history, natural forces, and wildlife that shaped Yosemite Valley.    The App includes 45 minutes of video, audio, images, and text which complement the breathtaking vistas. Visitors will experience rock falls, bears, owls, fires, floods, and visit the location of John Muir’s cabin and saw mill. This adventure through the Yosemite of today and yesterday takes place over 2 miles of paved handicap accessible trails with 22 points of interest. Visitors will experience the hidden stories all around them. Parents will find this App is “edu-taining” for their children and includes some Yosemite Cartoons from well known comic strip author Phil Frank of the San Francisco Chronicle.

     Visitors can access content by touching the menu lists or touching the numbered icons on the interactive map.  Visitors with an iPhone (it also runs on an iPOD Touch) get the bonus of having GPS show their location on the map. When nearing one of the 22 tour stops the iPhone automatically vibrates notifying you of your arrival at a story spot. In addition to the story spots, the App has GPS coordinates for the nearest restrooms, visitor center, museum, and shuttle bus stops making finding your way around a breeze.  The stories are best enjoyed while walking to Yosemite Falls, however the entire experience can also be shared with friends and family at your hotel, campsite, or when you are at home. The App was produced by Big Escapes in partnership with both the National Park Service and the Yosemite Association. A portion of the proceeds from each purchase goes to the newly named Yosemite Conversancy.
Unrelated thought worth quoting: “Winds are advertisements of all they touch . . .  telling their wanderings even by their scents alone.” – John Muir, 1878
*Mr. Half Dome – Rick Deutsch –


8 Responses to “New iPhone App”

  1. John Lauer Says:

    Any idea how many people have downloaded the Yosemite Falls App? You have an iPhone 4?

  2. mrhalfdome Says:

    The App was just approved by Apple and placed in the App Store. Download it and take a look. Write a review if you like it. the Half Dome App will have a similar look & feel.

    I have a iPOD Touch.

    • John Lauer Says:

      What are the 22 Way Points on the HD app? He he, this is going to add an extra page to the 2011 edition of your book.

    • John Lauer Says:

      For Half Dome Summit #30, you should do the full 211 Miles of the John Muir Trail. Ever give this excursion any serious thought?

    • John Lauer Says:

      Will the HD app pinpoint the location of the LIL SPRING?

  3. Sönke Says:

    As Mr. HD mentioned it just has been released (23 June according to the App Store). I found two reviews and both customers seemed to be happy.

    Because I’m curious I bought it myself today. 😉 I have a 3GS 32MB with firmware 3.1.2 and it works without problems. The narration is well done and if you have GPS-enabled phone the app will take advantage of it.

    The app covers a lot of infos and I’d said it is an nice companion for the first time visitor if you are into electronic stuff rather than exploring things yourself.

    Because of the wealth of information the app requires downloading all kind of infos (videos, text etc.). I highly recommend to do this with a WIFI-connection BEFORE you leave home. This will make the app response time much quicker (once the info is retrieved it’ll stay on your phone/pod) and you avoid standing in front of a point of interest with no WIFI or cell phone reception.

    I found US$4.99 a bit on the pricey side (compared to what you get from other apps in general at a similar price point) but as I’ve said I would recommend it for first time visitors. More and more “outdoor” apps are coming to the App Store these days and I have say most of them are so bad you don’t want them for free. The “Yosemite Falls” app for sure is one of the better outdoors apps around. And it appears a portion of the earnings goes to the Yosemite Conservancy – which is a good thing in my humble opinion.

    For international readers: the app seems to be available world wide (it was available in the German App Store) but text and narration are in English only.

    • John Lauer Says:

      *** “More and more “outdoor” apps are coming to the App Store these days and I have say most of them are so bad you don’t want them for free.” *** What would MR “Insanely, Incredibly, Great” Steve Jobs say about this? At least they got rid of the “SHAKEN BABY SYNDROME ” App, where you intensely shook the phone to cause as much brain damage as possible. Buyer Beware, as always. More apricots for all.

  4. Sönke Says:

    I’d like to share some more of my experience with the Yosemite Falls app. I forwarded some minor criticism and suggestion to Big Escapes and they IMMEDIATELY responded. In fact they already made some adjustments to their app (so everybody who’s buying today will already benefit from the changes/improvements). I have to say that I was deeply impressed by their feedback. They seem to be very open for suggestions and I know that they already are working on adding one of the suggestions I mentioned yesterday.

    Therefore I really suggest to take a look into this app if you are planning to visit Yosemite Falls.

    Final note: I am not affiliated or sponsored by Big Escapes in any way.

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