Presidential Inauguration Guide – Planning on having your iPhone with you at the inauguration? If so, a new app from PointAbout is a worthy companion for your journey. The app lives up to its name — Presidential Inauguration Guide. It is designed as an all-in-one resource on your iPhone that will do everything from providing mass transit information to finding the nearest Starbucks.

The trick is that this inauguration guide combines a series of different Web sites and applications all in the same interface. There are restaurant and bar reviews from Zagat. Mapquest provides mapping information. There are many other services that take you to an outside link, but you stay within the same application. The amount and variety of services available could come in handy when trying to navigate through millions of tourists —walking directions, restaurant advice, public transportation, weather, WiFi hot spots, and others. One of the more useful sections was a listing of inaugural balls with information about them and links.

To get the most out of the Presidential Inauguration Guide you will need to enable GPS as many of the functions require your location. For example, if you are looking to get directions to the nearest Metro station (which might be handy since most D.C. streets will be closed to traffic) the GPS will find your location and provide a Mapquest map to the station. A related feature is getting Metro train arrival and departure information. Not having to find and bookmark all these sites is what makes this an effective app. When racing through the crowds, it will be quite handy to have this information within just a few taps instead of having to search for it. One of the more unusual features was called “Are You Safe?” It has a meter that rates your safety based on current location.

The only downside was that from time to time the web site brought up was not iPhone-optimized, so it made it a bit of a pain to find information. Also, the free inauguration guide is clearly subsidized by the placement of some rather large ads. While having ads to keep an app free are understandable, these ads take up a considerable amount of screen real estate.

With all the information thrown in and the free price Presidential Inauguration Guide is definitely worth a download if you will be in Washington for the inauguration that is.

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