WorldMate 2009 for Symbian is a huge step forward for Symbian-equipped business travelers. It will make your Nokia or Samsung S60 phone your best friend while traveling, enabling you to make informed, real-time decisions, and put you ahead of other passengers in crisis situations like a delayed or missed flight. Whether you're using a Nokia E71, N95 or the touch-screen N97, it will turn your device into the ultimate travel companion.
The heart of the system is the new home screen or "Dashboard". It gives you some of the key info you need at a glance, including the current location, date, weather and the status of your upcoming flight(*) . Using the carousel at the bottom of the screen you can reach all other services, including World Clocks, Currency Conversion and Currency Rates, real-time Flight Status(*), comprehensive worldwide Flight Schedules(*), and the Flight Alerts(*) service.
WorldMate is a free download, with many services provided for free, including worldwide weather forecasts, world clocks, a currency converter with an online rates update, and a day/night world map:
An extremely popular service is the Weathercaster. You can set it up to read you the weather forecast once or twice a day. Yes, we said "read". Weathercaster speaks out the weather forecast for you...
Professional travelers should go for the Gold-level subscription. For a few Euros a month, this will get you out of situations that would otherwise cost you a lot more time and money. 2 key services for travelers are the real-time Flight Status service and the Flight Alerts (tracking) service. These utilize a real-time status feed covering over 350 airlines worldwide, to tell you in real-time when a flight is delayed, canceled or diverted. Just put in your flight number and date, and the system will start tracking your flight:
Full flight information - terminal, gate, time and status are provided. In case of a change in the flight - delay, cancellation etc., your phone will alert you and provide the latest information:
I'm sure you'd agree this is critical information to get in such a situation. In some cases - it just means leaving for the airport later, or more time to spend in the lounge. But in others - it means you're stranded. How can you get back home? Or get to your meeting in time?
This is where the Flight Schedules service comes in handy. You see, it covers commercial flights for over 800 airlines, and provides both direct and connected flights. So wherever you are, and wherever you're going, it probably knows how to get you there. Just put in your origin, destination, and the time you want to leave, to get a list of alternatives. You can put in the city names, in which case you'll get all possible flights leaving or arriving into any airport in that metroplex. If you want to select a specific airport - put in the 3-letter airport code (e.g. LHR for London Heathrow).
What if you're meeting and greeting? That's when the Flight Status service comes in handy. Put in your peer's flight number and date, to get real time status.
Often when flights are delayed or canceled, it's due to severe weather conditions. Use the Weather Imagery service to view animated weather satellite imagery in the relevant areas - and find out in advance what's going on!
So now you know what makes WorldMate the world's #1 mobile travel service. Over 2 million people rely on WorldMate daily to assist them when traveling. Download it now. And if you're serious about your travel, Go Gold and let WorldMate help you avoid some of the stress and time loss involved in business travel.
Haven't downloaded yet? What are you waiting for?
(*) Services marked (*) require a Gold level subscription.
Following this month's newsletter, we've been asked by several users whether we'll support the Palm Pre in the future. It seems like this device is getting some market interest, and one of the first things people ask themselves is - will it support the apps I need to make it a real productivity tool?
And the answer?
The short answer is - Not now. Maybe later. The Palm Pre and the Web OS are still not market-proven. We are a small company with limited resources. We have to juggle our resources between BlackBerry, Windows Mobile, Symbian and, as announced lately - iPhone. We can only afford to develop software on platforms where there will be a return-on-investment. The Palm Pre is a risk - no market yet and only Sprint as a carrier partner (and Sprint has other problems to contend with, frankly). Best-case scenario - there will be a vibrant Palm Pre applications market a year from now. Likely case - ?
Now Palm is a great friend of ours. We were born as a Palm Pilot ISV and had a good partnership for several years. Even today we're bundled with the Treo Pro in some markets. So we told them of our concerns and asked them if they wanted to provide some funding towards mitigating the risk. They said "no", which is OK. I can't judge their decision - perhaps they're seeding the market in other places, perhaps they aren't. From our perspective - at this time we'd be sacrificing significant advances on a market leading platform (BlackBerry, iPhone etc.) for a yet un-proven one. Not a good deal at this stage.
Hopefully for our friends at Palm, the Pre will be a great hit, reviving their market position and taking this company back where it belongs. It certainly looks like it could be a cool device. Not that we appreciate the mobile OS fragmentation...
We were absolutely thrilled about Apple's announcements yesterday of
what is coming in SDK 3.0. Push (at last), subscriptions, tiering,
Google Maps integration. For the last 9 months i've been ranting about the lack of these capabilities in the iPhone eco-system. Now we'll have 90% of what we need to implement the full
WorldMate Live vision on the iPhone. Here's Engadget's coverage of the announcement event.
Watch this space for some interesting announcements in the near future.
Thanks to all our fans who've petitioned Apple for this! We'll make it worth your while!
Ever since we issued the newsletter and article last month about the free mapping functionality in WorldMate Live, we've been inundated by requests from users to integrate Google Maps as well as the other mapping and navigation apps we support (including BlackBerry Maps, AT&T Navigator, Mapquest Navigator and others). Apparently Google Maps for Mobile has some interesting advantages - it's a free download, and has mapping coverage for places like Australia and New Zealand - that are not covered by the free BlackBerry Maps.
It wasn't trivial, but we got it. Earlier today we released WorldMate Live 2.7 for BlackBerry - as always, a free application, which integrates into Google Maps. You can simply click "Map" on any item in an itinerary to view it on a map:
The latest Google Maps for Mobile is available for download on http://m.google.com/gmm . To upgrade to the latest version of WorldMate Live - browse to http://www.wmlive.com on your BlackBerry.
Here's the problem: you need a hotel reservation. Now. But you don't have access to the internet or if you do, you don't have time to start searching for hotels by neighborhood. You just want a hotel room near your meeting, or near where you are at this very moment. Sound familiar? It happens to me all the time...
The solution is right in your cellphone using WorldMate's Hotel Booking feature. It’s an extremely useful tool for booking last-minute hotel rooms directly from your phone. And if you want, it will even take note of your current location when searching for hotel options so that you can remain in the same area. As WorldMate knows where you're going, all you have to do is select the meeting you want to find a hotel near, and the duration of your stay. WorldMate will then search for hotels that are close by, and meet all your personal preferences: your budget, brand, quality and preferred amenities. It will then present a list that is ordered according to all these criteria - we call it Smart SearchTM. This means that most probably, one of the top few hotels on the list is exactly what you need.
Prices on WorldMate are on par with the lowest available online rates. We have a partnership with hotels.com, which is part of Expedia. Our hotel offers are drawn from Expedia's database and are the exact same low prices that appear on its websites. To be honest even we’ve been surprised at how competitive our rates have been lately, though unfortunately that’s also just a reflection of the current tough economic times.
Hotel bookings on WorldMate are easy, especially if you’re making plans on the go and location is a key factor. A cellphone is more secure than the internet when it comes to financial transactions so booking on your BlackBerry isn't just the simplest way to go, it's also the safest. And as we auto-fill forms for you - it's even faster.
If you're stationary and have more time, go online for planning that's both informed and location-based. It's particularly great for finding a hotel which is convenient for your plans in a way that avoids zigzagging back-and-forth from one side of a city to the other.
Keep in mind that Smart SearchTM also manages preferred amenities like internet access or a gym. We like to imagine all of WorldMate's users maintaining a healthy lifestyle and running on a treadmill in hotel gyms... In fact Gilad Gruber, WorldMate's Vice President for Research and Development, refuses to stay in a hotel that doesn't have one (he calls it his "no gym, no travel" policy).
Two short demonstration clips:
Hotel Booking on the BlackBerry
Hotel Booking on the web
Questions? Suggestions? Please post them here and we’ll get the discussion going.
As you may have heard, we have over 1.5 Million WorldMate users on S60. People who got it with their E60 / E61 / E70 / E71 etc.... People who downloaded it to their N95 / N96, had it pre-installed in the 6320 and so many more. Dozens of thousands are premium subscribers, but hundreds of thousands are using the free subscription for weather, clocks, currencies etc. And they all want - an upgrade!
Even worse - our friends at Nokia are breathing down our necks - for free upgrades.
Now Symbian is a bi*%h of an OS to work on, especially when you have 5 screen resolutions and 22 languages to support. But 1.5 Million people are a crowd you serve. So it's coming. And until it's here, you can watch some screen shots from the alpha - below:
If you'd like to be considered for the beta - beta_s60 <at> worldmatelive.com
BlackBerryCool - "The Voice of The BlackBerry Community" has posted a thorough review of WorldMate Live, where they state that "WorldMate Live has done an excellent job of aggregating all your travel
needs into one user-friendly system. The software truly embodies the
spirit of BlackBerry, which is making enterprise more efficient and
effective. Not only is it great for enterprise, this is also a consumer
app. From backpackers to holiday goers, WorldMate Live makes everything
that much easier."