After months of work, my new iExit iphone app is out in it's second version and is what I really want it to be for you. The first version came out in the first week of 2010 and was already better than the competition but it still needed some additional features as soon as possible. Well now it's out. If you have an iPhone and ever drive on an interstate, I highly recommend you checking it out. I'm only part programmer so I had to work with a real pro developer at Metrocket .
As with most things here on AllStays, it started years ago with my idea to help my own travel quirks. Whether I am driving fast from one place to another or enjoying the road, I like to make the most out of my time and stops. I like to lump gas and food stops together when I am trying to get somewhere fast. Yet I don't want to settle for something that I don't really like if I can help it. I don't want to get on and off the open road more times than I need to.
My old Garmin GPS has lots of information. I can search for restaurants, hotels and other shopping. But I often have to run multiple searches. I can't just go lookup an exit two hours down the road. I have to find the location or city and then try to search around it. Not as easy as I would like. You can also spend $50, $80, even $100 for some other big name GPS brand apps. Those are great for all kinds of uses as well but they are not specifically designed for interstate travel and don't have my own quirks in them.
So I created my online interstate guide a few years ago at //www.allstays.com/Special/interstate-exits.htm. What started like a plain cheese pizza is now a stuffed deep dish. So it has recently been upgraded quite a bit if you haven't checked it out lately. Yes, the online version provides all the information the app iExit does. I'm not saying otherwise and I'll continue to always update any free information on AllStays. But the iExit iphone app allows you to access your position and see things much faster and easier. It determines what interstate you are on and which way you are heading. That takes all of a few seconds. You can select your favorites and a then only look for those down the road. You can see all of your favorites coming up or you can look up just one and see where all the In-N-Out Burgers are or Wingate Inns. And in most cases, you can click to call them. I am currently filling the ones I don't have. That is one reason why you don't see any great travel apps from the big box sites. They don't want to provide you with phone numbers to bypass their locked down systems. They don't get a commission if you just call the front desk but that's what you need to do on a road trip with eyes about to close shut.
iExit has all the brand hotels you see on AllStays. It has all the major truck stops, rest areas, gas stations, restaurants and even shopping. Whether your looking for Walmart or Whole Foods, it's in there. And much more is being added in the next couple weeks. The number of places will double again on the next update.
This latest version added mapping for all points, even ones that are not right at the exit. It also added mileage and direction indicators so you know that a place is 0.25 miles or 1 mile away.
iExit works when you may not have phone service. It downloads the data to your phone upon install. You won't be dropped for 20-50 miles at a time like other apps that access the internet all the time. I don't know about you, but my cell service isn't constant as I drive for hours. An app searching for data doesn't do me much good when my gas and stomach are running on fumes.
If you don't have service or want to plan way ahead like I do, iExit also supports an offline mode where users can look up exits manually. Search hours down the road or even into tomorrow if you'd like. Pick any interstate in the country and look it up fast.
The app is smart enough to know when you're not on the interstate. It shows the next upcoming 50 exits versus other apps showing 15 exits. That's not much for road warriors.
Another advantage is that if you look at AllStays.com, you know data is not just a part time or annual project. iExit data is updated regularly on a full time basis as it is the same data used on this 10 year old travel website. It's not a book that gets updated once a year and is already somewhat outdated when the ink is drying. It's not a data service that goes out to other companies and therefore only comes out once or twice a year. My Garmin was great, but they made it so difficult to keep track of licenses and upgrade hassles, that I often left it alone and didn't update it. iExit will be updated often. The only slow down is the Apple approval process. That just means that when you submit a correction, it will show up on the next update. You can count the days, not weeks and months for it to show.
You Have The Power
Most of what went into version 1.1 was suggested or reinforced by users suggestions. Like with Allstays.com, I take just about every suggestion and try to implement it. I don't have to put it in front of stockholders and have umpteen meetings to get it started. I can take an idea, decide the priority and get it going immediately.
iExit is reduced in price for a limited time and we request your feedback to make it even better.