My iPhone bleeds money. I buy apps, the bulk of which I never look at again. My monthly bill, in order to guarantee enough data available, is pretty expensive, especially when compared to what I was paying for earlier phones. And, to top it all of, I buy tons of accessories for my iPhone, spoiling it like a loving grandparent. Occasionally (not often, but occasionally), I find myself asking what my iPhone has ever done to pay me back? Yes, it’s a great tool, but I mean really pay me back, in cold, hard cash. Now, the folks at Navizon have come up with a way for you to get a little return on your investment.
Basically, Navizon adds to the basic location services of your iPhone. Your handset can determine your location using a combination of cell towers, Wi-Fi, and GPS, but using the included Maps application, you have no way of knowing which is active at any given time. Navizon displays your position (on Yahoo!, rather than Google Maps), but it also displays a little badge to let you know which method is being used to determine where you are. That way I know, for example, why the map was showing me as located three blocks North of where I actually am. The answer? My phone was only using cell tower data to find me. You can also take advantage of built-in buddy features to locate friends or family, if they’re using Navizon’s service. You can also configure alerts by logging on to the website to receive notifications by email or web when your buddies enter into specific areas you designate.
The most interesting feature of the app, one that I hinted at earlier, is how you can receive cash rewards for using it. In order to continue to build out their extensive database of cell and Wi-Fi towers, Navizon is offering a rewards system similar to air miles, but without the free flights. Instead, compensation is based on accumulating enough points. Also, in this case, it’s actually the number of towers, not the number of miles you’re being rewarded for. For first-time finds, you get 15 points for every cell tower mapped, and 3 for every Wi-Fi access point. If they’ve already been found before, you get 2 for every cell tower and 1 for every access point. Once you’ve accumulated 10,000, Navizon will wire $10 to your bank account.
No, you can’t retire on that kind of money, but if you’re already using your phone to log trails or track your pals, it pays more than the competition, at least. You can get the Lite version in the App Store for free, while the full version costs $9.99. 10,000 points and it pays for itself!