Like augmented reality? Like, er, radar? Then you’ll probably dig Phonar, an app that helps you find your friends. The emphasis is on your friends, that is, not friends in the general sense. This isn’t a dating app, you perv.
As the name implies, Phonar is an app similar to Latitude but with a heavy emphasis on its map and augmented reality views. The other twist about Phonar is that, instead of relying on Google accounts to locate your friends on a map, it uses telephone numbers. Obviously your friends will need both a telephone number and a cell phone for this to work.
I’m somewhat sketched out to give my real telephone number to a brand new, fresh-out-of-the-oven app like Phonar, so I opted to use my Google Voice number. Even better, the developers were smart enough to realize that other people might be equally cautious and included an option for using your Google Voice number.
Now Phonar has a few things going for it that make it at least an app to consider if you’re not so hot on Latitude. First, it will work with all of your friends regardless of whether they have the app installed or not. This is a huge plus since many Android users haven’t used Latitude a day in their lives. Plus, it’s likely that some of your friends are girls and will probably own iPhones so Phonar should work with them as well.
Phonar actually requires no real sign up or account creation either — it’s simply based on telephone number and text messaging. Phonar is designed to be an app that lets you “meet up with a friend before a concert” so Phonar’s intended to be used somewhat in the moment.
The augmented reality portion of Phonar could be super useful if you are, say, lost for 2 hours at a Jimmy Buffett concert piss drunk off rum. The map view of Phonar is better for figuring out someone’s general location. Phonar gives you an option of simply sharing your location once (as in not continuously) or for 15 minute increments. Remember that Phonar is really meant for those situations that you need to quickly share your location (usually at events).
Phonar is still in beta right now and will be eventually available for iPhone users.