November 20, 2009 in Lifestyle (E)
[prMac.com] Chester, United Kingdom - Balloons!, the new iPhone app that lets you launch virtual helium balloons and track their progress around the world has seen more than 20,000 launches within its' first 10 days. People in 50 countries in 6 continents have been sending and catching balloons with special messages and photos attached. Each Balloon experiences its own unique voyage - the North of England to Rwanda via London and Kuwait for example! - linking people as it goes in a fascinating experiment in social networking. Already, by using Twitter, people are keeping in touch with others they've met through a chance balloon encounter.
How Balloons! Works:
Users choose a balloon, attach a photo and message to it, then launch it into the sky. It then drifts around the world to be caught by others with the Balloons! app. They add their own photo and message and send it on its way again. Where will it go? Who will it meet? How far will it travel?
The Balloon tracker allows users to see the progress of their balloons as they travel around the world. It allows them to read the tags of the people who have caught a balloon and see how far it manages to get.
Users can also scan the skies and catch the balloons of others, adding their own photo and message before sending it on its journey. By labeling balloons with twitter ids, they can get in touch with each other after their chance balloon encounter! Balloons! - the fun, environmentally friendly alternative to a real helium balloon launch.
What The Reviews Say:
"With over 100,000 apps in the app store, it's getting harder and harder to find something new; Balloons! is something I haven't seen before, and it's really very clever." - TUAW
"Balloons reminds me of the message-in-a-bottle feeling of the early days of the Internet - 'Hey, who else is out there?'" - DownloadSquad
"This is a great idea, and bound to go down very well with your kids." - CultofMac
"Balloons! is a fascinating concept that is executed well. It's fun, easy to pick-up-and-play, and draws a bridge between the traditional idea of a physical balloon experiment and virtual social networking. 8/10" - AppStorm
Launching Balloons -
* Choose from a range of colorful balloons
* Write your name on the balloons' virtual tag (use your twitter id if you want people to contact you!)
* Then take a photo and write a message
* Launch the balloon into the air and watch it fly away
* Launch location is recorded using iPhone's GPS capabilities
Tracking Balloons -
* Track the progress of your balloon around the world
* See the photos and messages of others who find your balloon
* If you like what you read then why not use twitter to get in touch?!
Catching Balloons -
* Scan the sky for balloons flying past your location
* Pick one from the sky at random
* Read the tag(s) attached to the balloon
* Add your own tag and release the balloon back into the sky
* Any iPhone running OS3.0 or above
* Note: Does not run on iPod Touch
Pricing and Availability:
To celebrate becoming an Apple Staff favourite in the UK, Canada and several other iTunes app stores around the world, Balloons! is available for a limited period at $0.99 (Normal price:$2.99). A free ad supported Lite version is also available from the iTunes App store. It allows the user the launch and catch balloons but does not have the balloon tracking capability.
Headquartered in Chester, United Kingdom, Shiny Development Ltd. is a privately funded company co-founded in 2006 by Dave Verwer and Andrew Thompson. Focused on the long term, Shiny Development's aim is to develop smart software that makes a difference to the way people live, work and play. Copyright 2006-2009 Shiny Development Ltd. All Rights Reserved. Apple, the Apple logo, iPod and iPhone, are registered trademarks of Apple Computer in the U.S. and/or other countries.