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Vegas Mate For iPhone Unleashed

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 28th August 2008 12:11am
  » filed under Awesome!  comments: 0


Our friend and fellow VegasGang member, Hunter Hillegas (don't forget RateVegas.com, TwoWayHardThree and VegasLists.com... whew!) has unleashed his latest piece of technological wizardry - Vegas Mate for iPhone (or check it out at the iTunes App Store).

As folks who follow Hunter's many posts and tweets know, he's been working on Vegas Mate since the iPhone Software Development Kit was released earlier this year. It's been quite fun (and agonizing by proxy) reading his near daily Twitterings about learning Cocoa programming language, how to get various features of Vegas Mate working and tracking the insane amount of time and energy he has put into it.

I was one of a handful of lucky folks who got to do some beta testing of Vegas Mate on the ground in Vegas during the Podcast-A-Palooza jaunt. Even in beta mode, Vegas Mate was an incredibly helpful mobile guide to Vegas, and - more importantly - I'm excited by what's in store for future versions. Vegas Mate isn't a free app, it costs a measly $4.99, which - for those keeping track at home - is less than one hand at an endangered species $5 blackjack table.

On a personal note... let me shout out a HUGE congratulations to Hunter on the release of Vegas Mate, and serve up massive pat on the back for sticking to it when it seems like the shit has hit the fan, challenging the limits of programmer endurance/patience and for envisioning and executing a tremendously complex and useful application. Kudos!

Being one of the first testers, I decided to break the ice a little and post a mini-review of Vegas Mate to the iTunes app store. Here 'tis:

Despite all the fun and games, I take my Vegas travels and technology seriously. Mostly due to my being a writer for an independent Las Vegas tourism blog / website, Vegas Media Group invited me to participate in a beta test of Vegas Mate a month before it was released. I have no doubt whatsoever that Vegas Mate will be a very useful mobile guide to Sin City for novice and expert Vegas trippers. It's fast, easy to use and takes excellent advantage of iPhone's geolocation features in a densely sprawling and often confusing landscape of monolithic megaresorts, further compounded by it's baffling array of choices.

Looking for a restaurant near you? Two taps and you've got a listing of dining options, nightlife or resorts themselves with ratings, pricing and 'as the crow flies' distance calculations derived from your geo-location. Wandering around the Flamingo looking for SW Steakhouse? Vegas Mate will right your wrongs and send you up the street to where SW Steakhouse actually is - Wynn Las Vegas.

I wish I had Vegas Mate when I began to make regular pilgrimages to Sin City... it surely would've helped cut through the thicket of advertising mumbo jumbo, reduced the number of hunger related mid-Strip meltdowns, and told me that walking from Circus Circus to Monte Carlo (actually it was Boardwalk - BABOOM!) was probably not a good idea, regardless of how many yards of beer were consumed along the way.

That being said, there are a few places where Vegas Mate can be improved. Specifically, I'd love to have the ability to switch from a list view to a map view when searching. Also, I would love to see further integration of the reviews and ratings (contributed by readers of Vegas Media Group's website RateVegas.com) to help guide decisions as well.

Overall, Vegas Mate is a fabulous pocket guide that will enhance any and every trip through fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada.

Check out Vegas Mate here (in iTunes).



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