Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

January 5, 2010

Vegas Mate On Sale

Posted by Hunter

Vegas Mate for iPhone and iPod Touch is on sale this week in honor of CES 2010. Instead of a normal price of $4.99, it's $3 off - just $1.99. This week only.

Enjoy kiddies. In other news, I bought an Android 'Nexus One' phone to test and to learn more about Android programming. No promises about VM for other platforms but you never know.


Read archived comments (14 so far)
January 6, 2010 3:29 AM Posted by PokerLaz

Hi there,

What exactly does the App do? I'm heading out to Vegas in April. What will it do for me?

(I only just got an iPhone and am a little App-Happy at the moment!)

January 6, 2010 4:49 AM Posted by Tim W

Welcome to Android! I have a Sprint HTC Hero and love it! Feel free to ask me questions about it.

January 6, 2010 7:11 AM Posted by mike_ch

I spent my whole last night trying to figure out what my path is for eventually getting to Android without having to leave AT&T (since I'm on a family plan and the family isn't interested in moving anywhere.) Basically, there almost isn't any. Seems that part of that ongoing exclusivity dance between Apple and AT&T involves AT&T being extremely slow to adopt Android.

I'm almost desperate enough for Android to deal with EDGE for life instead of 3G (which I would at the right price, but $550 isn't that price) but I know enough Canadians that I'll almost certainly first try to go the import/unlock method with one of the CanTel models, like the current Telus-branded HTC Hero that can work with AT&T 3G.

All I know is that if Apple really removes the Google Maps app from the OS in the future (and they bought some GPS-related startup for what people think will be the eventual replacement) then I'm gone. The most useful/practical thing that the iPhone has ever done for me is given me a trip calculator for the RTC's broken mass transit system. StripWalks now mean around 30 minutes less of standing around in the sun, burning up and developing skin cancer, thanks to Google Maps.

Between that and having moved my life to Google Cloud Apps since the first day of GMail in 2004, I'll be ready to move once this contract is up. Thankfully for switchers, DoubleTwist means not having to lose iTunes.

January 6, 2010 8:05 AM Posted by Hunter

Vegas Mate is an interactive city guide for Las Vegas. The description and screenshots on the App Store give a pretty good idea of how it works.

Also, here's a screencast of the app in action, though it's version 2.0. In 2.1 I added listings of poker games and a few other improvements.

January 6, 2010 8:29 AM Posted by Hunter

Yeah, this Nexus won'y work in 3G with my AT&T account. I don't plan to carry it as a regular phone, just to learn Android programming.

The app on the iPhone is an Apple invention - the code is 100% theirs. The collaboration with Google came with the map tiles and optimizing delivery of said tiles. Both Google and Apple have purchased mapping companies because I think both realize that's an important feature and they don't want to be held hostage by the current crop of map providers - there are like two companies that provide the map data for all of the online mapping systems. Apple may change the map backend but the iPhone will always have a mapping app and I can't imagine they would replace it with something with less features. I wouldn't worry too much about getting worse, only getting better (though perhaps not fast enough - we'll see).

January 6, 2010 11:15 AM Posted by mike_ch

True, but the ability to select Mass Transit in charting directions (the bus, up there with cars and walking, might not appear if you aren't in a supported area) comes from Google Transit.

I suppose it's not the most critical thing, especially if I moved out of Vegas for good down the line (all the transit agencies in the Bay Area are linked up at, but I can't tell you how great made my trips from the way-far-away suburbs to the Strip. I used to take the most direct routes to the strip which included 30-45 minutes of standing in the summer heat, often with no shelter (just a bench or sign in the sun.) Now it still takes two hours but most of that time is spent sitting on a bus instead of waiting for one. That means less sunburns for me.

It also once gave me a cheaper, crosstown route from Palazzo to the near-airport terminal when I would have on my own intuition taken the Deuce and spent more money and more time. So yeah, I give Google's bus scheduling a big red heart, or something.

January 6, 2010 11:23 AM Posted by Hunter

Sure. All I'm saying is that if they do make a change, I wouldn't assume automatically it would be worse... Could be, but could be better too. Or even the same - no reason the app couldn't fall back to Google for stuff their new system doesn't have.

I just have a hard time imagining them taking out big features... not unprecendeted but also not common.

January 6, 2010 5:35 PM Posted by atdleft

Please remember us "Palmies" when considering new platforms for VegasMate! I recently upgraded to a Palm Pre, which means I'm locked into my Sprint contract for at least another year... So it'd be great to see VM in the Palm App Catalog soon!

January 6, 2010 5:58 PM Posted by Hunter

WebOS looks interesting to me but until they pick up a bunch more marketshare, probably not worthwhile investment for me. Sorry!

January 6, 2010 11:16 PM Posted by mwdelta

Sold. I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but I've certainly gotten $2 of enjoyment out of this blog, so I'm willing to try!

January 7, 2010 1:13 PM Posted by AndrewH

Ive gotten enough joy, and information from this blog to give you $1.99, so I picked it up. Very nice app! Will be in Vegas 3/15/10 at Aria, or Encore and cant wait to test out the location based features of the app. Good job Hunter.

January 8, 2010 4:27 AM Posted by Jeff in OKC

I have the first version of Vegas Mate, so how do I get the update? Is it auomatic, or do I have to buy it or renew it somehow? Just because I have an IPhone doesn't mean I know much about using it :-).

January 8, 2010 8:29 AM Posted by Hunter

We use the standard updating process for iPhone apps. There are two ways to update:

1. Open iTunes on your computer and choose 'Applications' from the lefthand sidebar. On the bottom right, click on 'Check for Updates'. You will see a screen that includes all the apps that have updates. Once they are updated on the computer, plug in your phone to sync it.

2. On the device, open the 'App Store' app. Tap on the 'Updates' tab. You will see a list of apps with updates. Tap 'Update All' to update all of the apps.

Vegas Mate updates are free. Like many other app developers, updates are an important way to get new features and bug fixes to customers. If you're not updating your apps regularly, you're probably missing out.

Keep in mind that Vegas Mate 2.1 requires iPhone OS 3.1 or greater. iPhone upgrades are handled via iTunes when you plug in your phone - the main screen for your phone will show the current iPhone software version and include a 'Check For Updates' button. This page has info on Apple's iPhone OS 3.1 software update, along with a 1-2-3 step instruction set:

January 11, 2010 5:44 PM Posted by NavinR

Hunter thanks for lowering the price--the $1.99 made it an easy purchase. I wish I had bought it sooner--it is very entertaining and useful. Keep up the good work.