App Review: Yonder 2.0

Logo from Yonder's website:

Logo from Yonder’s website:

A few months back, I reviewed a brand new app that I came across known as Yonder.  It was an interesting little app that allowed me to take and share photos – but still keep my man-card.  I just noticed on my iPhone status page that the app was updated to version 2.0 – so it seems an appropriate time to let you know some of the changes that occurred.

Now, truth be told, the following information probably wouldn’t be quite as exhaustive as it is – but – the good folks over at Green Mountain Digital (the minds behind the Yonder app) actually took the time to contact me after my initial review.  They were kind enough to give me a little sneak peek of the update – and explain some of their changes.  I was honored to have been asked for my thoughts and feedback at the time.

They even gave me some background on their company that was pretty darn interesting – information that I’d bet you might not even know.  Green Mountain Digital has actually been known as the folks who created Digital Field Guides for the National Audubon Society – teaching bird watchers about their feathered friends.  Since I know nothing about birds (other than Toucan Sam, the Roadrunner and Foghorn Leghorn), those guides don’t interest me – but I understand that they’re pretty popular.

Green Mountain decided that they wanted to do more – and their Yonder mission is “To inspire and enable a love for the outdoors.”  In other words, they want to be more than just a photo-sharing app.  They believe that beautiful photos of really cool things just might inspire you to get out on your own.  By integrating certain features into the app, they want to enable you to find those cool spots, too.

Here’s the Scoop on the Changes!

  1. Immediately upon opening up the app, you now get asked which activities interest you.  I believe there are about 22 choices.  You’re asked to do this so that the feed of experiences can be tailored directly to your interests.
  2. All of those interests are now in one single feed.  Real simple to scroll through the photos and see some amazing photos/videos!
  3. The overall look has an iOs7 feel to it.  Photos now bleed the whole way to the edge – and I find it scrolls smoothly.  Pause the scroll – and your user information shows up at the bottom of the screen.
  4. The camera icon at the bottom was replaced by a “+” sign.  I found this to be a little confusing compared to the camera (which was very self-explanatory).  Google+ uses the “+” sign for their version of “Like” – so it’s not apparent that the “+” here means “add an experience.”  Hit it once, though, and you’ll get it!
  5. Here’s a change that you won’t inherently know – but – if you want to see the photos in a Gallery mode instead of the long stream, just pinch in on any photo.  Voila!  Instant gallery.  There’s no real place that tells you to do so – but it’s a neat feature to know.
  6. Another gesture that allows you to do more (that also isn’t inherent):  Slide a photo to the left – and you’ll get all of the options for sharing, interacting, etc.  Before the update, these options were below the photo.  While this new feature keeps the focus more on the photo, chances are very good that you don’t know about this until you happen onto it.  I forgot about this feature until I read my notes from that sneak peek.
  7. The third non-inherent part of the app is the globe at the bottom right of the screen.  It allows you to search near your location for experiences.  Again, once you click it, you learn pretty quickly what it does – just not inherent from the get-go.
  8. Did you notice the start of the caption under the photos?  That wasn’t previously in the app – and many times that perfectly worded caption that took you so long to construct was lost to other users.  Now, you see the start of the caption.  Click on the photo to see the entire thing.
  9. I think one of my favorite features is that you are now taken to a screen to choose up to 3 experiences to tag with your photo.  If you read my earlier review, you’ll see that I would always forget to tag my photo – and would spend some aggravating time figuring out how to add it after the fact.  They just Brad-proofed it!
  10. The comment feed under the photos is supposed to be a little more conversational – much like you’d see in a text conversation with your friends.  I’m told this from the sneak peek.  I tried clicking on the comments bubble, but nothing happened.  I see one photo has 13 comments – but I can’t read any of them….Looks like they may need to work on this a little more (or Brad-proof this so I know what to do).
  11. If you’re on one of the photos (not in the stream – but after you clicked the photo), you can also pinch that photo to see the map (with the photo as an inset).  I’m not really sure how useful this is – since you can just slide the photo down to see the map – but I suppose it keeps you connected between the map and the view.

So, there you have the biggest changes to Yonder in version 2.0.  Yonder still ranks up there as a fun app that really allows you to see some beautiful scenes.  Those of us who spend time outdoors know how truly beautiful it can be.  I’m looking forward to seeing future updates from the folks at Green Mountain Digital.

Ride on!

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