Apr 27 AT 11:59 PM Guest Blogger 17 Comments

WorldTour: Take a free ride around the world right from your phone.

worldtour-post-image

WorldTour is one of those free little apps that turns out to be way more interesting than it should be. The idea behind WorldTour is to give those of us trapped in cubicles or offices a glimpse of the rest of the great big world we only wish we could go visit. WorldTour sets the background of your Android phone to a real-time image from any of several webcams around the world. Say, for example, you love penguins. You simply tell WorldTour to set your background to the Moody Garden penguins in Texas, and it will periodically take an image from a live webcam in the zoo and set it as your phone background. Then, any time you pick up your phone, you can see what those crazy penguins are up to.

One of the best features, though, has to be the ability to set the background to a random webcam. This is just what I did, and throwing data usage to the wind, I told it to update every 10 minutes. I then found myself strangely compelled to check my phone throughout the day to see what things looked like around the world. I saw the Pyramids, The Vatican, the surface of the sun (don’t ask me how they got a webcam there), a beach in Australia, and even a random laundromat in China. In the interests of full disclosure, though, I have to say that my wife was not nearly as interested, and informed me of such about the fifth time I interrupted Glee to show her my phone. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Despite how great I think WorldTour is, it does have a few issues. While it has a setting to force the random webcams to only show places where it’s daytime, I regularly get pictures of dimly lit monuments and beaches. I also find that I’ve seen the same webcams several times, while there are others available that have never shown up in my random rotation. And finally, this app desperately needs some way to pick which webcams show up in a random rotation. As it stands now, it’s all or nothing. I’m really not overly interested in an updated image of the sun, as it doesn’t seem to have any seasons, weather, or visitors.

Pros:

  • It’s definitely addictive
  • Gives you that fun “I have to check my email again” feeling
  • Provides interesting little snapshots of what’s going on around the world.
  • Can add a user-defined webcam

Cons:

  • Could use up a good amount of data for those on limited data plans
  • Still has some bugs
  • Your wife or significant other may yell at you

Final Verdict

WorldTour is a fun, free, little ride around the world. Unless you’re worried about data usage, give it a try.

Note: This review was submitted by Adam Littell as part of our app review contest.

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  • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

    You can actually set which cameras show up in random rotation. When you are in the webcam choice menu longpress on any webcam choice and you will get the option to remove it from the random rotation.

    • arlittell

      Great find! I looked through all the settings and couldn’t figure it out. Finally, no more sun!

      • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

        Been using world tour a long time, I had a review written ready to submit but you beat me to it. Disabling webcams is a new addition. It should tell you how the first time you load the webcam list.

        • arlittell

          ahhhh…so sorry. I’m sure it would have been great.

  • stalker

    Nice app.. will try it..

  • http://plankhead.com Zacqary Adam Green

    WHY would you interrupt Glee? Glee! You don’t DO that!

    But anyway, this does sound interesting. I assume there’s no Chatroulette-esque danger of occasionally stumbling on something horrible, right?

    • arlittell

      I haven’t seen anything that could be classified as horrible yet, but the Chinese laundry cam looks like something out of a tv show, so I’d say that’s your best bet.

      • http://www.lifequill.com Canterrain

        I once had a family waving hi on a close beach cam, so I suppose the possibility exists. I keep most beaches turned off anyways as they tend to be bad angles or sea of peoples.

  • http://Website sgb

    Only had it an hour and can’t stop checking it, good job on unlimited data

  • http://Website Gulpo

    Best cam for LA Skyline (at least for motorola droid):
    http://abclocal.go.com/three/kabc/webcam/web2-1.jpg

    Updates nicely and fits the screen. Just turn off the dim option.

    Thanks for the find!

  • Matt R

    Wow this sounds awesome. Completely pointless but awesome. Needless to say, I’m going to check it out.

  • SGB101

    ver good app, but ive noticed on my desire evry second day it will stop changing the image. a quick refresh sorts it out, but is a little anoying.

  • adrian07

    i’m quite new at this. do you have to pay for this app?or this is free in the market?i hope its free=P

  • Pingback: Associated Press releases World Cup 2010 “app” | Android Application [dot] us()

  • http://Website Steve Ikeda

    Went to Times Square recently and found the webcam for that location. Had a blast to see ourselves on my phone. Wish there was a way to capture those moments.

  • Pingback: Wolfram Alpha brings computational knowledge engine to Android platform | URandroid()

  • http://Website JOHN

    You can strikeouts cans from the random list effectively. choosing therefore only the ones you want to be in random.

    The Tines Square can CAMERA I’d pointed down at the street hoebdo we tell them this help its my favorite cam

  1. You can actually set which cameras show up in random rotation. When you are in the webcam choice menu longpress on any webcam choice and you will get the option to remove it from the random rotation.

    • Great find! I looked through all the settings and couldn’t figure it out. Finally, no more sun!

      • Been using world tour a long time, I had a review written ready to submit but you beat me to it. Disabling webcams is a new addition. It should tell you how the first time you load the webcam list.

  2. Nice app.. will try it..

  3. Zacqary Adam GreenGuest 5 years ago

    WHY would you interrupt Glee? Glee! You don’t DO that!

    But anyway, this does sound interesting. I assume there’s no Chatroulette-esque danger of occasionally stumbling on something horrible, right?

    • I haven’t seen anything that could be classified as horrible yet, but the Chinese laundry cam looks like something out of a tv show, so I’d say that’s your best bet.

      • I once had a family waving hi on a close beach cam, so I suppose the possibility exists. I keep most beaches turned off anyways as they tend to be bad angles or sea of peoples.

  4. sgbGuest 5 years ago

    Only had it an hour and can’t stop checking it, good job on unlimited data

  5. GulpoGuest 5 years ago

    Best cam for LA Skyline (at least for motorola droid):
    http://abclocal.go.com/three/kabc/webcam/web2-1.jpg

    Updates nicely and fits the screen. Just turn off the dim option.

    Thanks for the find!

  6. Wow this sounds awesome. Completely pointless but awesome. Needless to say, I’m going to check it out.

  7. ver good app, but ive noticed on my desire evry second day it will stop changing the image. a quick refresh sorts it out, but is a little anoying.

  8. i’m quite new at this. do you have to pay for this app?or this is free in the market?i hope its free=P

  9. Associated Press releases World Cup 2010 “app” | Android Application [dot] usGuest 5 years ago

    [...] WorldTour: Take a free ride around the world right from your phone. [...]

  10. Steve IkedaGuest 5 years ago

    Went to Times Square recently and found the webcam for that location. Had a blast to see ourselves on my phone. Wish there was a way to capture those moments.

  11. Wolfram Alpha brings computational knowledge engine to Android platform | URandroidGuest 5 years ago

    [...] WorldTour: Take a free ride around the world right from your phone. [...]

  12. JOHNGuest 4 years ago

    You can strikeouts cans from the random list effectively. choosing therefore only the ones you want to be in random.

    The Tines Square can CAMERA I’d pointed down at the street hoebdo we tell them this help its my favorite cam