Android and Me

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

4 years ago 17

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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