iPhone App Review: Pin An Action

iPhone App Review: Pin An Action

February 18th, 2010 by


The latest version 2.1.1 has fixed the calling feature, so that when you enter or leave the “pinned” area on the map, the app will automatically dial a number or contact of your choice. This definitely makes the app much more desirable. I can see myself using this when taking a long road trip: keep your earpiece in your ear and have the app dial your destination when you leave the garage to let them know you’re on your way, then again when you’re fifteen minutes out to let them know you’re almost there.

Original Review

The uniques capabilities of the iPhone presents developers with many creative options for coming up killer apps. Sometimes you come across something that is so simple, straightforward, and useful that you can’t help but wonder why nobody ever came up with it sooner.

Pin An Action is a simple application that does basically one thing: it performs an action based on your location. Using the ubiquitous Maps interface you drop a pin somewhere on the map, select one of two actions to perform, then leave the app running and go on your way.

This is a simple app based on a very good idea, that unfortunately isn’t implemented  to its fullest potential.


The actions available at this point are limited to an alert pop-up box with a custom message or to place a call to a specified contact. The ability to send a text message is planned for a future release.

The automated call is an easy sell: set the app to place a call to someone at a specific point on the road, so you can let them know you’re almost there. Keep your earpiece or bluetooth in your ear and you’re ready when it happens.

Calling Todd once you hit around 20th and Ulloa.

The alert box is a bit limited in usefulness. I thought at first that it may be useful to pop-up an alert when you’re watching videos or playing games on your phone, but if the app isn’t running then the alert won’t come up. It will play a chime with the alert, so if you’re a commuter and reading a dead-tree book on the train you could be alerted when  your stop is nearby.


  • The app is simple and easy to use. It’s fairly intuitive, though it has a few minor interface annoyances and misspellings  in the dialogue boxes.
  • The idea for the app is brilliant, and to my knowledge not yet available in another application on the App Store. There hundreds of thousands of apps though, so I could be wrong!


  • An earlier version had the ability to SMS, but that has been removed and will be replaced in a future version. A way to automate the sending of an SMS alone would be enough in my book to make this app worthwhile.
  • Dropping your pin where you want is unnecessarily difficult. By default it drops the pin where you are on the map, then you must pinch, zoom, and drag the pin around the map manually. If I’m driving 120 miles and want a call placed (which the app doesn’t do anyway) when I’m ten minutes away, I don’t want to drag the pin 120 miles on the map. Placing a pin should be as simple as searching for the address.

Bottom Line

Pin An Action is an app with a great, simple idea. I’m also looking forward to the future edition of SMS capabilities. Between those functions and making dropping the pin more natural, this could be a terrific iPhone app.

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