States Plates Challenge is a game you can play in the car either by yourself or with a group of people. It lets you very easily keep track of all the US license plates you see on the road. This can turn a long boring drive into a much more pleasant experience and make the trip actually go by faster! States Plates also keeps track of when and where you were when you saw the license plate, so it can plot your findings on a map. Take my word for it, this will look pretty cool if you go on a long trip. For those willing to buy the $0.99 in-app purchase, there is a bunch of fun facts and pictures about each state including it's capital, when it became a state, the state bird/flower, and more. You can also sync your findings over iCloud, so a family that is playing together in the car will all have the most up-to-date license plates marked as found. Play the game and you won't believe how many license plates you can find!
I really wanted to make States Plates Challenge because this is a game I loved playing in the car when I was younger. I remember my brother and I played this game on one of our family vacations. We used a notebook to write down all 50 states and Washington D.C., and when we saw a new license plate we would cross it off the list. It was really fun and made the car ride exciting, especially when we started to see some rare plates. I knew this would make a great iPhone app and had the potential to be more than just a list of names you cross off a list. I've already described some ways that States Plates Challenge offers more than this and another feature it has is a progress map that shows which states you've found and which states are left to go. It gives you an idea of how many more license plates there are and also how far away those states are. If it looks mostly green you are doing good, but if it is mostly red you have your work cut out for you.
Keeping track of your location is really cool as I mentioned already, but I think the information about each state is also something that really makes this a fun app. I would guess that most of us are not aware of all of the state capitals. And I feel very safe saying that almost none of us know the date each state joined the union, what each state's flag looks like, and what each state's bird and flower are. States Plates Challenge presents all this information in a very simple layout so you don't need to go search the web to look for it. It also encourages kids to learn these things because by simply tapping a state, all the information is shown along with the beautiful pictures. So even if you're only interested in looking at the striking Cardinals (which are the state bird of 7 different states) or all the lovely varieties of flowers, you'll still have the other information right at your fingertips. And at the very least this information could be useful for trivia...if you ever find yourself in a United States trivia session.
Last but not least, States Plates will use your current location to provide information about where you are. It will tell you what state and town you are in and provide some of the fun facts from the state information page. But what it also provides that is very useful, is the information about what restaurants, hotels, and shopping centers are nearby. It does this through Yelp so you know the information being provided is current and accurate. I personally use Yelp when I am on vacation and unsure of what stores or restaurants are around me. It is usually very accurate and very helpful in sorting out the good places from the bad. There is no need to fiddle around with a map or different search terms, States Plates will do the work for you and find exactly the results you are looking for. This can really come in handy and is quite convenient if you want to look for a nice place to stop for a quick bite, while also trying to find those license plates!
I would love to bring more cool features to States Plates. The app has been out for about 7 months and I think it is about time for an upgrade. One thing I definitely want to add is voice recognition. As it is, playing the game while driving is really not a good idea. But a lot of the time, you see interesting license plates while driving by yourself, when there isn't another person in the car that can handle your phone. This is where voice recognition would be super handy. Either by tapping on a microphone or just calling out to States Plates, you could tell it the license plate you found and it will mark it off for you. No dangerous fiddling around with the phone, no trying to wait until you stop driving to mark plates off, at which point you have completely forgotten which ones you saw ("I think one was yellow...ish, or maybe it was green"), all this will be taken care of by States Plates itself.
Another potential new feature is the ability to not only sync your trips across iCloud, but to connect your trips with friends. If you have States Plates Challenge you can create a trip, invite your friend (who also has the app) to play with you, and when either of you finds a license plate it will update on the other persons device as well. This would be great for a group of friends that are going on a trip and don't share an iCloud account. They could all connect to the same States Plates trip and share the plates they all see. So while someone is sleeping they won't miss out on the Hawaii plate that amazingly passed by.
These are just two ideas that I have, but I'm sure people have more! Let me know what you think of both of these and also anything else you think would make States Plates Challenge even better by contacting me down below!