Review of Specialist GPS Apps for 3G Phones
There are few more contentious subjects than ‘What software do you use?’. It’s a case of choosing what works for you rather than being told what you should be using.
One advantage of the Apps market is that many of them are free, and even those that cost don’t cost very much, so you can test a number of Apps before committing yourself to a given application and the mapping available for that application.
Availability, and price, of mapping is a key factor in choosing an App. Here we have a DWG bias as we publish Tour & Trail Maps which are only licenced to a few Apps. If you want to use Tour & Trail mapping then you should choose an app from our list.
Similarly if you already use gps software and mapping from one company then its logical to use that company’s app on your phone. If you are with Memory Map (on our list) then use MM’s app on your iPhone orAndroid. Similarly if you have invested in Anquet (not on our list) then you should consider using their app.
BackCountry Navigator (£6.99) is an american based Android app that kick started using gps on phones. Map resources are largely US based but the software has the facility to produce your own digital maps for use in the app. If you are ‘techy’ in nature and familiar with cartographic software this might be for you, but there are easier apps for UK/European phone users.
Our recommended Apps are based on our discussions, negotiations and licencing agreements for these Apps to make Tour & Trail Maps available as ‘premium’ (paid for) mapping at reasonable prices. We hope this list will expand as more Apps realise how many UK leisure walkers go to Madeira, Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and mainland Spain.
So here is our list of recommended gps apps:-
MyTrails Android App (£1.75)
Trial version is a free download with upgrade to Pro version costing £1.75; great value. MyTrails is a recently launched Android app with a powerful range of functions, loads of low cost ‘premium’ mapping at very reasonable prices – actually the lowest prices we have seen. Developer Frogsparks is based in France which accounts for MyTrails having the best mapping of France as well as Tour & Trail Maps.
Memory Map iPhones (free or £4.99) Android App in development
Available on iPhone with an Android app expected soon. If you already have MM’s digital mapping then you will need to pay the £4.99 upgrade to use these maps on your iPhone but that’s a small price to pay. Reasonable digital map prices including Tour & Trail Maps.
Viewranger iPhones, Android, Symbian and even Blackberry Playbook (iPhone £14.99 others free)
With its coverage of the whole 3G mobile phone market and free to download the Viewranger App is deservedly popular. Good map coverage including free Open Street Map for UK. Even the £14.99 iPhone charge brings you £15 of credit to spend on ‘premium’ mapping. Reasonable digital map prices including Tour & Trail Maps. Viewranger with DWG are evaluating our Walk! guide books for inclusion in their ‘Guided Routes’ content.
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