Not to launch into a fussy and superfluous comparison of outdoor navigation apps for iOS, but I took a look at a classic today and have decided to keep it for a single, apparently unique feature.
I normally use Scout by MagicMaps for its flexible track import functionality and for extremely detailed, albeit expensive topographic maps. But these don’t serve much purpose when zoomed out too far – so I sometimes like to switch to free OpenStreetMap or OpenCycleMap for the bigger picture. Actually, Scout would let me do that quite painlessly, but I generally prefer to keep my detailed view of the world in Scout intact and briefly invoke a different app to glance at OSM or OCM. Of course, a whole range of free to reasonably priced products fulfil that purpose well and usually let you download the map segments in advance to avoid costly data connections on tour. Until now, I saw no massive reason to prefer one over the other or to sing anyone’s praises exclusively.
But there’s one thing a broader overview should really, really offer, though I hadn’t seen it anywhere until I reinvestigated a classic late this afternoon: the ability to show multiple tracks at once. It seems such an obvious feature: for people comparing options, for riders assembling a long trip by linking shorter tours, and for a dozen other reasons I could list if they hadn’t already occurred to you. Of course, this option is available on some route portals. But I had given up hope of ever seeing it implemented in a mobile app.
Then, by pure coincidence (I was idly surfing around on the bus home) and with delighted surprise, I noticed that MotionX has the very magic I have been missing. Not only that, but it has been present for quite a while… so I feel a bit stupid now. I wonder how many times I have complained about this supposedly elusive function in forum discussions – because it seems my complaint has now been obsolete for well over two years.© Copyright Martin Farrent, All rights Reserved. Written For: Trails, tours, toys...
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