By admin on Fri, 07/22/2011
AppAnnex has released the ultimate driving app for the iPhone. This is a GPS navigation app utility on top of a speed and mileage log. The amount of features offered is truly staggering. The GPS map tracker alone puts Apple's 'official 'Maps' app to shame. It actually allows you to track your current location via a map that you can click on from the main speedometer screen.
The speedometer is the main windows that you will be looking at before selecting from a number of other options. It shows you the current mileage in your vehicle with very accurate tracking. Underneath the speedometer, you can click on the maps icon, the trip icon, a HUD icon, or settings. Between these icons is a mileage log that shows you the mileage you traveled since starting the app. The log is very accurate -- in the sense that when you stop your vehicle and there is no movement present, it will not continue logging miles in. It feels like your iPhone was built with the vehicle in mind.
The HUD icon shows you your vehicle's current speed. It does this by showing a number and a decimal to the tenth of your current speed -- with a miles-per-hour icon underneath. For some reason the mph icon is written backwards though -- showing hpm. The advantage of this mileage reader in large print. It is an extension of the main speedometer but only shows current speed. The speedometer is read in a portrait orientation while this HUD is read with the iPhone being in landscape orientation. It is also designed in a way that you can just place your iPhone flat on your windshield and see the large print.
Another icon you can select from the main speedometer is the current trip option. This is the log of your trip starting from when you started the app and got in your vehicle. You can pause or reset the log anytime with icons underneath the main log window. The log shows: the distance you traveled, the elapsed time since getting in your vehicle, the actual travel time, the amount of time you stopped for, your current speed, and the maximum speed of your journey. As you can see, there are many different pieces of information available from this single log.
The map icon is another icon you can click on from the main speedometer window. It is similar to Apple's 'Maps' app, but instead of a blue dot a vehicle is shown. This is your current location. Like Apple's app, you can view the map in the standard way or through either a satellite imagery or hybrid of both. You can also zoom in and out on map locations and in a more intuitive way than Apple's app. You do not have to use multiple fingers to pinch in or out. This is because two icons are present with a zoom in and a zoom out function. Another icon centers in on your vehicle.
One thing this app's GPS navigation -- via map tracking -- doesn't offer that Apple's official Maps app does is allow you to set waypoints to particular addresses or locations. A blue line follows your vehicles movement and shows you which route you took to get exactly where you are. However, the app won't map out a waypoint for a new location you may want to get to. This is a small setback that could be later improved with an update possibly.
An interesting thing about this app that should be a godsend to many users who travel to remote areas -- where 3G connection is weak or nonexistent -- is how the app works without coverage. I was surprised to see it track my vehicle's speed, mileage, and even allow GPs tracking of my location to a degree while I was not connected online. It truly turns your iPhone into a GPS device. The app description mentions a data plan being required for the map tracking, but I found it worked without it to a degree.
Overall, I must say this is a very impressive app and the best option available for iPhone. Every one of the functions it offers should be a must have on anyone's iPhone. I would not be surprised if it saves someone from being able to drive back home in an instant where their actual vehicle's dash or speedometer lights faded out -- or in an instant where they wanted to know their location without a data connection present. This app offers everything a driver needs in one package so pick it up.