September 2010 Archives
I put a tweet out before I went away asking for recommendations for a GPS tracker for the iPhone that would work ok when driving (there's heaps for walking/jogging/cycling). The only reply for a specific app was from Dave2 for Trip Journal. I'd actually seen this in his blog a couple of months ago and had kept the link. So thought what the heck and downloaded it.
It took a bit of getting used to. The interface may be pretty but it's not that intuitive (or maybe that's just me - I never like interfaces that you have to explore, I like nice simple menus). So figured out how to get it tracking when we picked up the hire car a week and a half ago.
It works as well as the iPhone GPS does - which is of course a little crappy - but for driving this isn't too much of an issue (except on city lanes where sometimes it records you a street over).
The biggest problem I've had using it is that *any* app that uses the GPS just chews through iPhone batteries like you can replace them. The only way to use it safely is to have it plugged into power all the time. Which is ok when driving and you have a spare cigarette lighter handy. Fortunately our hire car has two! So one for the GPS, one for the iPhone, and a USB port for Stu's iPod. Have I ever mentioned that battery life on the iPhone is utterly pitiful and whoever designed it this way should be shot? So haven't been using it for walking around, just for the driving.
The biggest win for this app however is the ability to cache maps (at least Open Maps anyway, haven't tried Google maps - it seemed to have trouble showing you where you were on those maps). So if you have internet access in your hotel, you can go to all the locations you want to go to in advance, zoom in to the level you want in certain areas etc. Then when you're out and about (and you can't afford to pay $20000/gigabyte in data roaming charges) all the maps still work and you can see where you are as you're travelling. Win!!