Offline maps for iPhone and iPod touch
CityMaps2Go (tested version 1.3.4, currently for 1.59 Euro, link to the App Store ) has a similar target group as OffMaps, but differs in some features. For those who have not yet dealt with the topic, CityMaps2Go offers offline maps (map source is OpenStreetMap (OSM)) for selected cities and regions. This is certainly a disadvantage for some, since the map areas to be loaded are not directly selectable. BUT via the support page of the app you can request additional cities/regions. In my case within two days and including all the “Point Of Interest” (POI) and free.
First, on my iPod touch is already Off Maps, why I have still added CityMaps2Go? Due to a recommendation whether the very good implementation of the POI support. The installation itself is a children’s game, but after the start you find yourself in an empty app. With a fingertip on[+] you get to the overview of the currently available cities and regions.Currently, there are more than 500 new ones. After a further fingertip to the searched city/region is asked once again, whether the download is to start. The resulting data is displayed, important at least for iPhone users without flat rate. The download is then completed, including the remaining time display and the possibility to cancel. After the completion, the selected city/region disappears from the list of downloadable maps and reappears in the list of existing/loaded maps “My Maps”. From this point onwards, it can be used for offline use.A last tap on the name of the city/region and the map will be displayed.
Very good is the integration of the POIs – many are displayed directly on the map, with thesymbols known by OSM ( OpenStreetMap ). A fingertip on it displays more information. Blue points represent, for example, public transport, while others are not displayed. Since blind tapping helps in the corresponding area, since the next POI is jumped to the next POI and in this way more are found. The active POI is surrounded by a blue circle at a first fingertip, and a second tip is used to get more information. The reason for not displayed POIs and some non-displayed street names is probably that CityMaps2Go currently does not support the highest zoom level. Another problem is that the charged regions are not confined to a city, which is positive because of the larger covered area. It will be a disadvantage, however, as soon as there are several streets of the same name. If stations have the same name, these are also listed. At least the latter can be identified by the type of the POI as a small text on the search result. In the sample image “Road”, stops are marked as “Tram-” or “Bus-Stop”. If you are not familiar with the region, you can search for several streets of the same name, and you can only search manually in the map to find the right match.
Another way to the destination-if no road is searched – leads over the POI area. In this one there are several categories: “Nearby” POIs in the environment-at least on the iPhone with activated GPS usable; Banks, ATMs, cafes, hotels, places of interest, etc. In each category, the assigned records are found, but not all. But there is the cause more to look at OSM, if the data are not available, they can not be represented. If the search is found, the corresponding map section is jumped. If you zoom out something, all hits of the selected category are displayed. However, you can also choose the route to save a hit and, after selecting a category, directly go back to the map.
As mentioned above, the map in CityMaps2Go is not continuous but limited to the loaded cities / regions. This is determined firstly by the gray around the area. This is also visible by not zooming out far enough to get to the next loaded area. Directly adjacent and loaded regions are, however, displayed in a contiguous manner. If the regions are too far apart, only the route “My Maps” helps to jump to the next city/region. Another disadvantage is that there is no update option for the loaded cities/regions. Because only the city helps to delete and then reload. You can not set your own markers, only existing POIs can be placed in the bookmarks/records. There are just two options for settings: a changeover between kilometers and miles-which has only a minor effect since both units of measure are displayed, the position of which is only swapped during a changeover. The second setting allows you to automatically update your own position, probably only with the iPhone. Further interesting details about the app: the IPA scanner can not detect any spyware, a search for house numbers is not possible.
Comparison to OffMaps
This is all about the current version 1.3.4, but the programmers already work on many improvements. Currently, I do not want to choose between the two programs. OffMaps offers more details (due to the higher zoom level), CityMaps2Go provides very good POI support.And with offer rates of time 0.79 EUR per app no credit has to be taken in order to buy both programs.
Free cities and regions (*)
Detailed search info
Less zoom than OffMaps (largest detail level missing)
Only offered cities/regions-no free map selection
Only available in English, but can still be operated intuitively
Switch to other areas only via “My Maps” if they are not adjacent
No direct updating of individual areas
No full screen mode
No landscape mode (screen can be used across the board)
City/Region selection more confusing
A look into the future reveals that work is being done on many of the minus points, the next update will be released by the end of March.
Personally, I have absolutely nothing against a small charge for a card area. After all, the programmers also have to live on something and the “free mentality” of some users-expressed in the AppStore and various blogs-partly annoying but considerably. These people should simply imagine that they should also make their work available free of charge…
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