Regular readers will know I have something of a love-hate relationship with Memory Map software. I absolutely love the Windows desktop app, it probably gets used most days and it’s certainly the most used app on my PC after my web browser. However, my relationship with the mobile app (specifically the Android app) has always been more difficult – in fact I’ve pretty much hated it from the first time I tried it. For years I have been using ViewRanger, even though that meant paying for a second annual map subscription and juggling files between the two apps was a pain, it was still worth it.

However, a couple of weeks ago, following some email interactions with Memory Map last year, I was invited to join their private beta testing cycle for a brand new version of the mobile app – called Memory Map for All (MM4A).

As its name suggests, the app is designed to be used across multiple platforms and looks pretty much the same whether you’re using it on iOS or Android, Windows or Mac. The app has been rewritten from the ground up and addresses not only issues I had with the original MM app, but also some fundamental problems I’d been living with in ViewRanger. In fact, I’ve found a way to continue using ViewRanger on my Android phone, but now I have MM4A I’ll not be using VR again, MM4A is simply better in nearly every way.

The private beta cycle is now complete and if you want to join the public beta cycle, you can – just go to the MM4A page on the MM website and download the app of your choice. While there is a Windows app I would stick to testing the mobile apps for now, the Windows app is for touch screen devices being used in the wild, for example a MS Surface device being used in an airplane or on a boat, It’s not yet meant to replace the traditional MM Windows desktop app.

Whether you’re an existing MM app user, or trying it for the first time, I would recommend reading the help articles prior to installing the app. There are some big changes to get used to and the help articles will guide you through this. I will be creating my own guide over the coming weeks, so keep an eye out for that.

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10 thoughts on “Memory Map for All”

  1. Having been out today on a cycling run, I took the opportunity to try and get to grips with the MM4A app on my Nokia XR20. As a result, I empathize with Stuart’s love-hate relationship, and mine is mostly hate at the moment!
    The first problem I had was not being able to sync my routes to the cloud, having prepared them on my Mac. Ron at MM support has been trying to sort this one out, but so far without success. I managed to get around the problem by uploading the routes to Google Drive and then opening them from there on my phone. The original MM app wouldn’t even let me do that. Android just said there was no app capable of opening GPX files. Doh!! That was when I tried MM4A and that at least let me open the GPX routes. Everything seemed fine when I set off, but I later discovered that I had fallen off the edge of my loaded map. I don’t know how, because I have the whole of England and Wales loaded, and I was in Suffolk. I know the maps are there because my storage shows that MM has consumed 9.07gb. I have also checked the option that says automatically load maps, which I understand to mean that when you get to the edge of the map you’re on, it will automatically bring up the next one. This is clearly not happening.
    One other small niggle, which pales into insignificance in light of the above issues, is that there doesn’t appear to be any option to choose “track up” when navigating. MM seems to be fixed at “north up” so that when you are travelling in any other direction, it’s a bit more awkward to determine your next turn.
    All in all, not a happy experience so far, but I will persevere for a bit longer before I throw in the towel and go back to using my Garmin for navigation.

  2. I used to use MM but a few years ago I switched to OMN, but when they went subscription only, and made (IMO) a mess of the
    user interface (i.e. the app), I gave up. I bought a Garmin GPSMAP 64s with 1:50000 GB mapping and have been using that with Basecamp on my iMac. Basecamp is a bit of a dog to use, so I am exploring MM again. I can’t believe how cheap the subscriptions have become, to the point where it hardly makes sense to purchase outright.
    One thing I would be interested to learn, is what smartphone you are using? The Garmin GPS is great, but has a very small screen. Using a smartphone never used to be viable because of battery life. It seems that his has been addressed now by the likes of Ulefone, Doogee and even Nokia. The trick now seems to be avoiding getting a brick. I’ve seen it reported that some models are an inch thick and weigh a pound. Ouch!

    1. Hi Dick, map prices have plummeted in the last few years, better than the thousands it used to cost for full UK mapping!
      I use a Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, but most modern smartphones have enough battery for a day on the hills. I can record the tracklog of an 8 hour day, listen to an audio book over Bluetooth, take 300 pictures, use the phone for social media updates and still have 40% battery life left at the end of the day. I can get multiple days life out of a single charge when I switch to airplane mode (keeping GPS on) and turning the screen brightness down a bit. I also carry a power pack in case I need to top it up, but this rarely gets used unless I’m out overnight without access to a charge point.
      Hope that helps. Cheers, Stuart

      1. Thanks Stuart,
        I don’t know that I’d want to remortgage the house for an S22, but it sounds like a great phone. When MM stopped marketing their own devices, I seem to recall that they recommended Ulefone Armor models. Some of these seem uncomfortably cheap, and I hear that their security update programme is not great. I am leaning towards the Nokia XR20, a trusted brand in the mid price range, and with a good long warranty. I suppose I shouldn’t be such a skinflint! The money saved on the maps allows a bit more to be spent on the phone. Thanks again. Dick

    1. Hi Steve, The whole of the UK in 25k and 50k OS maps is currently on sale! It’s £25 for an annual subscription (latest maps each year) or you can buy current year’s maps outright for around £110 and you own them in perpetuity. You can install the maps onto 5 devices including desktop, laptop, mobile and tablet and any combination of these. The link to the MM map shop is here: https://w2.memory-map.com/cgi-bin/licuser.cgi?buydealer=1&feature=0x1002202

      1. V many thanks. It sounds like my way to go once my Viewranger finally conks out, which might be quite soon as Vodafone are forcing me into getting a new phone (they’re turning off SureSignal and 3G). While my Viewranger is still working, I think I’d prefer to wait until the Beta is fully tested.

        1. If you’re dead set on using VR (and until this new MM app, I was too) on your new phone, there is a way to do it, provided you own your VR maps (rather than subscribed to them) – which I assume you do if you’re still able to access them. Drop me an email if you’re interested (stuart at pocketroutes dot co dot uk) and I’ll tell you how to do it.

  3. Hi Stuart
    I was also a ViewRanger subscriber does the Memory-Map let you download all of GB so it can be used at anytime .
    Thanks
    Mark

    1. Mark, yes absolutely. You get the 250k road atlas for free, then you can buy or subscribe to OS 25k, 50k, or both. An annual subscription is around £25-30 for both 25k and 50k maps for the whole of the UK. They are HD maps too, so better quality than the VR maps. The whole of the UK in 25k takes about 10Gb of storage on your phone (local storage or on SD card).

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