UPDATE: In many ways, things have changed since I originally wrote this post. There is still a Memory Map app for the iPhone and for Android too, but it is dreadful and there is no way I could recommend it to anyone. Also Quo and Anquet have both disappeared from the market, to be replaced with the absolutely brilliant ViewRanger, which has a browser app for the desktop and a superb mobile app for iPhone and Android.
It’s finally here, the iPhone app from Memory Map. See here. They’ve kept the launch fairly quiet though – I subscribe to their newsletter and I was expecting advance warning of the posting of the app in the App Store, but no I had to trip over the release as I was searching on their website for something else. Ho hum.
Straight away I was disappointed. It’s priced at £19.99! I was hoping for something in the region of £5, possibly £10 and I thought I’d probably pay up to £13 for the app. At £20 however, I’m not even going to download it. There’s not even an introductory special offer as with many new apps on the iPhone.
The feature list looks quite good:
- Offline ultra-fast dynamic map scrolling even without phone signal
- Topo Starter Pack including OS Landranger® and OS Explorer™ maps
- Load your existing Memory-Map v5 maps and charts via WiFi
- See your GPS position, course and tracklog on a moving map
- Trip computer records time, distance and average speed
- Upload, download or email GPX routes and tracklogs
- Buy and download additional topo maps directly through your iPhone
- Automatically downloads free base map of your current location
However, number one suggests that you still need a phone signal to use the GPS on the iPhone. If this is the case (and opinion on the net is divided as to whether this is a hardware limitation in the iPhone or a choice the app developers make) then it makes the software almost completely useless on the hills and only good for the occasional bimble around towns and cities.
The app currently has 3 stars from the reviewers and that seems to be a mixture of 1 star ratings and 5 star ratings – so a real “marmite” effect developing there.
They’ve already released the features due for v1.1 of the product:
- Automatically downloads free map of your current location
- Auto-rotate screen for Portrait or Landscape view
- Screen lock button to lock map display
- Compass Bearing displayed with iPhone 3GS compass sensor
- ‘Search and display’ place name index
- Add POIs/Marks directly to the map OS Grid, Lat/Long, or UTM grid display
- Email position marks or tracklogs as GPX files
Things like auto-rotate seem to be fairly basic iPhone features, so it makes me wonder if 1.0 was rushed out quickly. Another reason I’ve decided not to buy.
All in all, I’m very disappointed – but in truth – not particularly surprised. I’d love to move away from Memory-Map to something like
Quo or Anquet and to be fair the iPhone app development has delayed my decision. The other reason of course is the investment already made in maps. Announcements later in the year from the OS with respect to freeing up the digital mapping of the UK could be the final nail in the MM coffin for me.