multiple destination destination map focused app??

Discussion in 'iOS Apps' started by callagga, Sep 12, 2015.

  1. callagga macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
    #1
    Any suggestions for a "map focused" iPad to plan multiple destinations trips. Some notes re what I'm looking for:
    * something like Google Maps on Web, but multiple destination (noting Google maps on IOS doesn't seem to allow multiple destinations)
    * simple map based, or search based approach to add a destination, i.e. no need for mandatory additional fields like a lot of apps require
    * not focused around trying to get you to book cars, hotels etc
    * shows simple/short view/summary of the legs of the journey and distance/travel time
    * visually show what leg of the journey a particular marked road is for (i.e. sometimes you use the same roads on a multiple destination map)
     
  2. Maike13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    #2
    Looks like we're on the same quest.

    I just got an iPhone and one of the things I want to use it for is to replace an ancient Garmin Nuvi for navigation. I quickly realized that Apple Maps is still pretty bad (I hate to think what it used to be like before it "improved tremendously"). It works fine if you stay on the "official" route, but if you deviate too much it can get horribly lost for extended periods of time, giving directions that make no sense, or quitting giving directions at all (I like to think that Suri is sulking when I ignore her third attempt to get me to u-turn :). It will eventually recover and point you in the right direction, but you could be quite a bit off track by then.

    So one of my first tasks is looking for a better maps app. I tried Google Maps and this was a huge improvement. As long as you only want to go from A to B and use the one or two routes Google offers, it's hard to imagine it can get much better. But I frequently need a particular route so I want the ability to modify the suggested route with intermediate destinations.

    I also tried Nokia Here, but it doesn't offer multiple destinations either. I was initially quite impressed as it seemed as good as Google Maps at re-routing me when I started deviating from the official route. Perhaps even slightly better. However, it got very confused at a critical junction on my trip to work, even though I was on the "official route" at the time, telling me to make a series of turns that were physically impossible. They re-did this highway interchange about a year ago, although it didn't seem like they moved anything that much, so maybe the interchange mapping is out of date. If it had multiple destinations, I'd use it some more to see if this is a one off occurrence, but since it doesn't I've moved on to the next possibility.

    And the winner is? So now I'm trying CoPilot Premium USA (I think you'd need the HD version to handle the larger iPad screen). I'm pretty impressed as it has a bunch of options. You can add multiple destinations, with multiple ways of picking the destinations (Address, My Places, Points of Interest, Current location, Contact's address, Photo - where you select a photo and it will locate where the photo was taken, Latitude and Longitude, pick a point on the map, drag an existing route to form a new one). I found the last method a bit tricky at first, but with a bit of practice it seems to work really well. I manged to plot a route for my pretty convoluted trip to work (which detours a lot to avoid traffic) fairly easily. My only slight concern is that I already found a fairly glaring map error, where a street close to my work was extended another couple of miles. The new section is completely missing from the CoPilot map, even though this was completed at least three years ago. They claim to update the maps frequently but I guess someone has to point out the errors before they can fix them. I submitted the street error to their support, so we'll see (eventually) if it gets fixed and how long it takes. Another plus (in my mind) is that maps are stored on the device, so you're not suddenly lost if you get in an area with no cell reception. Of course this takes up space on the device, so it has a downside too.

    I intend to try a few more apps, before settling on one, so I'll keep you posted.
     
  3. callagga thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2007
  4. Maike13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    #4
    I did download InRoute last week but haven't had a chance to try it yet. I'll give it a quick try on the way home from work this afternoon, if my battery holds up (it's a bit low and I forgot to bring the charger with me). Otherwise I can try it going to work tomorrow morning. I just entered my route home with a couple of additional destinations to partially match my normal convoluted route (to avoid traffic), so we'll see how it does. It only let me enter a total of five places including start and destination (so three additional destinations), as more destinations require an upgrade payment. It looks like it's using Tom Tom maps as I noticed one street missing near my house that I've also noticed missing from Tom Tom maps.
     
  5. Maike13 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    #5
    Ok. So I gave InRoute a shot on both my way home yesterday and my way to work this morning. Here are my impressions. This isn't intended to fully detail InRoute's functions and capabilities, but just covers what I have discovered and used so far.

    I really like the design of InRoute. It's a very well thought out, well executed, visually appealing app. The route creation part of the app is excellent, as good as any I've tried so far. While it doesn't have the wealth of choices for picking destination points that CoPilot does (for example), you can select a destination by search, or by tapping a location on the map, or recalling a saved location. As well as the final destination, you can pick multiple other destinations along your route. It also has a very clever feature, where you can search for places along a route. After picking a start and final destination, you can search for hotels, for example, along your route, to use as intermediate destinations. Seeing hotels pop up all along your route, but nowhere else is awesome. You can also use saved places as destinations or even re-use saved routes. Bottom line, I don't think anyone would have any problems picking the destinations and route they want.

    InRoute will also display various types of information along your route. You can select to display (one at a time) road curviness, elevation, temperature, humidity, precipitation or wind speed. I know some RVers, who try to plan their trips to avoid steep inclines and declines, and winding roads, who would love this feature.

    Within InRoute itself, you are limited to just a listing of turn by turn directions. If you want visual and audible turn by turn, you have to export the route to another maps app. Apple Maps, Google Maps, Navigon, Tom Tom and Mapquest are listed options for me. InRoute makes this easy, just a couple of icon clicks. As far as I can tell from the little I've used the app so far, what happens next depends on the app you export to.

    The MapQuest icon says "Copy Link to MapQuest" and I'm not sure what this does in MapQuest.

    The Navigon icon says "Full Nav, Navigon", so maybe additional features than the Agenda Nav apps.

    Then there are "Agenda Nav Apple", "Agenda Nav Google", and "Agenda Nav Tom Tom" icons. I've only tried Google so far. Google Maps shows the entire route, but initially only gives you directions from the start to the first destination. Once you get there Google tells you that you have arrived at your destination and stops giving any further directions. At this point you switch back to InRoute, where you can click "Send Current" or Skip Current". "Send Current" will proceed with the next destination on the route, "Skip Current" skips the next destination of the journey and then gives you the same options to send or skip the following destination. Once you click to send a destination, you are switched back to Google, where you can then click the start navigation arrow to receive turn by turn directions to the next destination on your journey. And so on, until you reach your final destination.

    InRoute is obviously designed specifically for those planning on stopping at multiple locations (road trip, delivery route, etc). I tend to use multiple locations while city navigating to force a route to use streets I think will be less traffic congested. I have no desire to actually stop at these destinations, merely pass by them. InRoute doesn't work very well for this, as I'd say you really have to stop, at least briefly, at each destination to safely initiate the next leg of the journey. You have to double tap the home button and tap on InRoute to switch to it. Then tap on the Send Next icon. Then tap on the arrow in Google to start Google navigation. This requires a little too much attention to do while driving IMHO.

    Pros:
    A clever, slick, very well thought out, and visually appealing interface
    Creating a route is very easy
    Search along a route is a genius idea
    Ability to delete a route but leave all the destinations on the map for re-use
    Along the route data (elevation, precipitation etc.)
    Ability to save, reuse, and export routes
    Ability to save places
    Excellent for planning trips with stops at multiple destinations.
    Get announcements that you have arrived at every destination
    Get Distance, ETA etc. for a particular leg of the journey, rather than for the entire route
    Optimize a route between multiple destinations (I haven't tried this)

    Cons:
    Not good if you don't want to stop at some destinations (using some destinations to force a particular route)
    To be fair though, InRoute is not really designed for this

    Alternatives:
    You can specify multiple destinations in a lot of other very competent map apps. The big difference with InRoute is that it will announce your arrival at each destination rather than just the end of the whole route, and give you information (Distance, ETA, etc) for each leg of the journey, that other apps will only give for the whole route. You could get this in other apps by saving each leg of the journey as a separate route, and just using them sequentially, but it wouldn't be as easy as using InRoute.

    Conclusion:
    If I was planning a multi destination trip, stopping at each destination, and was OK with the InRoute/Google route selection, I would definitely use InRoute. Google has the best maps, best directions, and can locate my position more accurately than anyone else, so it's a bonus that InRoute can use Google Maps. If I wanted to use one or more locations to tailor the route I was taking, with no desire to actually stop at those locations, the choice would become a bit harder.

    Wish List:
    It would be great if InRoute could add "pass-by" destinations. These would be destinations used to tailor a route to a particular path, but destinations that one didn't wish to actually stop at. For these destinations InRoute would automatically send Google Maps the next leg of the journey, and automatically start Google Maps navigation. (I'm not even sure this is programmatically possible, but one can dream :)
    Switch the map data InRoute uses to the same map data Google uses. I found an error in the Tom Tom map data InRoute currently uses. And if I can find one error in that small amount of time, there are probably lots more.
    It would be great if InRoute added audio and visual turn by turn to their own app to make it a full fledged maps app. Maybe it's more profitable to be a more narrowly focused niche product though, rather than compete directly with all the other map apps out there.
     

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