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Apps That Work


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Now with phones and tablets getting "smarter" than we are, I thought we may want to share some information on what we use.

For maps, a tablet/phone with a GPS chip will make it work away from wifi and cellular networks, in other words where the fish are.

Google maps is useless without network access. The useful stuff will either have preloaded maps or will let you load what you need.

Just like a dedicated GPS unit.

The ipad only has GPS chips in the 3g/4g models, not the wifi only. That means more expensive. I do not know about the other

tablets, would be interested to hear from others. I understand the Motorola has some neat features.

OK, back to maps: Topo Maps works pretty well, only downside is old Canadian topo maps that are in need of updating, roads

in particular. Not much we can do about that. If you cannot find it in the app store, try http://topomapsapp.com/.

Other things that work: MotionX GPS, http://www.motionx.com/ and Navfree Canada, http://www.navmii.com/navfree/?country=CA.

These last two use open source street maps. The former requires you to download maps for offline use, the latter seems to

have a basic preloaded set (and is pretty basic). MotionX also has most of the GPS features that one might want. At least I think so,

but I do not have a dedicated GPS unit.

Here is what I would really like: a program that allows multiple overlays. Start with the open source street map, overlay topo, county maps,

and, as a final touch oil and gas maps; and I forgot satellite imagery. All of this should allow offline use with easy switching between the map

layers, plus displaying any combination of layers. Tracks and handmade maps as another layer as well. A program that is available both as

a computer and a mobile version, with sync over the web and good printing capabilities (ever fished map corners? there is a rule that says

that is where the good fishing holes are) for seamless mapping. Tell me it already exists!

One final thought, tablets are expensive and not waterproof. They are great for cutting the clutter on a trip and waterproof bags are

available from various aftermarket suppliers.

The above has an ipad bias because that is what I have. There is lots of other good stuff out there and getting cheaper. Share your thoughts!

Next installment, other apps for other (fishing-related) pursuits.

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