Saturday, December 16, 2017

Comparing Navigation Apps for the iPad

(Edited 12/17/2017, 12:20 pm, added SEAiq to list for evaluation)

Our friends down south are waiting for us!
I'm not fond of reviews that result in a glowing recommendation of the reviewer's favorite app.  He has his own criteria and things he thinks are special so I thought I would take a different approach. I searched the internet for reviews of navigation app so I would be sure to consider all possible apps. After an afternoon of looking, I came up with the following candidates, some of which I've never used:
Garmin Active Captain
Navionics USA HD
Navimatics Charts and Tides
Aqua Map Americas
Max Sea TN
Pro Charts

In all likelihood, I've missed a few so please let me know additional programs you would like to include. My approach is to list all possible features of a navigation app and then check off for each app the features that they possess. I would also include the cost of the app and the cost of charts for the US. I then plan on looking at my own iPad memory usage to determine how much space is taken up by each app (I bought them all, no gifts!)

My thinking is that each of us has our own preferences and one man's or woman's ranking of an app may depend upon different valuations of the same set of criteria. So with that in mind, I plan on presenting a spreadsheet with a listing of features down the left column and then check off which features each app possesses. I'll probably include a screenshot of the same area for each app so the display of charts can be directly compared.

If there is anything else you would like to see, please respond in the comments section of this blog. In starting this effort this afternoon, I'm finding that it's a much bigger job than I anticipated so it may take a few days to do right.


Anonymous said...

Take a look at SEAIQ. Navigation in both Raster and Vector charts, Active Captain data, AIS and NMEA data on screen, easy plotting of waypoints and simple route planning. Good support, too.

Bob423 said...

Anonymous, good catch! I’ll include SeaIQ too.

Anonymous said...

I have been using SeaIQ for a couple of years now and like it a lot, but I wonder if I've missing something? I will be interested to see the comparison to other apps.


Bob423 said...

Ken, I just added it to the list a few minutes ago. I've downloaded all the apps listed along with the charts for the entire east coast so I can get a number on how much space each one requires on an iPad. I still have lots of room on my 128 GB iPad Air 2. The apps don't take all that much space. The real space user on an iPad or iPhone are pictures but I store all my photos in the cloud on Amazon Drive which has unlimited storage if you belong to Amazon Prime, which I do for other reasons (free 2-day delivery, Amazon music, Amazon movies, TV series, etc.)

I'm thinking of designing a Q&A spreadsheet where you answer questions on what's important to you in a navigation program and then the apps would be rated according to your answers (to get rid of reviewer bias).

I'm finding that this is going to be a big job... I'm interested in the outcome.

Unknown said...

Is this ‘review’ ready for us to see/read? I’ve been awaiting. And I’ve searched your blog. It I can’t seem to find the results. Thank you for doing this. Maria

Bob423 said...

Maria, im still in the middle of the evaluations. It is very complex comparing 13 apps when they all do common things very differently (like doing a route). I hope to finish in the next two weeks.