MapsWithMe is an amazing offline map app for the iPhone (along with Android & Amazon app) that's designed with a minimal but a perfect sense of usability. We've been using the map, testing it out and I think pretty soon, I should be telling you that it's a must-have app for every traveler.
There are dozens of offline maps, some of whom we've written about at iGB. Each offline map that we've reviewed does bring something new to the table. With MapsWithMe, it's the minimal feature-set that I liked instantly.
One of the first things I heard about MapsWithMe when we first set out to test it was that it was fast. That's totally true. I've used a few offline maps and I don't know exactly why MapsWithMe is fast but it kicks ass. It's probably because they rely on one source, the OSM, to get their underlying maps data. Or probably because they built using some cool stack.
Whatever it is, MapsWithMe won't disappoint you when you zoom in, zoom out, pan to the left or right. The tiles once downloaded load pretty fast.
MapsWithMe isn't a new app on the block so the data they've compiled so far is pretty good to go. Almost every country is accounted for in OSM so MapsWithMe, which relies on that, brings you an exhaustive list of offline maps. In a few areas (UK, USA, Canada) you get state-wide maps individually but in most other cases, Maps are downloadable country-wise.
There's nothing fancy here. The design, interface and the usability are simplistic and intuitive. Here's a few things worth mentioning:
- The maps uses gyros to orient automatically according to your position. This is great when you're traveling around referring to the app's map data.
- GPS support lends more power to the offline map.
- You can share locations via SMS! (Offline location sharing): this is an important feature for travelers who want to share hotel location data or for emergency cases.
- The app, though heavy by the code, is actually light-weight so everything loads fast, crisp and fine. I didn't notice any lag.
- Bookmarks are simplified: you just drop a pin at a location and it takes care of the rest.
- 100% Offline Search: locate places of interest around you without having to go online even once. After downloading the map, you don't have to ever go online to find interesting paces around your location.
The app is available on the App Store for $4.99. It's totally worthy if you're looking for an offline maps app that just works good and is fast. Without all the extra gloss and bloat features. Yes, there is a lite version you can try before buying it.