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Gear Reviews: Backpack

Polaris Navigation System

Manufacturer: DS Software

rating

Reviewed by: ehostic

Innovative New GPS / Navigation App On Android Posted on September 2, 2012 There are literally hundreds of compasses and other GPS apps on the Android Market, some available at a price and others for free. I’ve seen navigation apps with maps from Bing, Google, Open Street Map and others and most have one thing in common- that is they show you your position and perhaps they show your destination. Navigating from point A to point B generally requires use of the map with a compass as a directional aide. If you are navigating roads, you can get turn-by-turn directions from the map libraries provided by the Big Guys like Google but off road navigation apps that are really useful are hard to find. Recently, I came across one that caught me by surprise- Polaris Navigation by DS Software. I found it on Google Play and with a little scouting around, I discovered that it is also on SlideMe.org, Mobango.com and the Appia market. This GPS by DS Software is strongest as an off-road Navigation device but is also effective as a driving directions app. It includes a couple of navigational compasses, reporting on the usual GPS parameters such as latitude, longitude, altitude, speed and heading and a pleasant user interface. You get multiple options for saving waypoints including saving your current position, entering a waypoint from a map and entering coordinates in either degrees or degrees/minutes/seconds. The app also lets you record trails which for me, is a must have feature. The developer makes excellent use of the Google Maps API to display position, wayoints and trails and for setting waypoints. There is also a feature that allows you to email a map of your current position. What really grabbed me about this app (besides all the extra bells and whistles too numerous to list here) was its waypoint guidance system. A customizable destination-finding compass opens when you tap on one of your saved waypoints and seems to magically and consistently point to your waypoint and reports estimated time of arrival, distance to target and other statistics. Navigating couldn’t be any easier. Some of the other GPS apps I evaluated use an arrow that is a static offset from north to point to a target, but this is useless to those of us with poor navigation skills. The dynamic arrow and finger pointer in Polaris Navigation’s waypoint guidance system is simple enough for even a child to navigate by. Being a guy with the mind of a child, The Polaris Navigation System is exactly the right recipe for my navigation needs! Polaris Navigation is free and is available on the Google Play Market at: Polaris Navigation System and also available through the developer’s web site at: http://www.gps4free.com
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