Friday, April 30, 2010

Scenic Map on the iPad 3G

Like many of you, I received my iPad 3G today. I tested Scenic Map 1.0.1 and Scenic Map 1.1 with my new iPad's GPS features for the first time. The version 1.1 improvements made a much bigger difference in the app's tracking feature than I had expected. The previous version appeared to freeze when the map was zoomed in all the way with the GPS tracking feature enabled. Version 1.1 updated smoothly and drew a nice clean trail behind me as I walked with the map zoomed in all the way. I did get a couple of tracking spikes when the iPad's GPS was still hunting for my location but once it was locked on the track appeared to be very accurate.

I also tested the improved illumination direction feature (click the sun icon at the top of the screen). In 1.1 you can click and drag the glowing sun that appears when this feature is enabled. The shading will update as you drag the sun around with your fingertip. If you are using the default presets, click on preset 3 at the bottom of the screen to display the map as a simple shaded terrain with simulated elevation colors. This mode draws especially quickly and the screen updates about once a second. You can also use a two finger tap gesture to reset the illumination to the default direction in this mode.

The double click to zoom in and triple click to zoom out worked nicely as well. The point on the screen where you are tapping will become centered after the map redraws. This makes it easy to zoom in to a map feature you want to see more closely.

You should find the sans-serif fonts I am using in the 1.1 version more readable than the original fonts. I looked at several different fonts before picking the ones that were the clearest. I also adjusted the relative sizes of the roads and other feature names.

If you are in the Central or Eastern USA coverage areas, you should be able to download version 1.1 early next week when they get approved and released by Apple. Sorry for the delay. I wanted to get all the Scenic Maps updated in time for the iPad 3G release but I ran into several transmission errors and the apps took a few days longer to submit to Apple than I expected.

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