Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tips and Tricks for Scenic Map 1.2

Here are some tips on the new features of Scenic Map 1.2:

Go Back!

When you are exploring the map, sometimes you want to go back to the previous city or waypoint you jumped to. Sometimes you may wish to jump between two different cities. There is a new two finger tap gesture that allows you to go back to a previous point. To get a feel for this feature, try these steps:
  1. Note your current location on the map. This will be the starting point.
  2. Use City Search to jump to any city on the map.
  3. Scroll some distance away from the city.
  4. Use a two finger tap gesture (tap the screen with two fingers at the same time).
  5. The map will jump back to the city you jumped to.
  6. Use the two finger tap gesture again.
  7. The map will jump back to the starting point.
You can continue to jump back and forth between the starting point and the city with two fingered tap gestures. If you scroll to a new location and then jump to a city or way point, that will set a new starting point. You can also use the back gesture to return to where you were on the map if you accidentally hit the GPS center button.
 If you use the Waypoints feature to jump one waypoint and then another. The back gesture can then be used to quickly jump between these two points. You can even scroll away from one of the waypoints and then use the back gesture to jump back to it and then again to jump back to the previous waypoint.

Background Tracking

With iOS 4, Scenic Map 1.2 can now track your location while the app is in the background or your iOS device's screen is turned off. This is a nice feature because you will not miss track points if you switch to another app and you can conserve power by turning off the screen. While Scenic Map is running in the background, only the track location is updated with the GPS. No graphics are rendered and very little CPU power is used. This conserves battery power. However, this feature can drain the power of your iOS device if you are not careful.

Background tracking is only enabled in these two situations:
  1. Your iOS device is plugged into power and is charging or has a 100% full battery.
  2. Scenic Map is running in the foreground with the screen off and the battery has 30% or more charge.
In future versions of Scenic Map you will be able to control when background tracking is enabled. This version will allow you to experiment with this new feature. Your feedback is welcome.

Waypoint Features

Waypoints in Scenic Map 1.2 are a bit easier to create and a lot more powerful. If you have some feature selected under the cross hairs, a point of interest for example, the name of that feature is now used as the default name of the waypoint which can save a lot of typing. You can now edit the waypoint's latitude, longitude and elevation. This is handy if you know the coordinates of a location you are trying to reach such as a geocache.

Waypoints can be displayed on the map itself. They appear as gold stars. You can select a waypoint by clicking on its star in the Waypoints screen. The selected waypoint's star will be colored red. If you click the target icon to enable the information display, you will also see a bearing line between the current location (map center) and the selected waypoint. The information display will show the distance and direction from the current location to the selected waypoint. You can turn on or off Waypoints in the map style panel.

Compass Heading

If your iOS device has a digital compass, you can now see the direction you are facing represented on the map as a field of view direction. This feature looks and works exactly like the one in the Maps app. You can turn on or off View Direction in the map style panel.

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