I have not written about navigation programs for iPhone for a long time. But the other day, a reader sent a link to an offline maps application, which I had not previously noticed in App Store. MapsWithMe is available in two versions. In free and in the other – the opposite. Although in this area of software for a smartphone, the variety is small. But there are clear leaders. These are City Maps 2Go, Yandex.Maps, offMaps 2 and oMaps and of course Google maps with a homemade cache. Let's see how serious the newbie is …
Harsh minimalism is the first thought when you start the program. But this is also a plus, since the necessary buttons are located immediately. There are simply no others. First of all, you need to download a map of the desired area. The choice is large enough, but there is no Cuba, for example.
Here the first surprise awaits. The map of Moscow and the entire central region weighs … 64 Mb (In Google only Moscow requires 1 Gb). And all of Italy fit into 165 Mb.
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We open the map of Moscow. Honestly, I only expected to see a couple of avenues. But the diagram is quite detailed. There are signatures with the names of streets and, in places, the numbering of houses. There are signs of the metro and public transport stops.
The maps were converted from the open service Open Street Maps with all the pros and cons described here many times.
However, outside of Moscow, detail is lost. In regional cities there are no outlines of houses, but the streets are drawn and marked. The map of Italy was also surprising. Of course, she will not become a tourist guide. The blocks painted here are not at all like in life. But, if necessary, you can use it. And given the definition of the location, it is even better than paper maps.
The difference between the paid and free version of the program is the ability to view information on objects. A kind of reference book. But downloads of all maps are available in the free version as well.
Objectively, MapsWithMe is certainly weaker than City Maps 2Go. But the program has its trump card – it's free. And besides, the cards are very easy for her. You can also install this application and download the desired area while roaming abroad. Without fear of huge bills from telecom operators.