Skobbler’s ForeverMap App

Us iPod and WiFi version of the iPad owners don’t really get to use our devices as true, solid navigation utilities. There wasn’t really a stand-out application for that purpose: accessing maps, routes, POI, etc. on the go while not having a working internet connection. Until now – well, there’s partially an app for that.

Skobbler’s ForeverMap recently found its way into the App Store. It offers a system of offline maps serving purposes which GPS units would otherwise do, appealing mainly to owners of the iPod Touch and WiFi models of the iPad. It includes maps for individual states and the whole North America as a whole, routes for both pedestrians and cars, POI within certain, specified distances, bookmarking and tons more. Once I heard everything it could do, I was stunned and amazed. Turns out, delving deeper by actually testing and using the application proved to be an experience a bit on the opposite side of what I had initially imagined.

The interface of the application is pure beauty. You almost want to use the app forever thanks to the generous icons and polish used to create the menus and the slick, smooth transition when navigating. Though, this can be misleading about the actual app. Coincidentally, I had to make long road trip, 10 hour round trip, a few days after I got ForeverMaps – this past Saturday actually. While on the way, it was pretty difficult to decipher what the wordless icons, which are the menus buttons used for everything. meant; it was just extremely confusing, beyond my capabilities. I had to get to the settings and then to the help and…ForeverMaps just desperately needs labeled menu buttons.

Speaking of what it needs, the application’s maps are available through a wifi download which does not run when your device is in standby mode or when the application is being run in the background for those with newer generation devices. Not too good knowing that I have backgrounding with my iPod Touch 4G that I can’t use due to an app’s capabilities. Somehow, incorporate that feature. Another odd thing was that the application could not find an address that Google Maps. What’s stopping me from using the built in Maps application, Google Maps, instead. Apart from the POI and other extra fluff included, Google could get me from one place to another. Yet another odd thing was that I couldn’t find any sort of button which would actually display the route instructions when I typed in the from/to addresses. What’s the point in having the feature if you can’t see how to get somewhere?

The few hassles aside, $0.99 is an extremely respectable price for an application of this quality. This could really prove to be useful for me and any other iPod Touch user out there. Of course, only if the issues that I, personally, found are fixed soon! If Skobbler can capitalize on the gorgeous interface that they already have, I guarantee you this app would be a true winner.

Written by nkatti