Saturday, January 29, 2011

eSeaCharts US Marine Charts

Application: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
Function: Marine Charts and Navigation
Cost: $9.99
Rating: *

More charting apps keep popping up in the App Store every week.  There seem to be no end to developers trying to gain a share of the Marine App market.  Another app for use with NOAA charts is eSeaCharts.  At first glance it seriously lacks the charts, features and functionality to be a front runner.

Features:

The app uses NOAA raster charts which have the original look of the old paper charts.  Many people don't know that they can download the NOAA charts for free both the raster and vector versions from the NOAA website.  This app uses the latest raster version of the charts and displays them for you in the app.

The app allow you to use the charts to plot and track your real time position. There are four soft keys at the bottom of the app. Navigation, Waypoints, Charts and Settings.

The navigation feature allows the user to view the real time position on the chart as your boat moves along. You can select waypoint and navigate to them.  The waypoint feature is basic but is functional. It allows the user to create waypoints and save them for later use.  It has a navigate to feature so you can go back to your favorite spot or fishing hole.  The charts page allows you to download the latest versions of the NOAA charts.  The charts are updated weekly to keep the user up to date.

I found the app to be very basic and spartan in its features. The price tag of $10 seems high for the lack of features and functionality. Other apps in this price range offer many more features.  Review my other post for iSailor, Navionics or Navimatics for apps similar to this but with more useful features.  If you want the best app out there spend the money on iNavX.  Check out all the post to make sure you buy the app that supports charts for your area and includes the features you need.

The eSeaCharts website is also brief in its support and documentation.  Some commenters in the forums were complaining about the lack of charts and features.

The app falls short of being a great app and is overpriced in my opinion.

5 comments:

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thank you for the review! I am the author of eSeaChart and I'm very interested in your feedback. Would you like to beta test/preview upcoming versions of eSeaChart? Please drop me an email to kalle@sailport.se if you're interested!

    //Kalle

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    Replies
    1. What happened to the app?It no longer updates.Thanks Ron

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  2. Kalle,
    Glad to see you have been making improvements to your app. My post
    http://i-marineapps.blogspot.com/2011/01/prefect-marine-navigation-app.html
    list the features needed for the perfect app.

    I am always open to beta testing. Keep up the good work.

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  3. Hi Mark,

    My main focus points with eSeaChart is:

    1) Raster Charts

    2) Responsiveness (I can't stand slow or unresponsive apps)

    3) Simplicity

    Some of the things in your list conflicts with some of the points above, but some are planned features. It would be great if you wanted to beta test new upcoming versions, please use this link to sign up (I use Testflight for beta testing, it enables over-the-air beta updates): http://bit.ly/faWHJ1

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  4. Hi Mark,

    eSeaChart 1.1 is now available on the AppStore (see my blog post http://bit.ly/fBwra7 ), . Btw, I didn't see you signing up for the beta testing, just checking so that the registration didn't end up in the cyberspace void.

    ReplyDelete