Friday, May 6, 2011


Application: iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch
Function: GPS Marine Charting and Navigation
Cost: $7.99
Rating: ***

iSailGPS 1.0 hit the iTunes AppStore on April 29th.  The author Captain Larry James has put together a nice navigation app following his MacGPS Pro charting program. At first look this is an entry level charting app that uses NOAA RNC, Raster Nautical Charts and has a few feature that make it useful to the novice boater. NOAA RNC are supplied free by the Federal Government and many app developers have made good use of both the RNC and ENC charts.  This app does a nice job in display and transitioning to the next chart when needed. The tracking and waypoint features allow navigation to your favorite fishing holes.

I have reviewed several other GPS Charting apps with similar features with many costing less than the suggested price of  $7.99.

  • Up to 200 RNC charts stored on your device for use even while your device is not connected to a wireless network or cellular service.
  • Charts downloaded directly to your device while connected to the Internet.
  • Show your current location along with a track of where you've been
  • Go To waypoint to guide you to your destination.
  • Charts transition automatically as you sail, showing the highest resolution chart at your location.
  • Graph of the boat speed.
  • Record tracks even while your device is sleeping
  • Import GPX and LOC waypoints by email or iTunes.
  • Export GPX waypoints and tracks by email or iTunes.
  • Zoom and Pan the chart with full resolution.
  • Flexibility to use Degrees, Degrees/Minutes, Degrees/Minutes/Seconds, or UTM.
  • Ability to view Distance, Speed, Course, Heading & Estimated Arrival Time.
The My Location Page is accessed by selecting the soft key that looks like a snow flake at the bottom of the screen. The multi touch functions work for page navigation. Drag the screen around with one finger. Use two fingers to zoom in and out. Tapping  Two taps zoom in 2 times.  3 taps returns to the original scale.  4 Taps zoom all the way out showing the whole chart. 5 taps reset back to original.  That's alot of tapping.  The Mark button on the top of the screen creates a waypoint at your location.

Latitude and longitude are nicely displayed on the top of the page along with speed and GPS accuracy. When you start moving the course information replaces the GPS accuracy data.

The Go to Waypoint Page shows course, bearing, ETA and distance to waypoint on the top of the screen. Up to 4000 waypoints can be saved.  Waypoints can be added, deleted, saved, emailed or viewed on a chart.

The Track feature is selected by another soft key.  It allows you to delete your track or  initiate tracking and email your track or location if connected.  Tracking can be set up to track when using the app live or continue tracking when another app is being used or if the device is sleeping. This continuous tracking will eat up your battery if  your not careful.

The Chart List is accessed by a soft key at the bottom of the page. Charts can only be added when connected to the Internet through wifi or cellular service. Several charts of the same location can be selected based on scale. Charts can be added at your current location, by name or location or latitude and longitude.  There app offers several options to select the charts to display. Charts management features seemed functional and intuitive to the user.  The app allows you to save up to 200 charts for use offline when your not connected to the Internet.

If  you are a fan of the RNC charts and need a basic chart plotter as back up iSailGPS may be for you.  I personally like the ENC charts or Navionics. If your serious about a charting app look at several to find one that fits your application.

No comments:

Post a Comment