Sunday, March 2, 2014

Navionics iOS 7.0 Issues - Navionics Boating App and Web App

Application: iPad, iPhone iOS 6.0 or later, Android devices
Function: Marine navigation, charting, POI
Rating: *****
Cost: The new Boating app is Free with in app purchases

Navionics is one of the major players when it comes to marine charts, apps and mobile navigation.  Their Marine and Marine & Lakes charting apps have been downloaded over 1 million times so they are a very popular with boaters.

iOS 7.0 Changes:

The recent release of iOS version 7.0 apparently caused some issues with some of the older Navionics apps.  If your app is no longer working you may be out of luck.

Navionics has reported that some older apps purchased between 2008 and 2011 version 5.0.4 have become unusable with the iOS 7.0 upgrade.  I experienced this first hand with the Caribbean region I purchased years ago for $19.99 for my iPhone. I recently found that it no longer works (see picture at left).  I checked the version and it is 5.0.4 so I guess I am one of the affected ones.  This is a major bummer! I am not happy with Navionics at this point. If I want the Caribbean and South American maps I have to spend another $15.00 to reload it on my iPhone or $24.99 for my iPad.

The Navionic's Marine and Marine & Lakes apps sold from 2010 are still available and will continue receiving updates at this point. I am concerned that at some point they will no longer support these apps also and I will be forced to re-purchase the charts and features yet again. All these changes are costing users money and creating a lack of confidence in Navionics.

Navionics Boating:

The older Navionics apps used to be sold by chart region. If boaters traveled to more than one region they had to buy multiple apps.  The new versions of the Marine and Lakes USA 6.0.1 now supports downloading of additional chart regions from within the app so you no longer have to purchase separate apps for different chart regions.

Navionics also recently rolled out a new Boating App.  This app appears to be Navionic's long term solution to the iOS 7.0 issue and multiple chart regions.  This is a free app much like the Garmin BlueChart Mobile app.  Charts and other upgrade features are now available through in app purchases.  Chart sets for the iPad will cost you $49.99 to $54.99 and upgrades for the Nav Module, Auto Routing and Advance Map Features are $4.99 each. 

If you want updates to your Navionics iPad charts you will have to spend $24.99 for Navionics+ each and every year. Paying for chart updates is another sore point with me. There is no way to reload any charts or upgrades that have been previously purchased in the Marine and Lakes HD versions.

Navionics Boating has many of the same features as the previous Marine and Lakes versions. Routes, Tracks, Measuring Distance, Weather&Tides, POI, Crowd sourcing edits, Fuel Prices, Sharing, Autorouting, Advanced Map Options, Sonar Charts, Magazine Guides. New features of Sych Data and Synch Plotter allow boaters to share routes, tracks and data between mobile devices and chart plotters.

There has been some criticism in the past about other apps having separate sites for purchasing charts. Some of those are looking like a pretty good idea now that Navionics users are forced to purchase charts and upgrade over and over again.  There are apps like SEAiq that charge once for the app and allow installation of the app on all of your iOS devices.  All NOAA vector and raster charts are downloaded at no charge along and free unlimited chart updates. That model is tough to beat. Check out my list of top 10 marine charting apps for other options.

So if your considering purchasing a marine charting app you should not only consider the initial cost but also take into account the long term costs of keeping charts and features up to date.
Navionics Web App:

Navionics also recently rolled out a new Web App feature that lets you view Navionics  marine charts and Ski area maps on your PC or mobile device. This application is viewed using a web browser over the Internet.

This allows online viewing of any of their charts regions worldwide for planning purposes.  The Ski area map option can be selected with the Snowflaked icon on the center left side of the screen. Map or hybrid overlays can be selected in the upper right sided of the screen.

As you zoom into an area additional detail appears much like it does in the Navionics apps.  Sonar charts of detailed depth data is also available free upon zooming in.

Well, Navionics certainly has been busy lately.  I like some of the changes and enhancements they have made while others give me real heartburn.  This marine and charting app industry is still in it's infancy so I suppose we can expect to see some shifting of marketing plans from some companies.  I think Navionics will eventually get it right so I guess we should be patient with some of these growing pains.  If your not as patient as I pretend to be there are many other options out there for marine charting apps.  So keep an open mind and try some other apps if you find the Navionics changes to much to swallow.

~~~ Sail On ~~~ /)


  1. My navionics boating app is not opening up its frozen

  2. Unknown,

    First try powering down you device and turning it back on. If that does not work try deleting the app and re-downloading it. That has worked for me in the past.

    Good luck. Make sure to subscribe and become a follower of the blog.