Review Price £1.99
Manufacturer: skobbler GmbH
ForeverMap 2 is a third-party map and travel guide app for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. Its key feature is it supports offline maps, so you download countries and even specific cities to your device and find your away around even when you don't have an internet connection. It's not a sat-nav, skobbler has a seperate app for that, but a genuine alternative to Apple and Google Maps.
Version 3 of ForeverMap 2, released in May, launched skobbler's NGx mapping technology Although Skobbler is calling the new map system NGx, it still uses base data from the user-generated OpenStreetMap project.
This shouldn't be considered a negative mark, though, as most sat-nav systems augment their maps with user submissions nowadays anyway, in particular TomTom with its MapShare system. NGx is what adds the offline ability and skobbler's custom map display.
So you can download maps to be stored locally, as well as dynamically on demand, making this a realistic option for an iOS device with just Wi-Fi, such as an iPod touch or iPad.
Once you have purchased and set up the basic app, the offline map installation process involves heading to the Map Download section and selecting the map region you want to download.
You can download individual cities or multiple countries, depending on your needs and device memory capacity. So, if you are planning an international trip, and don't fancy incurring hefty data roaming charges, you can grab the map for where you are visiting and not use data at all when you are there.
The whole of London takes up 26.8MB, and the whole UK 222.7MB.
Installing maps locally also avoids the problem dynamic systems can have if you hit an extended data black spot and can't download the map sections you need for your journey. So it's worth downloading maps even in your home country.
ForeverMap 2 will also cache map sections (and Travel Guide information, of which more later in this article) you have recently visited, even if you close the app.
A Map Update section will let you know if your locally installed maps are still current, prompting you to download again if not. The system is fully operational offline, though, with the ability to search for an address or browse the Points of Interest near an address. We didn't find this an entirely comprehensive list of POIs, however, with no restaurants listed near the main town in the Greek island of Kefalonia, for example.
The new Travel Guide is a Wiki of information about areas of interest, which you can search specifically or browse.
This includes around 90,000 articles written by travellers from all around the world. Like the mapping, this wiki information can also be downloaded and installed locally, for access offline.
However, you have to use the Travel Guide section to download the articles, which has a slightly different interface to the mapping one.
The articles are not downloaded alongside the relevant maps, but they don't take up much space. All the articles on Greece, for example, require 11.9MB.
We found the articles were generally well written and included useful tips on what to see, where to go, and what to eat. For the UK, we even found towns included that you wouldn't necessarily consider as tourist destinations, implying good coverage.
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