In keeping with its user-generated background, skobbler also provides a full toolset for reporting back when the real world differs from the map data. A bug icon to the bottom right of the map screen calls up a list of possible reports you can make, or you can send a custom message if none of them fit. These will then be investigated and incorporated into the maps. The reports will come in handy as we did find occasional aberrations in the road maps. For example, on more than one occasion we were told to make a right turn at a junction where this had not been legal for as long as we could remember. These errors were noticeably more frequent than with the latest commercial mapping data, although not enough to ruin the utility of the software.
Beneath the bug icon is a plus sign. This calls up the options submenu, which provides facilities to turn on night mode and turn off audio. You can also operate your iPhone’s iPod functionality without leaving skobbler, which is handy because if you do switch to another app, skobbler will forget your destination and you’ll need to start again from scratch. A final option calls up a more detailed data screen than can be found along the bottom of the map view.
Other than this, the range of features is modest. We’ve mentioned that there’s no speed camera data unless you pay £1.19, but skobbler also doesn’t tell you how fast you’re going or whether you’re exceeding the current limit.
For the time being, skobbler does fill a gap in the iPhone’s app selection. However, its reliance on mobile data connectivity limits its dependability quite considerably, even if it does mean mapping will always be the latest version. When the host iPhone has a reasonably reliable connection, skobbler works as expected. It doesn’t offer routing enhanced by live traffic information or historic average road speed data like TomTom’s IQ Routes, but it can get you from A to B. Should you find yourself in a poor coverage area, however, it becomes entirely useless. So whilst you might as well give it a try – it is free, after all – you’re better off paying for software with local mapping if you want something dependable.
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