A walking and hiking map can be a trustworthy and worthy companion when trekking through the wilderness. However, it is not always intuitive to use them in contrast to their application counterparts.
There are many smartphone apps on the market that promise to help walkers navigate the outdoors without getting lost.
Product testers from Stiftung Vanertest in Germany recently checked five of the most popular hiking apps on the Google Play Store to find out which one is the best.
The applications tested are “All Trails”, “Bergfix”, “Komet”, “Outdoor Active” and “WakeLock” and were examined with phones running Android and iOS.
These apps offer a range of products from map packages that start at five dollars to premium versions for 65 dollars. Each also offers free versions with less functionality.
Walkers can plan their tours using the app provider’s website or the app itself. While a computer screen generally provides a better view of the route, testers found that with Komot they preferred to use the app when planning their route.
In addition to creating your own paths, these applications also allow you to find paths created by other users. Through a search filter, trails can be narrowed down based on difficulty or, for example, on the estimated number of hours of hiking.
The Komet and Outdoor Active apps impressed the testers as they walked through three popular spots in Germany, where they were given a “good” rating, according to the results published in the latest issue of the Stiftung Warentest.
The two apps were the only ones that used arrows for precise route guidance. Testers also praised the use of voice prompts, which allowed them to leave phones in their pockets while walking.
The All Trails and Bergfix are, according to the testers, best suited to experienced walkers because they lack guide arrows and do not mention the remaining distance or travel time.
With WikiLeaks, the testers found that the standard map lacked details that they could use to orient themselves.
Testers are advised to download the route maps before setting off on the trip and then use them without the Internet, which is available in the full versions.