City Maps 2Go offers iOS users offline maps and a travel guide
Between Apple Maps and Google Maps you are pretty much covered on a trip or navigating around town. Both apps have an extensive point-of-interest (POI) databases. For those who want more, apps from Navigon, Garmin, Scout and CoPilot Live are viable alternatives. City Maps 2Go (US$2.99) is not designed for navigation, but for getting maps and travel info before you leave, so you won't require a data connection when you arrive at your destination. It has worldwide maps and tourist information, even for out-of-the-way places.
When you first run the app, you're asked for your specific destination. Then you download the info you need. Maps are from OpenStreetMaps, and you get access to Wikipedia and Wikipedia Travel guides. There is a hefty amount of info, including 6,700 offline maps, millions of points of interest and half a million Wikipedia abstracts of sites and attractions. Hotel ratings are available from Booking.com.
I didn't find the app all that practical for those with a cellular connection or those who travel to populated areas. The app doesn't provide any direction finding, just your current location. At the very least it should link to Apple Maps for directions. The POI database is weak. I'm in Arizona, and asked for the nearest restaurants. It found a few, but skipped over many long-established possibilities. When I listed locations by distance, places that were 50-70 miles away made it near the top of the list. It did better in large cities, but the database is still inferior to Google's.
Although the app touts that no in-app purchases are required, there is a $0.99 Wiki Plus option that isn't explained clearly. A note in the app says Wiki Plus can get you images, elsewhere in the app you can click on Wiki Plus and information appears. It's confusing.
For people constantly stuck in areas with no cellular coverage, this could be a worthwhile app, but most of us are not usually in that situation. I found the points of interest listings incomplete, and I thought apps like Around Me and Triposo were far better, and Triposo allows you to download info when you have a cellular connection and use it when you don't. On the other hand, City Maps 2Go has more countries and locations than I have seen in other travel apps.
City Maps 2Go is a universal app that is optimized for the iPhone 5 and requires iOS 5 or later. If it provided a bit more downloading feedback and could link to a navigation program, it would be a much better buy.
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