July 29, 2016
I recall those days when I jumped on my motorcycle took the (printed) map and put it in the map pocket of the tank bag — next to my (feature) phone — and off I went. The ride itself was excellent, but when visiting a new place I sometimes found myself looking at the map more often that I wanted to. That changed with smartphones, and now Scenic aims to serve a market of motorcycle riders with a navigation app specially designed for them, which is useful for bike riders as well. Oh, and of course it’s much cheaper than motorcycle GPS units like the Garmin Zumo and TomTom Rider.
Upon launch, Scenic welcomes you with a map showing your location, prompting you to start your trip. If you are already using MotoMap — another app designed for motorcyclists by the same developer— you will also have access to MotoMappers.com, so you can browse through various scenic routes, view your profile and rides, and also import your own routes through GPX files.
If you are riding your bike, you may not be able to use the turn by turn and voice guidance feature, unless you have a bluetooth headset connected to your iPhone, but you may want to adjust the navigation settings using the auto-zoom sensitivity, 3D/2D map, orientation lock mode, speeding alerts and power saver mode features among others.
What I liked in Scenic is the ability to record the trip, which usual navigation apps don’t do. You can also use the camera button location at the bottom right to capture images of your trip. Since Scenic records your trip, it also records additional data like average speed, max speed, and trip duration. If you want to ride that same trip again, just turn it into a navigable route.
You decide whether you trip is public or private, and you can also rate your own trip. By sharing with others you enrich the database of public trips from which other motorcycle riders can choose. They can also rate that route.
While the app is available for free, and offers 5 credits for every new user, some features are limited to premium users. However, these features are currently available for testing from the developer, hence the 5 free credits. You need credits to download maps for offline navigation: 1 map = 1 credit. Credits can be used as “Pay as you Go” alternative to premium subscription, which is $0.99 per month.
You also need credits or a premium subscription for voice guidance and GPX import or export. The subscription doesn’t renew automatically, so you will be asked whether you want to renew it every time, which I find it nice. This gives you the option to choose whether you want to spend money that month on the app or not.
So, where are you heading this weekend? Take Scenic with you on the iPhone and start recording your trips! Download Scenic for free from the App Store.
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