My iPhone is my electronic Swiss Army Knife, and as such I’m always looking for a new blade or corkscrew without flooding it with useless and redundant apps.
For example, I’ve decided I’m going to use my iPhone as a bike computer. Ultimately I’d like to get it hooked up with a solar panel or bike dynamo so I don’t drain the battery while biking.
For now I’m settling for a water resistant mount for the handlebars and a new case with built in battery and flash.
The question now comes as to which app to use. Since I am using a 3GS without any kind of data plan, any bike computer relying on a data link is right out. Also, a bike computer without a map function isn’t as useful as I’d like. I’d also like something that could run in the background to extend battery life. It’s not like I need the computer on at all times.
After checking out a half dozen or so different apps, I found on I not only liked, but I was willing to spend $1.99 on the full version.
GeoGuide 3D can display the traditional bike computer information – such as speed, distance, average, etc. But it also allows you to download maps from OpenStreetMaps (and OpenCycleMap) in three varying levels of detail. I can activate the GPS and turn it off, and it will track my journey while using very little energy (version 2.2 claims 8 hours worth will only use half the battery)
But its nicest feature is best for hiking, or just visualizing a trip. It takes the contours of the map and renders the map in 3D, giving you an isometric view you can rotate around. If only from a “neat toy” point of view, this alone was worth having, but I could see it coming in handy when hiking in a new area, or looking for interesting places to explore.
This seems to be a very new app, I haven’t seen many reviews of it. But what I’ve seen so far has managed to impress.