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LTR - ViewRanger App - Erin Foudy

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  • erinfoudy
    Hi Christopher, Here is my over due Long-Term Report for the ViewRanger App, thank you in advance for your edits. Below you will find the text version of my
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 22, 2013
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      Hi Christopher,

      Here is my over due Long-Term Report for the ViewRanger App, thank you in advance for your edits. Below you will find the text version of my report. The HTML can be found in the test folder or at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/awogxwp


      Long-Term Report

      The ViewRanger App was used both in the backcountry as well as on day hikes over the testing period. All of the trips I used the ViewRanger on, for both backcountry and day hike use, were no shorter than 6 miles.

      Overall, I have to report that I found the ViewRanger app to be beyond complicated and a major drain on my iPhone 4 battery. I really wanted to like this app, as I stated in my previous report, I have never owned a GPS and the idea of being able to turn my phone into one by downloading an app seemed ingenious. Unfortunately, I just never could get the hang of all the bells and whistles the View Ranger has to offer. I was never able to download a full map successfully, I never was able to get the Buddy Beacon to work, and I was never able to fully track one of my trips because the battery always died before I was done. To View Ranger's credit they did come out with several updates for the app, and even one that provided more of an orientation on how to use the main features of the app. It is hard to articulate why this app was so hard to use aside from the fact that it is just very feature rich and the menus given to navigate through all of the different functions were just, for me, not intuitive. A feature that I may have discovered during one hike that I liked, was then later impossible to find, I couldn't remember how I had achieved or navigated to that function. Perhaps if I had hiked with a pen and notepad to jot down everything I did with the app I would have been able to retain the information better.

      The biggest issue I have had with View Ranger has been the problem of my phone's battery life quickly dissipating while using the app. I mostly used ViewRanger as a way to track my location, speed, distance, and time. However, just using it in this limited capacity the app always killed my phone before the trip was over. In order to conserve the battery life of my phone ViewRanger gives me the option of using the app offline, meaning that I can use the app without it being in cell range and as a way to conserve the energy of my phone battery. Of course, I just can't seem to figure out how to work the app offline. For assistance, I tried turning to the ViewRanger website for help. ViewRanger has a support section on their website with Wiki pages on how to use the app. Once more, I found the Wikis to be very involved and complicated in trying to instruct me on how to fully use the app. I felt like I should be taking my own abbreviated notes to use in the field, there is just so much the app can do that each function takes multiple steps within the app to achieve the desired effect.

      Summary:
      The ViewRanger app is an app that turns my iPhone 4 into a GPS Navigator. Unfortunately, I was never able to successfully use this app either due to battery failure on my phone from running the app, or just because of my own inability to figure out how to use the app.

      Pros:
      1. ViewRanger comes out with updates regularly.
      2. If you have the patience and ability to wade through the overload of information available, the ViewRanger website has a wealth of information on how to properly use the app.

      Cons:
      1. The app drains the battery life on my phone every time I use it.
      2. The app is feature rich yet I can't figure out how to use these features.
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