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GPSToday review

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Many Windows Mobile devices are shipping with a vanilla version of Google Maps already installed these days, but it’s worth considering a few alternatives. GPSToday has been around for a little while now but the latest version has a few new tricks up its sleeve.

We tried the very latest version 0.9.9.7 Beta on an HTC Touch Pro2. It downloads as an 890KB .CAB file and doesn’t take long to set up, though you need to go through a registration process to get the most out of it that entails receiving a pass code via email.

GPSToday goes out of its way to make things easy and finger-friendly. Medium-sized graphic icons are big enough for thumbs to reach easily, so there’s never really any need to use a stylus in any part of the intuitive icon-based menu system. All the main functions are available from the home page and most are also displayed around the screen when you’re in map mode, though the sheer weight of functionality can feel a bit claustrophobic.

You can choose between map and satellite view, or a hybrid of the two (satellite view with the street names superimposed), though sadly there’s no street view option. This latest version will also pull up local weather information from within the app.

Geotagging of pictures is possible though you’ll need to download an additional add-on to make it happen, as is the case with GeoMail, which allows you to easily send your location via SMS.

It also makes great play of its community aspects. You can subscribe to GeoGroups and share info on topics as diverse as favourite fishing and beauty spots, to speed cameras and confirmed swine flu locations. This is a new element and isn’t very well populated yet (in the UK at least) but it has bags of potential. You can also track your location history and either keep it to yourself or share it among your friends or colleagues.

There’s planned support for posting on Twitter and Facebook from within GPSToday but neither had yet reached the version we tried.

So much for the good. But on the bad side, rendering speeds weren’t great, in truth, and it often took ten seconds or so just to magnify a location, which isn’t really good enough. We were disappointed too that we couldn’t use the zoom function on our HTC Touch Pro2. It makes a valiant attempt to identify your street address from your GPS location but though it often got close, it never seemed to be 100 per cent accurate.

That said, it’s a busy little app that’s packed with functionality and takes you well beyond the usual GPS offerings. It’s still evolving, but the fact that it’s free makes it a definite for trial.

GPSToday info

Ease of use: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21620″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Value: [[{“type”:”media”,”view_mode”:”thumbnail_60x60″,”fid”:”21622″,”attributes”:{“alt”:””,”class”:”media-image”,”height”:”60″,”width”:”60″}}]]
Features:
Overall

Platform: Windows Mobile

Price: Free

Developer: GeoTerrestrial Inc

Website/Demo: GeoTerrestrial Inc website

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