The days of maps are numbered. More and more, it seems can get everything you need on your iPhone. We’ve already covered a few apps focused on helping you to navigate the Underground, but London2Go looks at where you should be heading once you’ve emerged from the depths of London’s subterranean transport system.
Rather cheekily, London2Go nicks its content from other sources, taking its 800 or so articles on London from Wikipedia and its maps from somewhere like Google. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not useful. Spanning from Willesden to Lewisham, it’s got the whole of the tourist attraction-seeker’s London covered.
Upon loading up, you’re presented with a list of categories of points of interest around London- Entertainment, Historical, Transport and Top Places among others. Using either GPS or your Internet signal, London2Go automatically tries to find out your location, which feeds into one of the app’s most useful categories, nearby attractions.
Tapping on one of these will either bring you a list of more sub-sections or the actual list of points of interest. If London2Go manages to find out where you are, each of these items will even tell you how far away these places are from your current location.
Once you’ve found your way to the list of attractions, whether Palaces or Parks, there are two places you can go. Tapping on the item itself will take you to its Wikipedia page, which is fully scrollable, much as if you were reading it from within Safari.
Considering that these entries are in no way geared towards the tourists or daytrippers who would find London2Go most useful, we found the other option more useful- the map. Whichever menu screen you’re on, there’s always a map button present at the bottom of the screen.
The map displays the locations of any attractions from whatever list you navigated from. They show up very clearly as red markers, while tapping on one brings up the name of the attraction and a link to its Wikipedia page.
Although none of this is remarkable, London2Go’s strongest feature is that none of this information has to be pulled off the web- it’s all included in the initial 80+MB download. This makes the maps very quick to update and scroll through, far faster than if you were accessing them online, even with a 3G connection.
Of course, this also means you can access London2Go’s information when you’re Underground, even though tube stations are one of the few things the app doesn’t feature- unless the station also has an overground service.
Having 100% reliable access to London2Go’s information mitigates pretty successfully for its range of failings- that you can’t navigate to the map directly from a Wikipedia entry page, that none of the Wikipedia info has been streamlined, that it’s got its own share of spelling and grammatical errors, and so on. Even if you’re not all that interested in the vast majority of the attractions listed in London2Go, the pace with which you can scroll through the map alone makes it a worthwhile download.
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Platform: iPhone/iPod touch
Developer: Tymon Wiedemair