Fly to Map was nice enough to let me test their new marine mapping program (Yeah Apple Promo Codes ... way easier than AdHoc distribution) for review. The program is cheap and simple (just $10) and displays NOAA ENC charts. I got the US Eastern region which covers the coast from Maine to Mexico although my understanding is that NOAA is not yet completed turning all the charts into ENC's yet so coverage detail may vary depending on region. The chart rendering is nice enough, although not nearly as pretty as the Navimatics Marine Maps, fairly similar to the Navionics charts on iNavX Version 2. Zooming and panning is quite jumpy, although smoother than Navimatics marine maps, not anywhere near as smooth as iNavX V2. Pushing the location button plots your position, and moves the chart to put you in view, but does not rezoom, so when you start the program and it shows the entire east coast, you must manually zoom in or search to your region to actually see any detail. The search function does work but is essentially the only function the program has. There is NO WAY this program should be used for navigation, or really even trip planning, but it does provide a fairly cheap way to view the ENC charts on your phone. For anyone serious about iPhone navigation, this isn't worth your $10, at least not yet. Better to save your money for iNavX or the upcoming iNavX Version 2 (with Navionics vector charts).
By the way, iNavX V2 is coming along nicely. The search that I love in the Navimatics marine Maps is finding its way into the software. If you want a sense as to what this will look like, you can download the free Navionics viewer and roam around south Florida or Italy. Picture those charts with iNavX's instruments, waypoints, etc and you have a pretty good idea of what is to come. I haven't gotten a clear sense of what will happen to the raster version of iNavX when the vector charts become available. I generally prefer raster charts, but the ability to search for a harbor by name when dealing with the small screen of the iPhone may be enough reason to favor vector charts.
--UPDATE-- from iNavX -- Apparently both the raster and vector charts will be able to exist side by side within iNavX Version 2 when it is eventually released. Thus far the alpha version I have been playing with doesn't have access to the raster charts (which makes sense at this point as he is working out the vector parts of the program) so no word yet on exactly how this will work, but if past performance is any prediction of future results, it will be a smooth integration from the folks at iNavX.
Reading through the iNavX forums I found this bit of useful info:
"All current owners of iNavX will receive version 2.0 at no additional cost. iNavX version 2.0 will add these features to iNavX..
- Download purchased Navionics charts & maps in addition to the free NOAA US waters
- Navaid inspector
- Waypoint upload/download (GPX and KML file support)
- Pinch zooming (Easy to use zoom slider will still be available)
- Available on ALL iTunes iPhone app stores
Prices have not been finalized on the top quality Navionics cartography, but I understand they will be very reasonably priced. Even with the additional features, iNavX will remain priced under US$50. "