Sunday, November 28, 2010

OSMTrack 3.0

Today I have posted the next version of the OSMTrack to Apple. Sorry, it took me much longer to finalize it than originally supposed (due to some personal issues I had very few to no time to work on it since september). Though I don't pretend that the update "changes everything", but at least for how I use the App it's actually pretty close to that. The new things are:

  • Maps. The maps are offline, rendered on the device from the vector data, and downloadable in real time directly from the OpenStreetMap server. Offline means you don't depend on whether you have a connection, e.g. you see the map also on an iPod Touch with TomTom car kit (though I don't officially support the combination people have reported it to work fine). Rendered from vector data means that a lot more data will take a lot less space than if when you would use pre-rendered images, but don't start to download the complete world, it takes a lot of time to "compile" the XML vector data obtained from the server into the internal application format - try a small region first to get an idea of how long it takes on your device really. Downloadable in real time from the OSM server means that you don't need to wait for anyone to render new tiles for the changes you made in the map - just download the data and you have the most recent map.

  • iOS 4.0, multitasking, retina display are supported. You don't have to keep your iPhone's display constantly on to keep the GPS running. Though I find myself doing that nevertheless to see the map :)

  • iPad is supported natively.

  • A lot of other smaller changes and fixes, too many to list them all, especially because I don't remember them all anyway.

Though a lot of things are done now, some things are still to be done (I write it also for myself as a to do list to not forget):

  • Map download interface has some minor sharp edges and glitches. It's a bit slow - slower than those based on the routeme framework, but routeme was not used for a reason. However, overall there should not be any big issues with it, it seems to work quite stable.

  • In the map download interface I plan to visualize parts of the map already in the database (and how old they are). At some point I could also add an interface to delete parts of the map that are not used any more.

  • The map doesn't have any labels yet, furthermore point features (POIs) are not visualized yet as well. Both labels and points are in the database however, just not rendered yet.

  • Relations are unsupported yet.

  • Drop a pin in the logging state is still not accompanied by a visible effect. To be changed in the next version.

  • Since a long time already the are more options than just making a trace public or private. Again, it will be fixed soon.

  • Day/night mode (yes, I read reviews in the iTunes App Store).