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Identify The Peaks In Your Area – New (And Not As Good) School

Application Name: Peak.AR

Description: Maps peaks close to you, and identifies them in an augmented reality view.

Publisher’s website: Peak.Ar

Cost: Free

Version/date reviewed: v.2.0.2  /  12-5-10

Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2


Android Market link (mobile app only)
Android Market link (browser)

So yesterday, I reviewed the older version of Peak.AR, a really cool app that identifies hill/mountain peaks in an augmented reality (AR) view. Today, I’m looking at the newer version, or more specifically why you should get the older version and skip the newer one.


Figure 1: The older version displays all the peaks in all directions …


Figure 2: … while the new one only displays peaks in the direction the phone is pointed. It also only displays those peaks within a specified distance range, and has oddball range circles beyond that point that change as you change the direction you’re pointing.


Figure 3: You set the distance range with a hidden control at right, that pops up when you tap there. Drag to change the distance range at which peaks are displayed; you have no control over the distance ranges, but have to use the presets.


Figure 4: In augmented reality mode, the older version had a slider that let you set the distance range for viewing peaks. The maximum number of peaks visible in AR view is 10, so it filtered out smaller/less-visible peaks to get the displayed peak number down to no more than 10. It also had a “radar” view that showed the direction you’re pointing, as well as the peak positions in all directions. Note: my screenshot app doesn’t show the camera view; in real life, you’d see the peaks superimposed on the actual camera display.


Figure 5: The new version of Peak.AR only displays peaks within the distance range you’ve set, but doesn’t show what that distance range is; you have to tap on the right side again to bring up that control and see what the distance range is. In principle, this will let you identify any peak you can see, just by changing the distance range until it shows up in the AR view. In practice, this is a pain in the neck to use. You’re also most likely only interested in the most prominent peaks, and this approach makes those more difficult to identify. The radar view is also sorely missed. Finally, peaks have a tendency to disappear/appear from view with even a small 1-2 degree shift in your phone’s orientation.

Other issues: None.

Final thoughts:

I strongly urge you to try the older version of Peak.AR first – it’s a lot simpler to use, and works a lot better IMO. You can then try updating the newer version, to see if you like it. But I’m guessing that you’ll quickly uninstall the new version, and go back to the old one when you get a chance.

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