Application Name: Distant
Description: Distances, bearings to locations on a list; travel times to those locations if you’re in motion
Publisher’s website: dixiak
Version/date reviewed:v.1.0 / 2-21-11
Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2
Create a list of locations, either by manual entry or by tapping on a map, and Distant will give you distance/bearing info to those locations.
In the startup view, you get a preloaded list of exotic destinations; after a GPS or cellular fix is obtained, you’ll see them listed by distance from you (closest first), with approximate direction as well. If there’s a number with an up-arrow following it, that indicates the increase in elevation from your current location to the destination; lower destinations have no such elevation change number, for some reason. Your current GPS position and altitude will be displayed at top, although why it’s in kilometers and not meters I have no idea.
A brief tap on any item in the list (like Thikse Monastery) will bring up a more accurate bearing degree number. A longer tap will bring up the option to view the destination in Google Maps, edit/delete it, or add a new waypoint to the list. New waypoints can be added by manually entering a name, and latitude/longitude location.
From the program menu, you also have the option of adding a waypoint to the list using Google Maps. Scroll to your desired location, and do a long press on the map; the “new waypoint here” popup appears. Tap on it …
… and get the dialog box for adding a name (the coordinates will be enter automatically). Tap on the “disk” icon to save it to the waypoint list …
… and also see it marked on the map.
If you’re in motion, the app will show your current speed and bearing; for a selected waypoint in the list, it will tell you what angle you need to turn to be heading towards it, and how long it would take you at your current pace to reach that spot (89 days to 7 months for Thikse Monaster – long walk). From the list, the destination you’re closest to heading to will be listed in green, and the one you’re moving the most away from will be listed in red.
Other issues: App worked fine. A compass view, with a marker showing which direction you should move to go to the selected location, would be a useful addition.
Final thoughts: Fun as a geography learning tool, for getting distances/bearings to far-way locales. But could also be useful for local waypoints as well, although the navigation tools are a bit limited for that use.