A great map app that caters to locals
Author: Brandon Girod
Date: 06 Apr 2017, tested on HTC One M8
Map looks great and performs well, places of interest pop up in a notable fashion, seemed to know of local favorites based on user interest
A huge chunk of the content relies on creating a profile
When Android launched back in 2008 they almost put dedicated GPS manufacturers out of business. In fact, I’m convinced that the only people who still use a GPS only do so because they’re too intimidated to learn how to use their phone (i.e: my mom). Regardless, that doesn’t mean there still isn’t room in the market for new apps that improve on Google Maps’ foundations. Citymaps for Android is a map that doesn’t just help you get to your destination, it shares it makes it a social experience and helps you make a few decisions along the way.
The first thing that will immediately pop out at you about the app is the way it handles places of interest. Here we don’t see just a simple arrow indicating a point, instead we’re given a small thumbnail and description. You can click on it to go to a card that displays a few other options along with a bigger picture. Oddly enough, the app’s card feels much more like material design than Google’s own map app.
One of my favorite features of this app is the explore menu. Here you’re given a list of what looks like local favorites, collections of places users like to go, local deals, and people you might be interested in following. The local favorites is the first part and I’m not sure how this is created, but it pretty much omits all of the McDonald’s and Applebee’s and instead populates a list of local places that are absolutely amazing. I also stumbled across a strip club, which I definitely feel is out of place and probably shouldn’t be listed on a featured list considering it’s not really age appropriate.
Collections felt kind of pointless, though. I didn’t know any of the people who were recommended to me and the collections were basically out of state road trips, which I’m honestly not interested in. I’ve got a 9-to-5 job, kids, and I write freelance. That doesn’t really give me a whole lot of time for soul searching.
Citymaps is honestly a great app even if some of the features aren’t really catered to people like me. It gives really great local recommendations, at least where I live at, and I really enjoy the way that it handles points of interest. I just wish they didn’t try to force you to create a profile because I’m not interested in sharing my location to the world. You know, privacy and stuff.