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Viewranger Beta with Skyline augmented reality feature – Hands on

The team over at Viewranger gave us access to the viewranger app that is in beta with the augmented reality feature called Skyline and this is how we got on on our walk around Edale. For testing I used a iPhone 6s

[one_half padding=”4px 4px 4px 4px”]Summary

Viewranger is a popular route plannin, navigating and tracking app. The up coming version comes with a augmented reality feature called Skyline[/one_half][one_half padding=”4px 4px 4px 4px”]Highlights

  • Can be used when not navigating if you are using another routing device
  • Comes with the app as a free upgrade
  • Great social sharing built right in[/one_half]

Viewranger with Skyline splash screen for iPad and iPhone
Viewranger splash screen iOS app for iPhone and iPad

 

Please note the feature is still in Beta and will be released sometime in the next few weeks. It’s  iOS only at this stage…. sorry Android users

Introduction to Viewranger Skyline

Viewranger is a route planning, navigating and tracking app that runs on multiple OS platforms and the web. The viewranger platform also has built in social features and the ability to download routes and maps from content publishers, some are free and some are paid.

The new feature in the app brings augmented reality to the already popular Viewranger GPS outdoor routing and tracking app. In a nut shell this allows you to use the Camera on a iOS device with Viewranger installed to get a augmented view using the built in camera in the iOS device. If you look at the screenshot below you will see it shows you the real world with “stickers” overlaid to show you the area in view and key points. I really think this will be big in the outdoors space in the future and I can already see how this will play a role in the up coming Apple Watch app.

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viewranger skyline edale mam tor hiking gps app
Viewranger ios app with Skyline being used at Edale peak district

 

You will see from the image that not only does it show points of interest like peaks, but it also shows you places and even water. You can see in this location Edale is 2km away and if you are not familiar with the area it could be good to use this as a point of reference.

Viewranger use

Whilst I will not go into a in depth tutorial I will take you through the basic use of the feature in the app. The good thing I found about the app is the ability to use the feature even if you was navigating with the app or not. This is real bonus if you choose to use another navigating tool and have your iOS device with you

The feature is found in the bottom left corner of the map/navigating section of the app and is the blue circle with the mountain symbol as seen in this screen grab below

Viewranger Skyline feature
Viewranger ios map with OS survey map and route

 

Simply pressing this button will bring up the feature, when you press the button a quick reminder splash up and to be aware of your surroundings when walking. This is nice touch as you could easily trip if you was not careful.

 

Once the main screen then comes up you simply point the camera in the direction you want the information on and “hey presto” you will be presented with a live picture of the area directly in front the camera along with overlays of Peaks, places, points of interests and even water points

Viewranger ios app being used on the iPhone
Viewranger ios app being used on the iPhone

 

As you can see from the screenshot above you have the overlays and 3 buttons. The arrow button simply takes you back to the navigating screen. The Botton that is represented by 3 lines allows you to choose what you want to see in the overlay and turn the ones you don’t want in view off. The last button that is represented by a camera is exactly that. It allows you to take a picture of the picture in view complete with overlays and a Viewranger logo that is not intrusive. The only thing I would like to see here is a the ability to take video and watch the overlays change as you move.

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Viewranger skyline ios app interface
Viewranger skyline ios app interface

Once the picture is taken it is saved to the camera roll then allows you to share the picture right in the app with Facebook and twitter and I am sure many other social platforms will follow. You can also use the share extension built into iOS 10 to share the picture via iMessage, mail and many other other formats you have enabled. One social platform that was missing is Instagram, but this may have just because it was beta or that I had not enabled sharing

viewranger skyline edale mam tor hiking gps app
Viewranger ios app with Skyline being used at Edale peak district

 

Conclusion

The Skyline feature fits really well into the Viewranger overall app and has been well thought through, I am sure it will get lots of use by occasional outdoor types to the extremely serious people. I did find the feature did drain my battery, but I am putting this down to being in Beta right now until I get my hands on a final release build. Overall I am really impressed with it and I will certainly be playing with it more in the future.

 

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Jon R
I am Jon R and the editor of Active JR that covers wearables, fitness tech and smart home. I have a huge passion for technology and I like combining this with fitness. My reviews will talk about how the product works in reality and not just what the marketing departments want you to think.You can contact Jon on Twitter @ActiveJR1

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