ForeverMap Europe – What’s up and what’s coming up

ForeverMap Europe has been in the App Store for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch for a month now. Seems like the right time to draw an intermediate conclusion.

The app has reached several No. 1 positions in the navigation category around the globe and has exceeded 10,000 downloads by far. That’s a very decent start, which does further encourage us to push the ongoing development of ForeverMap and improve it through constant updates. Not least due to the once more numerous user feedback, we have identified the following critical points, to which we consecrate our outmost focus going forward.

The app is (too) big

With 1.3 GB download size and roughly 2.2 GB install size, the app is very sizeable. Our users do get the entire OpenStreetMap for Europe and thus always have the suitable city map at their hands. No competitor (that we know of) can compete with this proposition (we’re not talking about navigation here!).

Still, the app is too big nonetheless. That’s why we’re working on reducing the install size in a first step in the right direction. Furthermore, we will offer a solution that’ll alleviate the install size to a great extent.

Download and installation problems

Many users have reported problems while trying to download or install the app. We have had a close look at these issues. Unfortunately, we have to conclude that we cannot directly influence this issue for the moment. It seems as if iTunes runs into an “unknown error” when handling large download-/install sizes from time to time.

As the immediate solution to this error is not to be found on our side, the only reasonable advice for our users right now is to retry the installation – which is a rather unsatisfactory situation, especially due to the large file size. We are hoping to at least indirectly ameliorate the situation by reducing the app size step-by-step as mentioned above.

Zooming is slow

Frequent and annoying zooming lags occur while zooming. We’re working on a significantly smoother experience here. Already the upcoming update will show very recognizable improvements in this respect.

The display of water areas (especially oceans) is not pretty

The display of water areas is often faulty or simply does not look good. The next update will remedy this issue.

The search functionality needs to be improved

As with many OSM-based products, the search functionality still is a problem. I’m not saying that there’s nothing to be done. This is why we’re doing something there by developing and enhancing the search experience with our own technology.

Routing is not brilliant yet

It is the same situation for routing as for the search functionality.

ForeverMap is no navigation

With ForeverMap Europe, you always have all OSM city maps in Europe with you. Thus ForeverMap allows you to get your bearings (almost) anywhere there. You can also calculate routes. However, you cannot navigate (“turn-by-turn“). We will ensure that our communication regarding this point becomes even clearer.

Besides, it is technologically impossible to implement the maps of ForeverMap into our navigation app. Our navigation app is server-based to a large extent, which means that many vital operations are not performed on the mobile device. That’s why it can only function online with constant map downloads for the moment.

All in all you can see that we’re putting a lot of effort into the further development of ForeverMap. The first update will definitely be available this year.