Road Trip­per

A multi-stop route plan­ner with lim­ited ap­peal

Mac|Life - - CONTENTS - J.R. Book­wal­ter

Free (IAPs) From ZurApps Re­search Inc., zurapps.com Needs OS X 10.12 or later

Ap­ple Maps has come a long way when it comes to pro­vid­ing ac­cu­rate turn-by-turn di­rec­tions — but only for a sin­gle des­ti­na­tion at a time. Map out a road trip with mul­ti­ple stops along the way, and you’ll dis­cover that the Mac nav­i­ga­tion app isn’t up to the task.

Road Trip­per tries to bridge this gap by ap­ply­ing a new coat of paint over the ex­ist­ing Ap­ple Maps API — one de­signed ex­pressly for or­ga­niz­ing trips in­volv­ing two or more stops. It’s an idea that’s been at­tempted many times be­fore with mixed results.

Sadly, the same is true here — Road Trip­per’s in­ter­face lacks re­fine­ment and is clunky when per­form­ing even the most ba­sic tasks. It’s easy to search for des­ti­na­tions, and Yelp-pow­ered results turned up ev­ery­thing we in­put in­clud­ing lo­cal mo­mand-pop eater­ies, but the process of adding new stops isn’t as in­tu­itive as it should be.

Although places along your des­ig­nated route ap­pear as color-coded pins, click­ing Get Route to view an en­tire trip only shows the re­sult­ing course in a sin­gle color out of nine avail­able choices; the only way to make sense of your travel is by con­firm­ing the or­der of stops along the way in the places side­bar. Road Trip­per results can be cal­cu­lated for car or walk­ing, but there’s also a ‘My Speed’ op­tion, which es­ti­mates your travel time based on meth­ods like bi­cy­cle, scooter, mo­tor­cy­cle, or even he­li­copter. It’s a neat idea but largely con­jec­ture, since you have to move a slider based on how slow or fast you think you might travel.

Things take a turn for the worse when it comes to shar­ing trips with oth­ers. You can’t do it at all with the free ver­sion — shar­ing is one of sev­eral fea­tures locked be­hind a pre­mium sub­scrip­tion, start­ing at $4.99 per month. To be fair, the first trial month is free, but even at a dis­counted an­nual price of $29.99, we didn’t find the app road-wor­thy enough to jus­tify such an in­vest­ment. (There’s also a $99.99 Pro ver­sion for those who shun sub­scrip­tions al­to­gether.) The free ver­sion is also lim­ited to a sin­gle trip with up to 20 stops, which seems like a par­tic­u­larly cruel re­stric­tion con­sid­er­ing you can’t ex­port that trip with­out pay­ing for it in the first place.

the bot­tom line. Gets the job done, but the clunky in­ter­face keeps this Mac app parked in the garage.

You can add a de­scrip­tion or photo of a place, but a pre­mium sub­scrip­tion is re­quired if you want to print or share a route.

It’s easy to map mul­ti­ple stops in Road Trip­per but mak­ing sense of the route, not so much.

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