A multi-stop route planner with limited appeal
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.