Review of MX Mariner Android App
A Pretty Good Charting App for Your AndroidDevice
MX Mariner is a low-cost Android app that like a chartplotter
showsyou your boat's position on a chart, assuming your Android smartphone or tablethas an internal orexternal
GPS receiver, and offers several navigational functions. It usesstandard NOAA raster charts
, the sameas manyother apps
- which display the same as standard paper charts.
Note: Check chart coverage before purchasing this app. While USwaters are covered in the NOAA charts, other international areas may vary.
Version reviewed:1.1.21Key Features
Available on Android Market - $6.99
Tested on Lenovo A1 Tablet running Android 2.3
· Easily downloaded free NOAA raster charts by US region (alsoBrazil, New Zealand)
· Shows boat's moving position on chart (on GPS-enabled devices),optional track log
· Current SOG (speed over ground) and COG (course heading overground) always shown on chart screen
· When zooming and panning, seamless transition to adjoiningcharts and between small- and large-scale charts
· Create waypoints - but not routes
· Tool for measuring distances between points (including distanceand bearing from your location)
· Completely adjustable daylight/dusk/nighttime backlighting modes
· Detailed help manual available even offline
· When online, you can switch display from chart to satellite orroad map (viewed area saved in cache for offline use)The Downside
· Waypoint markers are huge (on my Android device, at least) andblock out underlying data such as depth soundings (see photo above)
· Awkward method for entering waypoints (scroll chart around tolocate the right point under crosshairs)
· Lacks "go to waypoint," routing, and othernavigational functions
· It's necessary to install an entire chart region (many are over200 MB), so you may need to watch your device's storage levels; on the otherhand, you'll never be surprised on the water by not having the detailed chartyou may need, as can happen with some other apps.Conclusions
The developer notes that this version is still in beta and plansto continue adding functions, so check on Android Market or the developer's website
for the latest information. Hopefully, navigating functions(such as the great ones in the competing Memory-Map app) will be added soon,making MX Mariner more competitive.
MX Mariner is an excellent app and would have been my preferred charting app for useon Android
were it notfor Memory-Map, another raster-chart app now available. While MX Mariner hassome really nice features not present in Memory-Map
, I likethe navigating features in Memory-Map not found elsewhere yet in any app, suchas cross-track and velocity-made-good data when following a route. It's apersonal matter of choice, of course, but I'd recommend a close comparison ofthese two apps to see which best meets your boating style and needs.
GPS Long Distance Log
is a logging app for Android - not a plotter but a good systemfor logging a voyage. Use it along with your charting app on a longer voyage.
This app as described here is available for Android devices. ForApple devices, check these apps
The free Course to Steer
Android app is a nice addition to your navigation toolbox: itcalculates precisely how to steer to compensate for a current and leeway fromthe wind - something most plotting programs do not do.