Our app is designed for use on an iPad. Our approach is to help you appreciate spots with fullscreen photos, make choices by simply browsing slideshows and view a trip map with icons and overlays! The tablet form factor provides easy access to buttons, tag interface and enhanced navigation with gestures. An iPad or an iPad mini works fine. Moreover, since our trips and most trips in SEAsia, usually require car or van charter, carrying an iPad is easy.
Now, with our updated iPad app (v1.5), you can email Google pins with graphic trip maps to any smartphone, in case you only wish to carry a phone.
However, we have plans for an iPhone app, perhaps different from the iPad version. Please note that this app has taken a long time to get into the final simple layout you see today. The photo collection from which the final 500 high resolution shots were selected and optimised from 25+ Gb to 700Mb required almost 7 revisions over 8 months to be immersive, explanatory and yet stay out of the way. A direct port to an iPhone screen will not work as well. But we are now in a better position to see how an iPhone app can compliment the main iPad version.
iPhone or iPad, we wish you can make the best choices and implement them just as well.
Firstly, the collection of trips are 'mood trips' where you get an overall experience of certain moods or concepts in a short time. Such experiences are not to intended to be exact. In fact, you can do them partially or alter them adapt to your needs (or choose from the options menu to vary a trip). Even if you do them as is, you have ample free time before and after each trip, for leisure or local activities.
But more important is to appreciate that each trip is crafted based on innumerable trips by the author over a decade, to create the best fit trip for each mood theme. The result is a combination of spots and journey type (drive, walks, cruise, or cycle...) which takes care of time of day at each spot, the ease of travel, and the overall experience in a short time. If you need an authentic experience which is both magical and easy, trust us, it takes a lot of effort to get the combination right (what to leave out is just as important). It also takes an app like ours, where the trip start is linked to sunset time on that day.
So we have a starting point (planned recommendation trips) which simply works. We believe that 3-4 hours each day should be planned, at least in a broad sense, and then the rest of the time you can look around for random activities (restaurants, shopping, spas or swimming). And if you do trips totally different from our collection, that is fine too - you will learn a lot about what each spot offers based on the photo essays.
Finally, it is the way the trip collection is created- as various mood themes, with a distinct feel. So when you visit Angkor for a short period, you can at least have different experiences by picking a different theme each day, rather than sample many spots of the same type.
No one can argue about Google or Wiki type resources. We learn a lot that way too. But very often, we end up at spots where the experience was not quite as compelling. Also, knowing when the crowds are gone, or a niche at a popular site, or the basic feel of a place at a given time of day is tough to solve by browsing around. And only after few visits to a spot, you can understand how long you wait there! So take a look at our themes, it does take a lot of effort to get combinations of spot-journey right.
Moreover, In-between spots along a journey may not be easy to find, as they have no name for Google to search out for you. All this does not mean that you do not Google or explore. There will be specific shops or restaurants and other interesting activities which are available but make sense on a personal basis.
So plan a bit to secure an authentic experience (our app) or keep options open to fit your needs too (browse around).
All the content in the app- photos, graphic maps & text are part of the app bundle (about 700Mb). This means that all the animations and slideshows play smoothly as no internet connection is required. However, for live GPS maps, a connection is required for Apple's mapping data (iPad) or for Google pins (smartphone). But even on the GPS screen, our pin icons and overlay map details will open without a connection, as those layouts are built in.
Wifi-only iPads will work fine via a personal hotspot on the phone. Most of our tests in the Angkor Park were done with wifi iPads. Also, since the area is not too vast, if you browse our GPS maps at a hotel or wifi area, most mapping data gets cached for a day or two. So our GPS maps are quite effective (with our built-in overlays) even without a connection. Timing information related to spots in context of sunset time is always displayed regardless of connectivity.
We also allow you to save or email a graphic map of your trip, with time-stamps. You can keep this on the phone, iPad Photo album, import into other journaling apps, or as a last option- take a good old printout which never runs of out battery!