I'm a big fan of BlackBerry Maps that we now have on BlackBerry 10, but we all know it is pretty basic. In terms of turn by turn navigation it does a great job, but it's lacking a bunch of features that maybe could have been implemented. So I was pretty excited to see BeMaps 10 Pro arrive in BlackBerry World and knew I had to try it out.
The app is totally different to BlackBerry Maps, but does offer the missing features that I have needed on certain occasions. The big gripe for me with BlackBerry Maps is that when I am in a city such as London I want to be able to see on the map where all the Tube stations are but they aren't present. However, with BeMaps 10 Pro they certainly are there as the maps are based on Google Maps, so you can see everything and that makes for a happy James.
As the application is a native BlackBerry one it has that nice familiar UI to it. At the top of the display is a search box which leaps into life when you touch it. Not only can you obviously type in what you want to search for but the app also has a nice selection of illustrated tabs which you can scroll through. These range from coffee shops and restaurants to hotels and gas stations. Give one a tap and the map opens up showing you where they are all located. There are zoom tabs on screen but pinch to zoom also works which is a bonus.
Coming back to main home screen/map there are three tabs at the base of the display. The first is a search one (why we have two options I don't know) and next to that is 'Directions'. Here you can enter your destination and also choose your mode of transport. Press 'Go' and the route is shown on the map. You can also get a list of the directions (with road names and distance) and under the map is the option for 'Turn-By-Turn'. The thing I'm pleased with here is that BeMaps doesn't support turn-by-turn so BlackBerry Maps opens automatically. As I said previously; this suits me perfectly.
Back to the home screen and the final tab is 'Layers'. Once in this section you can toggle on and off the following - Satellite, Traffic, Transit and Bike. Super options to have but also to be expected.
So for me I think that BeMaps 10 Pro is pretty awesome and will serve me well in the future. For a native app that does as much as it does I'd say it's worth it's price tag of £2.50/$3.99.
The list of features is huge as you will see below:
- Maps based on the popular Google Maps
- Lock the map to your GPS position to automatically follow you
- 'My location' indicator with compass heading indicator will always show you where you are
- Search for addresses, places and locations worldwide using the powerful Google Maps based search
- Shortcuts for searching for restaurants, coffee, bars, grocery stores, hotels, gast stations, post offices, pharmacies, malls and ATMs nearby
- Show additional layers on map like satellite, public transit, traffic and bike lanes
- Tap on hold to drop a pin anywhere on the map to learn more and use it as a starting point for street view and directions
- Tap a point of interest (POI) icon to learn more about the place or business
- Detailed information about thousands of places wordwide, including descriptions, phone numbers, website and reviews from other Google users
- Get car, public transit, walking or bike directions between any two locations
- Get stunning, 360-degree Street View panoramas to help you find your way in many locations of the world
- Zoom in and out of the map with the zoom buttons, pinch-to-zoom or a one finger gesture (tap, tap-and-hold, then slide up/down)
- Optional full screen mode gives you more screen real estate on QWERTY devices
If you give this one a shot feel free to let us know what you would like to see implemented in future updates. That goes for BlackBerry Maps too.