For as new media-centric as the iPhone can be at times (check your Facebook, update your Twitter and Yelp! Some new restaurants!!), it’s refreshing to know that people who appreciate a good hike in the outdoors as much as some folks love their pumpkin spice latte can have some fun with iPhone apps as well. That’s where the Trip Journal iPhone app ($2.99) comes in.
Trip Journal is, just like it sounds, an easy way to keep a journal of a trip. You create waypoints based on your GPS location, and then you can add notes or photos to the waypoints to tie the trip together in one iPhone app-filled multimedia package. The iPhone app even uses GPS tracking to plot your location so that when you export the trip to Google Earth, it will accurately represent exactly where you were on your trip.
The layout of the iPhone app can be a bit confusing upon first use. There are several menu options that are displayed like map layouts, and while there are little arrows suggesting they lead to other pages, they blend in so well with the background of the iPhone app that it’s sometimes difficult to tell which is a design element and which is a new layer to the iPhone app. That said, a quick read of the help screen should bring travelers up to speed after some brief trial-and-error.
Although Trip Journal does an admirable job keeping track of the trips you remember to mark on your map, what happens if you’re out hiking (or even tracking your daily errands!) and you forget to mark something down? Right now, unfortunately, nothing. The iPhone app does not have the capability of manually adding in a waypoint, which is a major strike against it. It appears the developers are aware of the limitation, however, because it is currently mentioned as a “Coming Soon” feature.
If Trip Journal manages to add in the manual waypoint modification and streamline its design for first time users along the way, this could be a great addition to any traveler’s iPhone app collection. Right now, it’s still worth a try, but far from perfect.