Best GPS app for blind travellers.
by Jeffrey Stark
January 28th, 2014
As many of you know, I travel semi-regularly and have found myself in all kinds of unfamiliar places over the years. I've used the trekker, breeze, mobile geo, wayfinder access and all the free and low cost GPS solutions I could get my hands on both iOS and Android. For those not familiar with gps solutions for blind travellers, these devices or apps are designed to supplement the travelling experience of someone with low vision or who is blind with information they wouldn't otherwise be able to get without sight (such as stree signs, addresses and points of interest around the traveller while he walks).
This app is like the swiss army knife for custom information while on the move. It works both with a data connection and when out in the bush without any data connection at all.
I have been using Nearby Explorer for about a year now on my Samsung GalaxyS4 running Kitkat. I am quite impressed so far. It does a lot of the things I was using other apps for (or tried to use other apps
for) and has a bunch of additional features that I am quite enjoying.
Prior to finding this app, I very much missed way finder access (mobile geo, breeze etc.) as these were solutions I used prior to moving
exclusively to android. So, for those that feel it's a bit expensive
because it is priced significantly above the average price of an android
app, I feel it is worth the price.
While there are free or low cost gps apps that are accessible; they lack some of the advanced features of Nearby Explorer by APH ($90) – it has all the functionality of wayfinder access / mobile geo and much more. Previously, I used a combination of other apps to do some of the functions that Nearby accomplishes (i.e. Google now, talking location, look ahead location,
walkie talkie, Google maps, around me, dotwalker etc). However, for the most part,
Nearby Explorer does most of these in a superior way and has more features and capabilities.
- Get walking (or driving) instructions and surrounding information (like points of interest and streets you are crossing) as you travel
- Find places, streets, landmarks
- Specify on the fly they level of detail and verbosity of all information Nearby Explorer is capable of verbalising (i.e. street address, street crossings, nearby points of interest, etc).
- Get integrated transit information such as the bus stops nearest to you, departure times and routes
- mark landmarks or camping sites and keep track of where you are in relation to these watched locations
- Point the phone like a wand to find points of interest around you
- …and so much more