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Review of Tube:GB Road Atlas

Symbian platform: UIQ
Review first published in: Palmtop User magazine, issue 9

Screen shotVisual IT's range of Tube underground maps has been so successful (see our review in issue 6) that they've turned their hand to other indexed bitmaps, here representing the whole of Great Britain. In addition to the specially compressed bitmap, there's a database of tens of thousands of towns and villages, simply tap on the one you want and the main map is centred on its location, even if the place itself is not depicted. Once on-screen, the bitmap for GB Road Atlas (one each for the north and south of the country) can be dragged around with the stylus and zoomed in using the Jog Dial, although you don't gain extra detail, simply a larger, more pixellated bitmap.

Tube's concept is a good one and should work well on the new Sony Ericsson P910, with its 32MB of RAM. The problem is that there's simply not enough memory on the existing P800 and P900 smartphones to cope. In order to load either Tube road map, you'll need over 5MB of free RAM, which you're unlikely to have at any given moment. Tube does its best to cope, offering to close all other applications, after which its map does indeed load, albeit very slowly (around 30 seconds). But then you answer a phone call or load up your PIM applications again and you'll find that Tube has dutifully had to unload the map again, meaning another long wait to get it back. More memory, more horsepower needed. £7, from www.visualit.co.uk.