Anax is our first serious app and it is a pocket Atlas for your Android. It uses a combination of GPS and Google Maps, and so your phone will need internet access and GPS capability. We do not recommend it for tablets for this reason.


You can find your location on the map, save it, and call that location up again wherever else you are. In addition you can manually input decimal co-ordinates via the app and save them.


You can use Google Mobile Maps in the normal way through the browser window in which they appear and the app incorporates a direction finder which uses the magnetometer in your phone to orient itself along an eight point compass. The screen be locked unscrollable or unlocked to be scrollable, when in the latter you can use the extended controls and when in the former you can scroll through the map window.


The rate of refresh of the map depends on the speed of your internet connection. Under most circumstances it should be quite quick., but on a slow wi-fi it can take several seconds.






The Screen and Primary Controls.

Anax Map Screen

On the left is the primary screen, showing the GPS latitude and longitude as decimal degrees, and the altitude. Atop the map window is a slider, and this is the lock/unlock function; slide left to lock and right to unlock. When locked the slider is red, when unlocked green.


Under the map window is the direction indicator. It is important to remember that as this works with the magnetometer in the phone then the indicator will work to MAGNETIC North rather than true. Magnetic North can drift considerably  a few degrees off  true North and depends on time of year and where you are in the World.


Next to the direction finder is the Save button. This allows you to save your current location. If you click it you will see this:


Type in a name for the location you wish to save and click OK and the current co-ordinates

will be saved under the name you give it. If you click cancel, the co-ordinates will not be saved and an alert will pop up to tell you so.


Once the location has been saved it can be called again by clicking the call button on the app, which is next to the Save button. Clicking the Call button will bring up a list of your saved locations with the name you give them:

Anax Call Screen

On the left is a list of locations we used in testing the app on a Sony Experia E.


Two of them, Home and MAplin, were saved as current locations and the rest were saved as manual inputs. If you tap the location you require it will bring it up in the map window. If you wish to cancel the list without calling a location tap the back button on your phone. Again the speed with which it comes up depends on the speed of your internet connection. For this example, let's assume I clicked the Taj Mahal. Here's what I would see:

Anax unlock screen

In the screenshot on the right, you can also see that the slider has been sent to the right, unlocking the scroll feature of the screen. You will find it difficult to use the map window when the scroll is unlocked and the default position is lock on. The reason the scroll can be unlocked is to get to the extended controls:

Anax controls

There are four of these, or five if you count the picture of the bust of Anaximander at the bottom of the screen.


If you click Delete a Location, the list of locations will come up. If you tap one, you will see this:


If you click yes then the location will be removed from your list. If you click no, it will remain. All locations can be deleted at one go by clicking the Delete All Locations button.

The other two allow you to input known co-ordinates without being in that location. You can input either to show, or to show and save, the buttons for that being Manual GPS and Input/Save respectively. If you click Input/Save you will be invited to give the location a name as above. In both cases, a text box for latitude and longitude input will appear:


Simply type in your decimal co-ordinates and click the Input button, the location will be shown in the map window and saved to your list (if you chose Input/Save).


Really that's all there is to it. A nice and simple pocket Atlas at a bargain price. What happens if you press on Anaximander?


Article written by Ian Lang


March 2014.

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