SPOT LLC have finally got round to releasing a free app to partner it’s successful PLB which many HABists use to track their payload.
The SPOT app has all the basic functionality of other pay apps, with a basic map or satellite image to view track locations. While the SPOT app does let you zoom in closer on this map, the track points are not linked in order so it is a lot harder to visualise the track the payload has taken.
The SPOT app is also superior to Trail share and SPOT Buddy with respect to the log in function. With the SPOT app you simply need to input your account user name and passport. For this the app collects all the necessary data to display the tracks from all your SPOT devices. On the pay apps, you have to manually input your SPOT shared page which, on a smart phone, can be tricky.
Other handy features of the SPOT app includes the main screen short cut to the most recent position. There is also a filter function to enable you to pull back old satellite tracks beyond the normal 5/7 day period. This will come in most handy when you have safely recovered your payload and are bragging to your mates about the great flight you had.In fact the app can pull tracks from up to 30 days from the date they were recorded.
On balance this app is as good, if not slightly better than the pay apps. SPOT need to sort out a way to visually show the sequence of track points and enable the differentiation of tracks from different devices.