Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Marrakech on your iPhone

For the last few months, The View from Fez has been road-testing the various city guides available as apps for the iPhone. There are several on the market and one clear leader. The Marrakech Travel GuideBy Etips is okay, but a little clunky. However, although slightly more expensive, top of the list is the Lonely Planet app for Marrakesh.
Unfortunately there is still no digital version of the great Fez Encounter, however Marrakech has been available for a while. Apart from a rather serious glich with the telephone numbers not being updated after Morocco changed its phone system, the guide is a superb companion for a trip to the 'kech. If you are confused by the phone number issue, see our easy to follow guide here: Morocco Phone Numbers

We have used the guide extensively and found:

(1) It is very easy to use – swipe to scroll through a full table of contents, dip into sections, and turn pages with a flick of your finger.

(2) With good offline maps there’s no need to go online to access our detailed street maps, fully retooled for the iPhone with location awareness, multi-touch controls, full-colour styling and six-level zoom.

(3) There are scores of geo-coded points-of-interest (POIs)arranged by proximity, category, preferences or favourites. You simply tap to visit the website, or place a direct call (having checked the number!).

(4) text search – whether you’re into ‘live music' or ‘fine dining’, every article and POI in your guidebook is text-searchable.

(5) location-based navigation – plot your location in real time on our interactive maps, exploring back streets and hidden treasures with no danger of losing your way.

(6) personalisation – tailor your City Guide to your tastes by tagging the best POIs as ‘favourites’.

(7) money saving – forget roaming costs, the app is designed for offline use, and only take up the room of an average album on your iPod.

Overall, we were very happy with this app and found it easy to use and good value for money. To purchase the app, go to "App Store" on your phone and select "search" then type in "Lonely Planet Marrakesh City Guide". Too easy!

Now, dear Lonely Planet.... we would like a city guide app for Fez.

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