App Review: Recce
Recceis a free 3-D map of London that lets you zoom, spin and whizz across town with effortless abandon and no small amount of charm.
It's a bit like a cross between Sim City and Google Earth, with a cartoon landscape representing the whole of London out to Zone 2. As well as 3-D versions of most of central London's buildings, the app also includes tiny cars, buses, boats, trains and planes. It even has sound effects.
It's all very cute and moves with the slickness of a weasel down a greased pole. But developers eeGeo have further tricks up their magician's sleeves. The app is integrated with Transport for London's realtime Tube and bike hire info, so you can check your route home. The map is also underpinned with a hearty database of cafes, bars, banks and cultural venues. The developers hope to build in further features, such as realtime representations of traffic levels or train movements.
While the interface is impeccable, the content, drawn from many data sources, has its weaknesses. The city is mapped with information that appears to be around a decade old in places, meaning that buildings such as the Broadgate Tower, Heron Tower and even Portcullis House are absent. Yet more recent buildings, including the Shard and Olympic Park are present and correct. In effect, we have a semi-real city, with non-contemporaneous buildings standing side by side. The app also struggles with church towers. Check out Christ Church Spitalfields in the gallery above.
We shouldn't dwell on the faults, though, because Recce is a simply staggering app that you really should get hold of if you have the right kit.
Recce is out now for iPhone and iPad and is free to download.