Oz Planner iPhone App Review

by on June 21
in Gear

Tourism Australia have been very busy of late with their new “There’s Nothing Like Australia” campaign promoting the many fantastic destinations around the country.  In addition to a new ad, a huge user submitted photo promotion and the subsequent experience map comes a new free iPhone app – Oz Planner.

Choose your journey

Anyone who has used used Tourism Australia’s Walkabout Planner on their website will recognise the 16 preloaded trips in Oz Planner.  The initial screen in Oz Planner allows the user to select a type of journey/s which will return a filtered result of the preloaded trips.  Alternatively, the user can browse all 16 trips to find one that suits.

On selecting a journey a brief overview is shown.  Almost 2/3 of the screen is taken up with a header with the journey name and estimated duration and a (beautiful) picture representing the journey.  The remainder of the screen is divided between the overview, a map icon and further menu options.  The overview scrolls under the picture and is a little difficult to read in such a small space.  Perhaps scrolling the whole screen rather than just the text would be a better option here.

Swiping takes the user to the next journey.

Get the big picture

Three options are available from the overview screen to drill down a little further:  the Explore button under the map of Australia, the Highlights menu option and the Map menu option.

The Explore button and Highlights menu option both go to a list of the major destinations in the journey.  From here the user can select any option to find more information about a destination.  The screen is similar to the overview screen in layout except the map is zoomed in.

Swiping in this screen takes the user to the next destination in that journey.

Get the details

Selecting the map from the destination overview screen brings up a (nearly) full screen map with a new set of menu items along the bottom of the screen.  These are:  hotels, sights, events, hire (car hire), info (tourist information centres), tour and trans (transport).  The map can be zoomed by pinching.

Tapping on any of the menu items will highlight those items on the map.  These in turn can be selected to get more detail.

The top of the map screen has a Main Menu button, an address search field and a GPS locator.  The latter two are useful for finding attractions and accommodation nearby or for areas not included in one of the preloaded journeys.

The other bits

The More menu item at the base of the overview and destination screens has a few other useful functions.  The search option is an alternative to using the map view to find details for an area.  There is also a list of popular searches that appears to me to be fairly limited.

Overall, I liked using Oz Planner.  My only gripes are with the screen real estate in the overviews I mentioned above and that the app isn’t all that intuitive to use.  There was lots of choosing this option to see what happened, ending up in screens I didn’t expect to and trying to find my way back to screens I wanted.

The preloaded journeys cover probably all of the major touring routes around Australia.  I don’t think I would use the app to plan an entire holiday, especially as we often stray off the major routes.  However, for a general overview of what’s where and the attractions an area has to offer, I think it’s a fun way to begin planning a family holiday.

Oz Planner is available from iTunes & is free.

What apps do you use to make your travels easier?

Happy travels,

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Comments

3 Responses to “Oz Planner iPhone App Review”
  1. Brenda says:

    Oooh, cool app. Will check it out soon! Thanks.
    Brenda´s last blog post ..A Moral Dilemma (Guest Post by Kathrine of MummyDiaries)

  2. Leanne says:

    It’s fun, Brenda. The best bits are sort of hidden though, so make sure you use the searches or scroll around the maps

  3. Sol Nozicka says:

    “Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind

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