Edit: Feb 2017 - This test is superseded by Navionics+ test by Pip Hare. We tested this market-leading Navionics iPad navigation app as part of a group test of portable chartplotting software. • Vector charts • Apps for each charted region, price varies

Product Overview

Overall rating:

Navionics HD

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Pros:

  • • Fast zooming and scrolling over chart areas
  • • Quick and simple downloads
  • • Very easy to create routes with add-on nav module
  • • Excellent, easy-use tidal data
  • • Easy-read option simplifies display for cockpit use
  • • Comprehensive worldwide coverage
  • • Low cost

Cons:

  • • Chart apps have to be bought twice if you also want to use on an iPhone
  • • Display can look a little cluttered
  • • Takes a few seconds to update ship’s heading after iPad woken from sleep

Product:

Navionics HD iPad app

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£37.99 (for UK and Holland. Price varies for each charted region – eg Europe £15.49, Caribbean/S America £10.49)

Navionics HD

Edit: Feb 2017 – This test is superseded by <a href = “http://www.yachtingworld.com/reviews/gear-reviews/navionics-and-navionics-plus-on-iphone-ipad-and-android”>Navionics+ test by Pip Hare</a>.

Navionics is the market leader in iPad and iPhone navigation apps. They were one of the first to launch mobile products and the apps are regularly developed and updated. This and their pricing for the Navionics HD iPad app – £37.99 for all the charts for the UK, Holland and Ireland, for example – explains their continuing popularity. It’s worth mentioning that chart upgrades are free once the app is purchased, so you should re-download relevant areas from time to time.

The charts used are the same as the much more expensive Navionics Gold for fixed GPS chartplotters with the addition of a few features from the Platinum charts, so they look identical to the charts used on big-seller standalone chartplotters such as Raymarine.

There are other reasons why Navionics stand out as a best buy. Zooming in and scrolling over charted areas is extremely fast and easy. Downloading new charts is a simple matter of zooming in on a new area, and with the in-app purchase of the optional navigation module you can make routes very simply, and see distance, bearing and XTE.

There are some other clever features, such as being able to overlay satellite images, giving a view of what’s around on land, and excellent live weather, tide and current data. Click on any tidal diamond and you get a tidal height curve that you can scroll across, choosing times up to several days ahead to see the rise of tide – no need for secondary port corrections or 12ths rule calculations.

It’s also really easy to measure distances and bearings between any two points, which is a great planning tool.

When it was first launched, some felt that the lack of waypoint management functions let it down. This has been addressed with the Nav Module upgrade which costs £2.99 and is well worth the money, turning this already good system into an excellent app.

 

See reviews of the other iPad apps in our group test

Navionics Nav Module

This upgrade which costs £2.99 is well worth the money, turning this already good system into an excellent app. The module allows you to edit and move waypoints more effectively as well as display useful additional navigation info. To download it go via the menu button and then via Upgrades & Apps

Verdict

The best featured and simplest mobile chart app, very intuitive to use and still the gold standard on functionality.

Details

Type:vector charts
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  • Jessica Anderson

    I use the HD version on my iPad for sailing through the Bahamas, Florida and Caribbean. I bought the Caribbean charts. I’ve been really happy with it and I can use it on both iPad and phone. This is actually an amazing deal for all the features that are included in the charts! You can even look up waterfront restaurants, gas stations, marinas, etc.
    I use the SonarCharts Live feature as well which allows you to update the chart real time based on the data you’re collecting from your depthfinder. Really amazing technology!

  • Guest

    I have iPhone version which is being ‘magnified’ to fit iPad…
    Interested as to differences in iPad version for the inflated cost!!!

  • BJ

    My only issue with iPad version is how expensive the Oz map has become for iPad $64? Versus under $20!!! For iPhone? AND the maps always want to re-download every time I reopen the program, wasting valuable mobile data. Anyone else found this?
    How does SEAiq open compare as a ‘powerful’ comparison to inavX?

  • Courteaux

    Don’t see any difference between the 2 applications Boating and Boating HD. Boating is for iPhone and iPad, Boating HD is for iPad only.
    The maps are identical for the end user point of view.
    That’s my experience.

  • almaz

    Actually there are right here… There are two different apps: Boating (for iPhone) and Boating HD (for iPad). And since these are different apps you have to buy the same map twice. Of course you can buy only iPhone app and run it on the iPad, but it would be a different experience comparing to native iPad app.

  • Courteaux

    “…Chart apps have to be bought twice if you also want to use on an iPhone…”
    You are wrong, if you start with Navionics for iPhone, then you can install the application on your iPad with the same Apple ID. You will get the iPhone charts, but you will never see any differences