Maptech Navigator Touch Screen freed, sort of
Ever seen this software before? Yup, that’s the same touch screen navigation program that Maptech started developing as the Sea Ray Navigator (SRN) back in 2001, and also sold as part of its own i3 hardware system. Well, things have changed. You still can’t buy the program by itself, but Captn Jack’s is now offering Maptech Navigator Touch Screen, as it’s called, bundled with a Motion tablet PC, and will soon also offer it on a Samsung UMPC (maybe the Q2?). I tried it on the Motion above (bigger picture here, and note that the tablet is inside a splash proof case), and found that it worked darn well with the stylus (though, as discussed recently, I think it will be even better when you can use either finger or stylus). In fact, damn slick with the included EMTAC Bluetooth GPS and non-marine software. (I also tried Maptech Navigator Pro on the tablet and, as fine a program as it is, I found it awkward to use with a stylus.)
At any rate, it would be nice if Maptech did the full Monty, selling a naked Touch Screen so that goofballs like myself could use it on, say, the HP TouchSmart. It’s a really mature and easy-to-use program after all these years. But who knows what will happen as Maptech goes back to its software (and paper) roots? “As of the end of December Maptech will no longer sell the i3 System and instead focus on putting its touch screen software on a variety of platforms.” The i3 and SRN are not going away, but as I understand it Maptech is turning the hardware business over to partner Faria. As the boating world finally gets hip to touch screen, this may be the strategy that really gets Maptech more widely recognized for the innovative software it’s been perfecting all these years.