Try looking for navigation apps for Windows Phone 7 in the Marketplace, and you will find a bunch of those there. One caveat, however, is that almost all of them are focused on assisting WP7 users while driving a car, but as we all know, automobiles are not the only mode of transportation used commonly; in fact, far from it. What if you are a cyclist and like to take your two wheels up the hills, or to the mall? Now, there is an app which will help you in that, too. Using Cycle Assistant, you can not only see where you are going with the help of the app’s compass and map, but also keep track of your previous rides and the routes you took.
The app offers two basic modes; an offline Compass view and the alternative Map view, which not only shows the current location of the rider, but also creates a trace of the route being followed. The compass present in Cycle Assistant is pretty much like the one we discussed in our app review of Compass VO. If you don’t have a data connection, this is the mode you want to use. In addition to the full compass rose on the homepage, the current speed, altitude and orientation are also displayed here by triangulating your current position with the help of GPS data. The offline mode will also tell you the distance you have travelled and the time you have taken to cover that distance.
If you have a data connection, then you are in for a far more interesting experience. Go to the app’s Settings and change the Display mode to Map. A map will be loaded showing your current location. The stats bar at the top remains the same as it was in offline mode, but instead of the compass, you can now see where you are headed. If you have Route Tracing turned on (present in the Settings menu as well), a colored line will also display your progress on the map. Cycle Assistant supports two map views, Aerial and Road, and you can switch between them by hitting the satellite icon in the bottom bar. The app also offers toggling Map Labels on or off, and supports Wide map viewing. If you want to cut back on the use of your data plan, there is the Long Distance mode, entering which will make the app check for stats every 20 meters instead of constant monitoring. Cycle Assistant will also maintain the records of your previous rides in the Overall section.
So, if you are a dedicated biker, or would just like to have an app to assist you in any slow speed navigation (even walking), Cycle Assistant is exactly what you need. The app is free, of course, and you can get it at the Web Marketplace link below, if you are on Mango.