Android App of the Week: Ulysse Gizmos
Ask my colleagues in the PC Pro office, and they’ll confirm that I’m not exactly a person who enjoys the great outdoors. My one attempt at skiing lasted barely two hours, and my single camping trip came to an abrupt end when I woke up with a duck asleep on my chest.
If you’re one of the millions who does enjoy spending time away from electricity, chairs, showers and beds, though, then this week’s Android App of the Week is essential.
It’s called Ulysse Gizmos, and it’s a neat tool that collects together almost every bit of information that a frequent traveller might need, thanks to the wealth of sensors that are included in the average Android handset.
Open up the app, and you’ll see what we mean: the main gauge provides a compass with heading, bearing and orientation indicators alongside both true and magnetic measurements. The screen also provides your longitude and latitude alongside altitude and accuracy measurements.
Three other meters are present on the home screen. The top-right corner provides GPS positioning, with your precise position measured alongside the number of satellites you’re using and any potential errors, the bottom-right serves up a magnetometer complete with current field strength, declination value and direction, and the third small small dial uses your phone’s accelerometer to measure vertical and horizontal angles alongside pitch, roll and more.
While the compass initially takes centre stage, tap on any of the three small dials and they’ll expand, forcing the trio of remaining dials into the corners of the screen. Each comes with a few paragraphs to explain the wealth of information the screens provide. Tap the main dial when you’re in GPS mode, and you’ll switch to a speedometer instead.
Additional settings make Ulysse Gizmos even more useful. Switching to night mode alters the app’s graphics to make them more visible in low-light conditions, and a link to Google Maps can find your current location and augment it with your GPS position and map bearings. Waypoints can also be marked – handy if you’re geo-caching or orienteering – and your location can be shared with any other compatible app on your phone, from Facebook and Twitter to Google Mail, Dropbox and more.
The settings menu allows for a fair bit of customisation, too. Imperial and metric measurements can be used, and GPS activity, update rate and update distance can be varied – so you’re covered if you’re trying to be as accurate as possible or save precious battery power. Night mode’s colours can be changed, and a couple of themes are available if you’re not too keen on the app’s default graphics.
It’s a vital app, then, if you regularly camp, ramble or explore, and it’s a great advert for the wealth of information that can be gleaned from just one phone. As an added bonus, it’s free, but a different app is available for those of us who prefer a more geek-friendly version – it’s called Tricorder.
Want more great Android apps? Check out our previous Android Apps of the Week or read our 36 Best Android Apps feature