MX Mariner is a low-cost Android app that like a chartplotter shows you your boat's position on a chart, assuming your Android smartphone or tablet has an internal or external GPS receiver, and offers several navigational functions. It uses standard NOAA raster charts, the same as many other apps - which display the same as standard paper charts.
Version reviewed: 1.1.21
Available on Android Market - $6.99
Tested on Lenovo A1 Tablet running Android 2.3
- Easily downloaded free NOAA raster charts by US region (also Brazil, New Zealand)
- Shows boat's moving position on chart (on GPS-enabled devices), optional track log
- Current SOG (speed over ground) and COG (course heading over ground) always shown on chart screen
- When zooming and panning, seamless transition to adjoining charts and between small- and large-scale charts
- Create waypoints - but not routes
- Tool for measuring distances between points (including distance and bearing from your location)
- Completely adjustable daylight/dusk/nighttime backlighting modes
- Detailed help manual available even offline
- When online, you can switch display from chart to satellite or road map (viewed area saved in cache for offline use)
- Waypoint markers are huge (on my Android device, at least) and block out underlying data such as depth soundings (see photo above)
- Awkward method for entering waypoints (scroll chart around to locate the right point under crosshairs)
- Lacks "go to waypoint," routing, and other navigational functions
- It's necessary to install an entire chart region (many are over 200 MB), so you may need to watch your device's storage levels; on the other hand, you'll never be surprised on the water by not having the detailed chart you may need, as can happen with some other apps.
The developer notes that this version is still in beta and plans to continue adding functions, so check on Android Market or the developer's website for the latest information. Hopefully, navigating functions (such as the great ones in the competing Memory-Map app) will be added soon, making MX Mariner more competitive.
MX Mariner is an excellent app and would have been my preferred charting app for use on Android were it not for Memory-Map, another raster-chart app now available. While MX Mariner has some really nice features not present in Memory-Map, I like the navigating features in Memory-Map not found elsewhere yet in any app, such as cross-track and velocity-made-good data when following a route. It's a personal matter of choice, of course, but I'd recommend a close comparison of these two apps to see which best meets your boating style and needs.
Here’s a comparison of 5 Android apps for boat charts and navigation to help you choose the one best for you.
This app as described here is available for Android devices. For Apple devices, check these apps.
The free Course to Steer Android app is a nice addition to your navigation toolbox: it calculates precisely how to steer to compensate for a current and leeway from the wind - something most plotting programs do not do.
Looking for a waterproof case for your smartphone or tablet? Check out this one.