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National Trust Review

Damien McFerran


Explore what the British Isles has to offer with this official National Trust iPhone application

Rating:

Verdict: A perfect companion on your family days out, the National Trust app makes planning a visit to an historical venue a painless experience

Platform: iPhone and iPod touch

Pros: Easy to use, packed with content, excellent intergration with Google Maps

Cons: Could be more in-depth with descriptions and could also offer more photos

Version Reviewed:

Publisher: 1.1

Price: Free

More Info: App Store or National Trust website

If you happen to be a fan of enjoying the countryside and visiting dusty old buildings then chances are the recently-released National Trust iPhone app will have you excitedly pulling on your muddy walking boots with frenzied anticipation.

It’s essentially a digital directory of all of the properties the trust oversees. From country parks to ruined castles and stately homes, there’s a veritable treasure-trove of British history up for grabs here.

Using your phone’s GPS location functionality – or your postcode, if you’re feeling a little more lo-fi - the National Trust app can pinpoint your position and then inform you of nearby places of interest. Selecting one of these properties then opens up a more detailed description, as well as a photo to give you an impression of what the place is like.

What’s more, there’s even information regarding the opening times, facilities and whether or not the location in question is capable of accepting wheelchairs. Some properties even have contact details, such as a telephone number or email address.

The final piece of the puzzle is connectivity with Google Maps which allows you to instantly plot a route. In fact you can simple eschew the GPS locator and browse a map which is highlighted with the various National Trust properties. This could prove useful if you’re about to go on holiday to a different part of the country and want a comprehensive list of historical locations that will be nearby.

Although what is being offered here is easily obtainable via other means, what makes the National Trust iPhone app so appealing is that all of this data is presented in an intuitive manner. It’s incredibly easy to find a location, inspect its charms and then plan a route; in fact you can do all of this in just a few minutes.

Naturally those of you that already enjoy the benefits of a National Trust membership - and therefore get in free to any Trust property - may find this more useful than those who don’t. Some of the locations can be quite expensive if you’re not a member and are planning to take the entire family along, but this is a relatively minor issue.

There is definitely room for additional content and functionality to be added in the future but for now this is a well presented and genuine useful piece of software that should find favour with outdoor and historical types of all ages.

 

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Get to know your country a little bit better with this excellent app

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  • Tight connectivity with the iPhone's built-in Google Maps application is a massive bonus


  • Large images help to paint a decent picture of what each location is like


  • Quickly browse location attractions using the search menu


  • The all-important opening times are also listed

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