One of the downsides of using geolocation pins with standard GPS apps is that they're designed with driving and roads in mind. For those of us who walk more than we drive, these routes aren't always ideal. After all, your feet aren't confined to streets and the fastest route between two points is still a straight line. That's why I've enjoyed using Anchor Pointer as my go-to navigation tool when I'm trying to find my way back to locations I've discovered while walking around or when I'm trying to find where I parked my car.
Anchor Pointer gives you a compass that directs you to locations you've already been to. It's designed for saving locations rather than finding them via discovery, which makes it ideal for hikers and urban explorers, or just to find your car at the mall. The way it works is simple: when you find a location you want to save you, tap "Add Anchor" to save the location. You can add an icon and a name to represent the location. If you're just looking to save the location of your car in a parking lot, that functionality is listed on the main app screen as "Park Car."
Once you select a location, Anchor Pointer provides a compass that directs you back to where you once where. It doesn't matter if you've never used a compass before -- simply follow the arrow and you'll find your way back.
The parking feature has proven indispensable when looking for my vehicle in parts of town I might not already be familiar with and in large mall parking lots. However, the real charm of Anchor Pointer ls as a way to rediscover places you've been to once and want to revisit.
Find a cool coffee shop while walking around your neighborhood? Drop an anchor. Discover a mural on the side of the road you want to remember? Drop an anchor. Maybe you're a fisherman and you've found an ideal spot where they're always biting. No problem, you can even drop an anchor over water and have the compass navigate you back to that spot.
Anchor Pointer also has a "Meet Friend" feature allowing friends to share their location with you. I haven't been able to use this feature yet as no friends of mine use the app, but given how well everything else works, the tool could be very useful for meeting up with friends in the park or at a concert. I could see this feature being very attractive for parents trying to meet up with their kids at a crowded location.
Anchor Pointer includes a handy automatic Night Mode that adjusts the brightness of the app based on the time of day, making it ideal for using at night in the woods without suddenly being blinded by your phone. You can also turn off the auto brightness function if you wish.
Whether you're an adventurer looking to find your way back to your discoveries or just someone who is sick of losing your car in mall parking lots, Anchor Pointer is a delightfully useful app. My only complaint is that you currently can't drop an anchor unless you're physically at a location. It would be nice to use the handy compass feature to find my way to a place I know the address or coordinates of, even if I haven't already been there.
Hopefully that shortcoming will be fixed in a future update. Even without that ability, Anchor Point is a handy tool for adventures and travelers. Currently the app is only $1.99 in the iTunes Store. That's a small price to pay for such a useful exploration tool.