You can now download the brand new MapChart mobile app and make your maps on your phone or tablet!
First, here are some screenshots to get excited:
and a dedicated website for the app here.
The MapChart app can run on all modern devices, including iPhones, iPads, Android phones and tablets. The OS requirement is version 11 for iOS and Android 4.4 (KitKat) for Android.
It is free to download and use, with optional premium versions you can unlock.
Continue reading if you want to know more about the back story and the features of the app.
In all the feedback I have received on MapChart these years, one request is always echoed throughout the thousands of emails:
I always understood the need for an app.
The last few years there has been a rise in mobile device usage, to the point that many users don’t have access to a desktop or laptop at all.
The map-making process on the website can be naturally hard on a mobile browser, especially on maps with many elements, where it is hard to tap and move around.
Also, with the variety of different mobile browsers and devices around, it has been difficult to ensure that everything works the same on all environments (even now, MapChart cannot preview a map on iPads).
Not being a mobile app developer myself, this kept gnawing at me and I kept researching for the best way to make a native mobile app for both major platforms.
I finally found a way in the last few months, where I stumbled upon Flutter, Google’s latest framework.
Transferring all features of MapChart wasn’t easy of course. The whole development process, along with helpful Flutter tips and pitfalls that may interest you, is outlined in this post.
What is important is that it enabled me to quickly have a working prototype with a unified codebase both on iOS and Android. This led to developing the first version of the app (1.0.0) in less than two months time!
As a result, I am now happy to say that around 80% of the website’s features have been integrated into the app!
Let’s check out some of them.
As I said before, almost everything you can use on the website is also available on the app.
Longtime MapChart users will find and use the familiar map-making tools with ease. There is also a tutorial/help page inside every app screen with guides and tips on how to use it.
Here, let’s go over a quick tutorial with screenshots on how to make a simple map:
Choose Create Map and then the map you want to edit:
- World maps
- Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Oceania
- Subdivision maps (provinces, counties, etc.)
- USA states/counties,
- Single country maps (Italy, Germany, the UK, Spain, and 20+ more)
- Historical maps (World War I & II, 1815, 1880, 1914, 1938)
- Fantasy maps
You can also sort and filter the maps list to find the map you want quickly.
In the Map Editor, start coloring the countries you want by tapping on them:
More controls you can use:
- Change the selected color by tapping in the color circle at the bottom.
- Zoom in/out or move the map around with gestures.
- Double-tap to zoom in once.
- Long-press on a country to remove its color.
Edit the legend of the map and customize it with the Extras:
Choose what each color on your map stands for. In the Edit Legend you can:
- Tap on a color box, to bring up a color picker and change the color of the whole group at once.
- Delete a color from the map.
- Rearrange the legend rows.
Then use the Extras to further customize it as you want:
- Change the background color or the color/visibility of the borders.
- Show or hide the legend.
- Change the legend’s position, size, or font color.
- Customize map-specific options, like the labels of the map.
When ready, Preview your map and download it to your device or share it:
That’s it! We now have the map we want in a high-quality image:
Of course, this is just a small fraction of the capabilities of MapChart. You can check out the in-app tutorials for more info, like:
- Saving and resuming your map’s settings.
- Importing or exporting your map settings from the website to the app and vice-versa (yes, this is possible!).
- Showing or hiding countries or subdivisions on the map.
- Choosing the best suited orientation (landscape/portrait) for your map.
In upcoming posts I will be sharing some tips and guides on the above as well, so please stay tuned.
The MapChart app is free to download and use, like the website. It is supported by ads, but all major features necessary to create your own map are available in the free version.
The Premium versions are one-time purchases you can make through the app and offer the below benefits:
|MapChart Premium||MapChart Premium Plus|
|A sleek dark theme option.||A sleek dark theme option.|
|Unlimited saved configurations.||Unlimited saved configurations.|
No subscription is required. You buy once and get the extra features forever for your account!
The past few months all my energy has been focused on building the first version of the app.
The next steps will be to import all website’s features and maps into the app. There is also a roadmap section in the About screen, where I will be keeping a log on the upcoming updates.
I will also resume working on new maps and building new features for both the website and the mobile app.
To conclude, I really hope that the app’s quality is at the same level as the website. I put a lot of work on it to make sure that it is easy and fun to use for all map makers out there.
As always, I will be waiting for your invaluable feedback, bug reports, and recommendations!