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Footpath Route Planner

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Footpath Route Planner App Poster Image
Walk and run mapper needs more guidance.

Parents say

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

The drawing tool is fun but a bit tricky, and the tutorial lacks support.

Violence
Sex
Language
Consumerism

No parent gate on the in-app purchase options, and the app works most efficiently with a paid version.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Footpath Route Planner is a navigation app for iOS devices. Teens can use their fingers to map routes for walking, hiking, biking, and more. Each route includes a distance and elevation profile, which is handy for kids who set fitness goals. Once a route is mapped, it can be saved for use offline. It's important that kids plan and study their routes ahead of time to reduce safety concerns related to exercising outside while distracted by a device. Kids can send their routes to Apple Maps or Google Maps for step-by-step directions with audio cues. This can also be accomplished with an in-app purchase so that audio cues are given directly from the app. Location services on the chosen device will need to be turned on in order for kids to use the app. It's also important to talk to teens about sharing their routes only with people they completely trust. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your kid's information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

FOOTPATH ROUTE PLANNER is an app that lets kids plan routes directly on an interactive map. They can use their fingers or an Apple Pencil to draw a route on the map. The app snaps to roads and trails on the map to create a route. Mileage and elevation are displayed, and up to five routes can be saved with the free version. Routes can also be shared by sending links or aerial photos to friends' devices. If kids want to see or hear step-by-step directions, which is an important part of following the route, they have to either make an in-app purchase or send the route to Apple Maps or Google Maps. The paid version offers many additional features, including unlimited saved routes, the ability to export GPS files and use them with GPS devices, and the ability to track fitness by analyzing physical activity and exporting routes to Apple Health.

Is it any good?

What makes this app stand out is the interactive mapping tool for planning customized routes, but using it effectively could be challenging. Drawing on the map is not a perfect science. Kids might have trouble getting the routes they want, especially on devices with smaller screens. The editing tool helps, and zooming in for a detailed view of the roads and trails is an option. Sending routes to Apple Maps or Google Maps is key -- otherwise, kids have a route but no directions for following it. But this means that they'll either need to save and print the route ahead of time or use cellular service while following the route. There's a built-in tutorial, but it provides very little information about how to use all of the features in Footpath Route Planner. Tappable hints or a more detailed tutorial would be extremely helpful. It's also important to talk to teens about sharing their routes: They should share them only with family members or others they completely trust.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how using Footpath Route Planner can help with fitness goals and motivation to get outside and get moving. How can kids use the app to meet mileage goals?

  • Talk about the importance of safety while exercising outside. Discuss age-appropriate rules about using a device while exercising, and make sure kids know the limits about where they can go.

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
  • Price: Free to try
  • Pricing structure: Free to try ($1.99 single upgraded route; $3.99/mo.; $23.49/year)
  • Release date: October 8, 2019
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Size: 116.40 MB
  • Publisher: Half Mile Labs LLC
  • Version: 4.1.5
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 10.0 or later; watchOS 4.0 or later
  • Last updated: January 10, 2020

For kids who love exercise and the outdoors

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