The National Park Service (NPS) are launching a new app that unifies the content from individual applications previously needed for America's national parks and monuments. This new app, simply named "National Park Service", will contain news, maps and visiting information regarding all landmarks and parks owned by the service.
Previously, there were 32 separate apps for the US's 423 NPS sites. Now, that figure has been drastically reduced to just one, with the aim of creating a better user experience overall. The unified app will make it much easier to navigate and explore America's national parks and monuments.
Each individual park or monument will still have their own individual section of the app. These sections will include any news, information about the park or monument, and crucially, downloadable maps for offline use. Offline maps are essential for hikers unfamiliar to certain areas, because GPS isn't always available along routes.
For activity seekers, selecting specific drop down lists provides the user with all areas within the NPS's ownership that offers that activity. This information is invaluable if someone is new to the area, or simply looking for a change of scenery of their regular hiking route, for example. Live webcams on the app also display the weather conditions of each site.
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National Parks Traveler (opens in new tab) reports some teething problems with the app to start with. Since its release, users have complained that there is a lack of information available on the app and that it is underdeveloped. For example, some trail route information remains minimal, although the NPS are focussing on fixing that.
"Some parks have more content than others at launch," stated the NPS. "Parks are continuously adding content to their sections of the app, so always check back to see if favourite parks have added more info."
Eventually, all 423 parks, monuments and landmarks will feature on the app with extensive information. The app is available on the Google Play Store (opens in new tab) and the Apple App Store (opens in new tab).
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