Route4Me – iPhone Route Optimization
A new app called Route4Me has made an appearance at the app store. The application is designed to do one simple task… take a list of locations you need to visit and determine the most
efficient order shortest distance to visit each of them. We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about Route Optimization vs Route Sorting, but going by the description in the press release, this app is doing neither and is simply looking for “identify the order in which you should run your errands that yields the least overall distance“ (my emphasis).
Assuming the press release is correct, I’m not really sure what the point is. If your route is complex enough that you need efficiency, then you need the most efficient route– not the one with the shortest overall distance which won’t necessarily result in the shortest time. The application also touts being Green by determining the route with the least amount of driving… but again, the shortest distance isn’t necessarily the one that will result in the least fuel consumption. I also wonder who the target person is for the app? In my local area I’ll likely be able to determine the most efficient route (even better than shortest) based on my own experience. Outside of my local area I’m going to want turn-by-turn directions which the app doesn’t provide, so then I’m going to end up keying all of my destinations into two apps (It provides a list of directions and a moving map… but this isn’t a substitute for the TomTom, TeleNav, Navigon, or Magellan apps).
The app is $1.99 in the app store, or you can go to their website route4me.com and get their services for free. (Unfortunately, they really want you to buy their app so they block iPhone users from accessing the site even though it would run just fine.