Trellisys.net and HarperCollins Publishers have collaborated to develop an app version of a book for the iPhone. The book in question is the SAS Survival Guide, authored by John “Lofty” Wiseman, a veteran of the Special Air Services.
The version for the iPhone is a dilution of the original work but still covers an extensive range such as the Desert Tropics, Sea Coast, Polar Regions and also disasters in urban areas. There are chapters within the app containing information that can guide people in making guesses about the weather by studying cloud formations, navigating by studying the placement of the sun and stars in the sky. The app also contains information about how to use materials such as wood, metal and bricks as radiation shields. Other chapters cover administering First Aid, Camping, Hunting and sourcing for food in the wild. There is also information about the basic items that should be included in travelling kits when preparing to go on an adventure.
The Survival app also has some extra multimedia features included into it. There are videos on how to make proper fires, build quick and sturdy shelters and how to survive in tight spots. There is also a signaling device, sun compass, Morse code and quiz bundled into the iPhone version of the Survival Guide.
However, while the app does try to cover most aspects of survival, there are some areas of letdown in the app. The app for instance has no integrated GPS tracking despite the fact that it is listed by John Wiseman as a survival medium.
Likewise, he goes ahead to say that there should be a hand charger available for the cell phone without seemingly being aware that solar chargers are available for the iPhone. As a matter of fact, the list of essentials for the Survival Kit does not include the iPhone or a charger. This is puzzling especially since the Survival Guide is actually meant to be made use of on the iPhone. Not including the iPhone or its charger is an omission that is counterproductive to the essence of the guide as it means that all the survival videos, Morse code, signal device and information within the app would probably be left back at home.
For an app developed for the iPhone, the lack of implementation for GPS tracking is a serious flaw. Video, photos and Morse code are good enough but GPS is even much better as it would allow the user’s location to be identified much faster, if such a person gets lost. The user can also use the directions from the GPS to make their way out of trouble spots.
In all, the information contained within the app is very useful however future updates should correct some of the more serious omissions of the app.
Interesting review of the SAS Survival Guide however I am not sure I agree with calling the exclusion of the GPS a “serious flaw”. When GPS and Maps are already default on your iPhone, why include that in the app again. There are some great GPS mapping apps available for hiking that record regular way points and help you find your way but those are pretty pricey.
However totally agree on the solar charger though. The Novothink charger is really cool.