Peaks app: How it works in reality

I’ve been having fun lately with the Peaks app. I downloaded it to test out on some recent scrambles up peaks around here.

After some playing with it, here’s my conclusion: It’s a good app if you have a rough idea of some peaks in the vicinity.

From my experience, it’s not great at identifying which direction you are pointing your phone. If, however, you can identify a peak or two without the app’s help, it’s a lot of fun.

Here’s how it’s been working for me. I turn on the app, hold it up and start looking for the name of peaks I know. For example, if I can see Mount Baker, I spin in circles, holding up the phone, until I see Mount Baker in the app. Then I touch it with my finger and drag it so it’s actually at the summit of Baker.

Once you’ve calibrated it like that, you can start identifying other peaks.

It’s not perfect. On a recent outing, for example, it would show me Mount Shuksan but not Mount Baker, even though I had a clear line of sight to both.

You can even take photos with it — something I hadn’t even noticed until I started writing this blog post. I’d been taking screen shots. The photo option is more fun. It’ll even tell you what peak you’re standing on.

So, even though it has its limits, it’s only $2.99. I’d say I’ve gotten $3 worth of entertainment out of it.

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