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Amazon.com has promised a free app every day in the Amazon Appstore, and today’s app is SkyDroid – Golf GPS, a perfect choice for the weekend of the Masters tournament.
Skydroid – Golf GPS is $4.99 in the Android Market, and normally is priced at $1.99 in the Amazon Appstore (as noted previously, the two marketplaces sometimes have differing prices).
Skydroid – Golf GPS is described as follows:
When you’re out on the golf course, it helps to know exactly where and how far you need to hit the ball. SkyDroid uses GPS technology to map the golf course you’re playing on, giving you instant, helpful information as you walk the links. This app for your Android device features aerial views of entire golf courses, reveals distances to the front, center, and back of every green, lets you track the distance of your most recent shot, and more.
Charting Your Course
As with any useful tool, simplicity is SkyDroid’s greatest strength. Its user interface is easy to navigate, and finding your golf course’s map is just a matter of typing its name into the app’s search field. If the course’s map is listed in the SkyDroid system, you can immediately check out satellite images of each hole (using Google Maps technology) or measure the distances of a particular hole.
If the course you’re playing isn’t already listed in SkyDroid’s network, you can add a map of it yourself using SkyDroid’s Course Mapper program. (You’ll need to do this from your home computer–this function is not yet available for mobile use–and it only takes a few minutes to get your course entered.)
Chances are good, however, that the course you want to see is already in the system. The map database features thousands of courses and is continuously updated. You can download as many course maps as you wish.
Going the Distance
Having an accurate satellite view of a golf course is nice, but what sets this app apart is its ability to measure distances on the course. At any hole, SkyDroid can tell you the distance from your location to the front, the center, and the back of the green. Perhaps just as important, it shows how far away any water hazards or bunkers are from you. It can also tell you how far your most recent shot went.
Each of these functions is performed on a simple, uncluttered display. After you select a golf course, the app opens to a screen representing the course’s first hole. Distance measurements are neatly arranged on one side, a “Zoom” button offers instant satellite imagery of the hole, and it’s easy to move from hole to hole by touching arrows at the bottom of the display.
Skydroid – Golf GPS has a 4.5 star rating in the Android Market. In the nascent Amazon Appstore, it has a 4-star rating.
The Amazon Appstore requires sideloading, which means that for now AT&T devices can’t use it. As we noted before, however, there is a way to at least “reserve” these free apps for installation later, when AT&T corrects the issue, as it has promised.
Amazon opened up the Appstore despite a lawsuit by Apple, which has previously trademarked the term “App Store.” Microsoft has filed an appeal against that trademark, saying the term is too generic.
You can view a demo of Skydroid – Golf GPS in the sidebar.