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I've been using Avenza PDF Maps for a year or so now, and it's a really great app. It lets you import geo-referenced maps (PDFs, GEOTIFFs, etc), and it will pinpoint your position. I use it for our local range map, as well as the 2 other training areas that we use often. I also recently found a way to export a GEOTIFF from AMPS with your route on it. It's great for situational awareness.

It's been free since I've started using it, but last month they pushed an update and have dropped some features without a subscription. You can have no more than 3 maps, and it doesn't support MGRS. If you want more than 3 maps, you have to pay a 29.99 annual fee, and if you want the full app (MGRS support) you have to pay a 129.99 annual fee. Well, that seemed a little outrageous to me, and so I found a way to downgrade to the previous version that offered full support.

If anyone else has encountered this problem, here's a tutorial on how to downgrade to the old version:

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Avenza is my favorite app other than Foreflight. I only ever need two range range maps so the max 3 limit doesn't bother me. Good tutorial though!

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No, it will not. You can do the same thing, but you have to use a different program called Charles. First, look in your trash folder. I don't know if it still does, but iTunes used to throw old versions of apps in the trash on a Mac. If it is in the trash, just delete it off of your iPad and iTunes first and then drag it from the trash to the Apps section of iTunes.

 

Here's a tutorial for that.

 

http://www.idownloadblog.com/2015/12/25/how-to-download-older-versions-of-ios-apps/

 

You should be able to skip steps 7 and 8 (those just tell you how to find the correct app version number....I already found it. It's 818622985).

 

As far as editing the .plist, to disable automatic updates, you can do that in a regular text editor, but the app will show the cloud "download" icon next to it in the app store, rather than the "open" icon. It doesn't really matter (as far as I know, it's just "cleaner" IMO). I believe you can download a plist editor for Mac as well though.

Edited by 01CelicaGTS
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Thank you for your posting 01CelicaGTS and thank you everyone for your support of Avenza Maps and PDF Maps. We appreciate the fine work you all do and are grateful that our app has found a place in your workflows.

Indeed there have been some internal changes with the latest release however one thing that has not changed is that the app is really only free for personal recreational users. While Avenza Maps is a costless download it is only free to use for personal recreational activities. All other uses, including commercial, government and academic, require a very inexpensive annual per device license, and it is these small annual stipends that go towards improving the product, adding features and providing ongoing support and attention as you may require from time to time.

 

So the reality is that whether you downgrade back to the previous version or remain with the current version, if you are using Avenza Maps or PDF Maps for any other activity than personal recreation then the small annual license or subscription fee applies. This does include military and SAR/EMS use.

 

Now to be clear, the purpose of this posting is not to chastise anyone nor to force anyone to pay anything but rather just to present to facts about the app's terms of use and remove any cloud of confusion.

 

As well, as a result of our recent efforts to streamline the app's interface and remove some clutter and confusion for the general casual recreational user, certain features, including MGRS, were moved to the Pro version. It was determined, perhaps incorrectly, that MGRS is primarily a military co-ordinate system only and that recreational and casual non-professionals would have little or new use for it. As such it was moved to the Pro version.

 

After further review we have reconsidered this and will soon be releasing an update that puts MGRS back into the lower tier and free versions.

 

It was also found that the loading of maps from sources other than the vast in-app map store was primarily a commercial use feature. So again that was moved to the Pro version. However, recognizing that recreational users may wish to sometimes load other maps we compromised for them and left a 3 map at a time limit with a small subscription fee to allow them to load more.

 

However this does not remove the requirement for those who use Avenza Maps professionally to get a proper Pro subscription.

 

So at the end of the day, there is really no change at all for the professional user and for casual recreational users the only change is the 3 map limit, as MGRS will soon be back.

 

So again, that you for your posting and the time it took to do so, and for your use of Avenza Maps.

 

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Thanks for taking the time to respond. That's great that you are putting MGRS back into the free version! I think that would keep most people from downgrading (or not upgrading). I wouldn't consider myself a commercial user, however I do need more than 3 maps at a time. If the fee was a one time fee (for example to download the pro version) then I wouldn't mind paying it. But it's not worth paying it annually IMO.

 

The app itself is great and I think that you would find that many, many military aviators (and other military personnel) use the app. 95% of them are probably OK with a 3 map limit, as long as they have MGRS. Typically, most Army aviators only need 1 permanent map for their training area. Then they still have 2 map "slots" available for their own personally created maps, which they will probably delete after the mission/training. There are a few of us, however, that require maps for multiple training areas to be available all the time. I have 3 training areas that I use frequently. This leaves me with no "slots" to upload my own map (from our mapping software) that has my route or other pertinent information overlayed on top of it.

 

I don't think needing 4 or 5 maps makes me a commercial user, but if that's the way you guys see it, then so be it. I'll just keep the old version. Downgrading is no different than not upgrading in my opinion. Most of the guys in my unit just didn't upgrade, and they turned off auto updates.

 

Don't get me wrong. I am extremely grateful for the app, and the service that you provide. It provides exceptional situational awareness when we are out flying in our local training area.

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+1 to MapTiler. I use it with Naviator (on Android) to upload TAC maps and airfield diagrams for flying outside of the US. I geo-referenced my charts off the satellite map that is included in MapTiler and it is pretty damned accurate if you spend the time to plot a good number of points. We cruise right against a restricted area and I trust it to keep us clear when our moving map is acting up or we have other things going on our MFDs. The fact that Naviator is an aviation app/EFB makes it even more useful than a standard GPS Map program.

 

Mike

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MGRS is now back in the free consumer non-professional version of Avenza Maps.

So please grab the latest update and you will all be good to go insofar as that is concerned.

HOWEVER, this does not remove the necessity of non-personal recreational users to purchase a proper Pro subscription.

As we said earlier, professional, government and commercial users need to have the Pro version.

Thank you

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I think what Avenza is trying to tell you guys is that you're using their app to perform your duties for your job, which means you're not a recreational user. Skip a few sodas from the fridge fund and buy the subscription, it's not very expensive.

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Avenza can chime in all they want trying to push the "Pro" version, but the reality is that if you want to keep using either the old version, or the updated free version as a "non-recreational user" then nothing's going to stop you from doing so.

 

If I was Avenza I would start trying to get in touch with someone at the NGA GEOINT App Store, and try and get Avenza in there. That's exactly what ForeFlight did. The NGA paid for hundreds of licenses at one time (above the normal cost...go figure), and then distributed them through their app store to government personnel for free. If you could figure that out, that would be a pretty good deal for you guys...and for us. Just a thought.

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Firstly, thank you very much SBuzzkill. You have hit the nail on the head and articulated it quite well. If one is using the app to perform duties for their job then they are not a recreational user.

 

And let's also think of it this way too....the only reason we are having this discussion and that it has reached a point of, shall we say, contention, is because the app is good, widely used and quite appreciated around the world, not just by the fine men and women of the US military but also by countless others in industry and other government work, including the US Forest Service and most branches of the US Department of Interior. So in order for this app, that you like and rely upon, to continue to grow and flourish, it needs a revenue model. At least to sustain itself and ensure its continuing availability and longevity. The revenue model we have chosen is that non-personal users need to have an annual subscription. It could have been advertising, or a credit-based model or perhaps something else, but we have chosen this.

 

With all respect to you, Mr. 01CelicaGTS, one can do as they wish but the reality is that for non-personal recreational use one does need a Pro license of Avenza Maps. We are not pushing anyone anywhere. This has always been the case from day-one of PDF Maps, the precursor to Avenza Maps. So even if you downgrade and continue to use the older PDF Maps version, you'd be breaking the rules. We hope that those who do appreciate Avenza Maps will see their way clear to doing the right thing and help support the growth and maintenance of the app.

 

And finally, we have indeed been invited by the NGA into their app store and are working on that as we write this. They approached us a few months ago and we are deep into the process. It is a lengthy one for various reasons but we do hope to go live in Q1 2017. And once we do, not only will the Pro version be free to all qualified DoD personnel, but so will all the maps in the vast 500,000 map rich catalogue.

 

Thank you

Avenza

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