I recently made a trip out after antelope and tried the new iPhone app called onXMaps. It is created by Hunting GPS Maps and offers the same maps you can order from them for $99 per chip for a much smaller cost and the luxury of not having to purchase a new GPS if you already have an iPhone or iPad. The quality of the map was amazing and easy to use. It is an app that can turn your iPhone or iPad into a GPS. I was able to use my phone in the field mode, which allowed my maps to continue to be used even without any data or cell phone service.
To use the field mode you simply go into the settings on the Hunt onXmaps app and turn on the field mode. The key is to find a wifi connection for your iPhone or iPad and cache maps of the areas that you plan on hunting. Make sure and do this before the hunt. Another reason to make sure and do this wifi connection is because if you don't you may run over your allotted data for your cell phone plan. Once your maps are cached you now have the ability to access those maps while out in the field without any service. While in field mode you can't click on the individual landowner and gov't areas to see the data, but you can still see the names on the maps that are cached.
One of my favorite features of the maps is that you can view them in an aerial format, and it is clear enough that you can depict specific trees or other landmarks to show you where the boundaries are without walking over to them or trying to tell by topo maps. You also have the ability to use markups where you can mark trails, take photos, and use symbols such as where your camp or vehicle is at. I have an older GPS and the new app offered by Hunting GPS Maps is as up to date and on the cutting edge and it is a must have.
The only drawback to the app is the battery life that your phone has. It won't drain your phone in a couple of hours, but you aren't going to have the same battery life as a GPS. I was aware of this issue and simply made sure to throw my GPS in my pack as a back up. Another way to solve this issue if you don't already have a GPS is to look at investing into a backpacking solar panel. By the time you pay for the app on your phone, which can be purchased straight from the phone for $35 or $30 from the Hunting GPS Maps website, and a solar panel you are set to go at a much lower cost. Keep in mind that it is a yearly subscription and not a one time fee. You may not be able to cache the entire state you are hunting like the chip offers, but have the ability to cache specific areas and hunt areas already planned out ahead of time. Again these maps allow me to hunt individual sections and half sections and have the confidence to know exactly where I'm at and hunt more areas than ever before.
This app is a must have as I stated before and something that once you have will wonder how you ever hunted in the past. These maps give you the ability to access areas you only wished you could access in the past. The only negative thing I have found with the app is the battery life, but that was known before I even went out with it. Again as I stated that is an easy fix with a simple investment into a solar panel. If you are unsure if this is something you will enjoy simply create a profile when you get the app and you get a free trial period of 7 days. In my opinion you will love the app in the first few minutes you try it. I can't say enough good about the app or the maps and they are one piece of equipment that is vital to my success in the field.