First of all, I do want to say thank you for developing a CarPlay app for Gaia! It's awesome to be able to utilize our cars' built-in display as an additional monitor to increase how much information we can see at one time out needing to interact with a device. I've experimented quite a bit, and currently have settled on running the Gaia CarPlay app with satellite + custom road layers showing expanded information you normally wouldn't see on in-car navigation, for example, road surface material, visual cues for private vs public roads, barriers & other access restricts, etc., which has made it possible to make minor detours when we have to, while still sticking to the back roads, and without needing to stop and edit the route, which has really added up in terms of time savings. Since Gaia currently doesn't have true turn-by-turn navigation (it's not always easy to visually follow a line, depending on the type of road and driving you're doing, especially when it's an area that you've been often, and there can be so many other routes and/or tracks in the area, to the point where it can be hard to find the one you want to follow (improvements to hiding, showing, and emphasizing/highlighting routes and tracks will be a separate suggestion, haha)), so a purpose-built turn-by-turn navigation app with a minimal-detail map style in conjunction with Gaia has been working well for us.
I typically export my planned routes to GPX and load those into a turn-by-turn navigation app, but before CarPlay, I wasn't able to see both at the same time, which proved problematic if we needed to change anything about our route, because many areas near us have seriously flawed tagging in the data sources used by virtually every turn-by-turn navigation app, causing them to often prefer to route you through locked gates and across people's driveways and fields, over any adjacent public road with an unpaved surface, so rerouting without the corrected data I uploaded to Gaia GPS is often not a fun time, but switching back and forth between apps while driving isn't a great time, either, haha, so thank you again – it really has improved our driving experience and saved many cumulative hours so far.
Okay, so rambling backstory aside, my chief qualm with Gaia's CarPlay app (I suppose it technically applies to the mobile app, too, but because a phone or tablet can just be used in portrait mode, it's less of a hindrance there) is that the location indicator is placed dead-center when you set it to automatically pan the view to follow your position. Especially while driving, what is coming up is much more important than what you just passed, and in a car, you're often travelling quite quickly. The end result is that I need to zoom farther out, oftentimes more than I'd like (too far to read all the road names or make out fine details in the satellite or aerial imagery, for example), in order to get enough distance visible in front of us to ensure we have sufficient time to see something and react to it if we decide we want to.
Essentially, the bottom half of the display isn't really providing us with much, if any, pertinent information while driving, and it would be better utilized if the location indicator was, perhaps, aligned to the bottom 1/3 or 1/4 of the screen. Many other GPS navigation apps currently do this whenever you are following a route, and I'd love to see that change (or as an additional configurable option – I'm sure some users prefer it the way it is currently) added to Gaia in the future.
Similarly, the option to have a tilted perspective (maybe something like 15° or 30° below top-down?), now that Gaia supports 3D maps, for navigation would also help with the issue, as an angled perspective would allow you to see more of what's in front of you, all else equal.
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