We all know the story of Hansel and Gretel, the fairytale children who trailed bread crumbs behind them to mark their path in a confusing forest. Thankfully, we have more reliable methods of tracking our paths—and Magic Measure is a new iPhone app that aims to do so using your iPhone. Magic Measure drops digital breadcrumbs in your wake and "magically" measures the distance you've traveled. It's certainly more convenient than trying to hunt down a trail of real crumbs.
To determine the distance between two or more locations, you simply have to open the app and tap a button when you reach each marker. Magic Measure pulls data from the iPhone's well-known location feature, which allows your iPhone (or internet-connected iPod Touch) to determine your location using GPS. It then calculates the distance between each point, overall distance, and the latitude and longitude of each point.
The real "magic" of Magic Measure, however, relies on multitasking. Set Magic Measure to gather "breadcrumbs" in the background, and it will periodically check your location. When you're done with your hike, jog, commute, or other journey, you can view your path, which is represented as a series of red pushpins ("breadcrumbs") stuck into a map. Your path also includes data such as distance between each "breadcrumb" and total distance traveled. Best of all, you have to put in truly minimal effort (a button push) to have Magic Measure do the heavy lifting of tracking your journey for you.
The developers of Magic Measure note that the app can only be as accurate as the information it's given, and therefore recommend treating Magic Measure's distance estimates as, well, estimates. Nevertheless, the estimates are close enough to provide some interesting data.
Magic Measure is available on the App Store for $0.99.