Distance measuring instruments have evolved, from topograph wheels to contemporary laser rangefinders. Although accurate distance measurement remains expensive and cumbersome for professional use, the modern smartphone has nevertheless miniaturized and simplified this complicated engineering problem and we present you with the best apps for measuring distance with Android.
The three apps for measuring distance with Android
A smartphone all you need to quickly deal with macro measurement activities such as estimating network paths / electrical cables inside the house or understanding the distance of the daily jogging path. Unfortunately, for every good distance measurement app, there are a dozen practically useless ones. Fortunately for you, we thoroughly explored the Google Play Store to offer you three of the best distance measuring apps for Android.
We recommend you install all three apps, because each of them adapts to different distance measurement scenarios, as smartphones are not specialized measuring tools, but use a series of sensors to estimate distances. In other words, while one of the recommended apps is good for intermediate distances since it is based on elementary trigonometry, you may want to use another app recommended by us using the perspective estimate for longer distances.
Rangefinder: Smart Measure
This is part of a larger suite of smartphone measuring apps, Smart Measure, a widely used and highly valued distance measuring tool. The app developed by a Korean Android expert who seems to have a talent for programming measurement tools for fairly precise smartphones. Intelligent measurement is based on basic trigonometry to estimate the distance and height of a particular object.
The use of the app is quite simple:
- Point the crosshair at the base of the object you want to measure and touch the "Get distance" button on the right side of the display. This will immediately show the distance to the object.
- To measure the height of the same object, touch the height measurement button represented by a tree on the left side while still keeping the viewfinder planted at the base of the object.
- Take the viewfinder from the base to the top of the object and touch the "Get height" button to record the height.
- Both distance and height measurements will be frozen on the display until you touch the "Reset" button for a new reading.
The apparent simplicity of this process is also the reason for the strange reviews with negative ratings that complain of inaccuracies. After thoroughly testing the app and validating its measurements with a good old-fashioned measuring tape, it is safe to say that most of these negative reviews are due to user errors and calibration checks.
Since this application is based on Pythagoras' theorem, the phone must be at the correct height to have the optimal measurement. This means that the measurements will be inaccurate if you use the app while sitting or if you are not in the same horizontal plane as the measured object. The app assumes that the height of the user is mt. 1.75 by default, so better check if you are taller or shorter.
In fact, it is better to take a few minutes to consult the complete calibration guide on the official blog for best results. Once the app is calibrated, Smart Measure even beats Google's AR measurement app in terms of speed and ease of distance measurement.
DOWNLOAD | Smart Measure
Distance meter: Smart Distance
Smart Distance another app by the developer of Smart Measure that optimized to measure distances farther up to a radius of one kilometer. While Smart Measure uses trigonometry for distance measurements up to 50 meters, this app relies on perspective estimates to measure objects much further away than the previous one.
The use of this app is even simpler than Smart Measure. The only problem that since it uses perspective estimation, it is necessary to know the height or width of the objective that you intend to aim to measure the distance. The idea is to choose subjects of dimensions known as people (the height of an average person of 1.7 m), cars (dimensions easily consulted online) or common objects built according to a specific criterion such as street lamps.
Simple distance measurement, just align the green lines parallel to the target's width or height and enter the same dimensions. This app is useful for golfers, who can easily measure any hole in the course by targeting flags, which have a standard height of 2.1 meters. Smart Distance also works well for travelers. Measuring famous tourist attractions easy considering that the height data is retrievable from a quick web search.
Smart Distance surprisingly precise, that is, as long as you follow the instructions and know the width or height of the reference subject. The calibration is not a nuisance because the developer of this app claims to have calibrated it for over 700 main smartphones, with regular and timely updates even for the most recent smartphones.
DOWNLOAD | Smart Distance
GPS Measures the area of the field
So far we have seen a fairly intuitive app that goes well up to 50 meters and another that can go up to a kilometer. Both of these apps, however, work on an exposed line. Not ideal for measuring distances longer than a kilometer or in cases where the view cannot be obtained. This app provides distance measurement scenarios where you would like to understand the length of your long and winding jogging track.
The app GPS Measures the area of the field suitable for longer measurements. While it can be argued that Google Maps works well for measuring distances between popular locations, it is not particularly intuitive for custom measurement of complicated routes between two points, just like the aforementioned example of a jogging track.
GPS Measures the area of the field it can be used to calculate the distance between two points on a GPS map through a user-customizable route. Do you want to find out how far the shortcut to go shopping is? Use this app's intuitive user interface to set up a custom route to the store and get an accurate distance measurement. In addition, you can also use the built-in GPS tracking to actually move from point A to point B to measure the distance between them.
The use of GPS makes this app quite accurate. I was able to verify it by setting a custom route between two points in my location and then checking the measurement using the odometer of my car. In addition, the app also allows the calculation of the area using the map or crossing the perimeter in GPS mode.
DOWNLOAD | GPS Measures the area of the field
Our trio of carefully chosen apps are the best solution for distance measurement on Android smartphones. Keep these apps installed on your phone and you're ready to take on distance measurement activities of virtually any size and complexity.