We often get users asking us what the minimum device requirements are for Avenza Maps, and what our best recommendations are for a device. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to devices, our team compiled a list of some baseline requirements that you should look for in devices. Please keep in mind that how you intend to use the app will greatly impact that device you want to use.
Storage and RAM
- Minimum of 32GB of storage
- When maps process in the app, they will increase in size to allow for zooming capabilities
- If you intend to keep lots of maps within the app at any given time or collect lots of data/photos, we recommend the more storage space the better
- For Android devices that support SD cards, there is an option to store custom imported maps and features here - please see the note at the bottom of this article regarding SD cards
- Minimum 2GB of RAM
- This is what allows the app to function quickly, therefore the more RAM you have, the faster the app can move between tabs, render maps when opening, create features, etc.
- If you intend to do a lot of data collection and/or display a lot of features on a given map, you will want an increased amount of RAM available to render this quickly
- iOS 13 or 14 for iOS devices
- Android 6 or higher for Android devices. Please note that we are looking at discontinuing support for Android 6 and 7 at some point in the future, so we recommend users purchase new devices that have Android 8 or higher
- GPS chip
- This is required to use the location features of the app
- Some devices do not have this
- e.g. iPad WiFi-only models
- This is not required for the app to work and will NOT impact location features
- A compass allows you to use any compass/bearing related functions (e.g. compass-mode, navigate to, bearing, etc.)
- Most Android tablets and a few Android phones do not include this chip
- 3rd party compass apps will NOT satisfy the need for a compass chip within Avenza Maps
For Android devices that support SD cards, it is possible to store your custom imported maps on the SD card to free up space on your device's internal storage. However, we would like our customers to be aware that the casual removing and replacing the SD card will not work with Avenza Maps. When an SD card is inserted into an Android device, a custom path is created. When that card is removed and reinserted, the path changes. What this means for Avenza Maps is that the path or link to the map will become broken, which will ultimately require the map to be deleted and reimported into the app. This path can also change with OS updates. With the release of Android 10, there were significant changes made to how Android handled their internal storage system, including SD card usage, and as such changes were made within Avenza Maps to accommodate this, however, future Android OS updates can change file paths again, especially for SD cards which could result in the map needing to be deleted and reinstalled again.