It is with great joy that I read the above comments, and am very grateful for the recent reviews. I would have written earlier but I am currently on the Camino Aragonés collecting new stuff for the upcoming update to the Francés app… yes, the two will be combined!
Somebody above asked to know the difference between the paid and the free apps, so let me see if I can explain a bit of the history and motivation. In a nutshell the paid app has more: it is the full content of the guidebook, it has maps which can be downloaded for offline use, and in fact all of the images are also intended to be used entirely offline. The online need is limited only to reading and leaving comments, as this involves live information.
The free app was developed as a response to this thread
, where it was made very clear that there was a demand for a stripped down version of the app. A surprising number of pilgrims don’t want to know any of the history or contemporary information about a place… or they have a different source for that information. Many pilgrims were looking for distances and beds. So the All Caminos free app does that and a bit more.
On a fundamental level the reason I do what I do (obsess about the services available to pilgrims) is because I want pilgrims to have the best information possible. I was recently in the Pilgrim Office in SJPP and was appalled by the list that they are distributing…. One of the albergues on the list has been closed for 6+ years, and at least a dozen more have closed since it was last updated. As the camino has become more and more busy this creates a lot anxiety among pilgrims, and anxiety then takes the place of other much more important emotions that the camino would otherwise invite.
So perhaps it is what is needed for everyone to set off with a bit more confidence is a free and digital version of that SJPP list, but one that is tended to more carefully.
Off to Sangüesa, have a great day!