My Tracks is a GPS tracker app and a must-have for any Android user who wants to record where they have been, how fast they got there and just about any other details of their trips, walks, bike rides and assorted wanderings. My Tracks My Tracks Track your trip - with waypoints (left) and then upload to Google etc (right) …
MyTracks has been around for ages and I doubt there is an Android user that isn't already aware of it, particularly the sort of tech-heads that frequent The Register.
And what's with the Buy from amazon.co.uk thing. I'm sure Ken Bruce is a great bloke, but he strikes me as more of an iPhone type.
I'm a tech-head who frequents the Reg
... and I'd been using MapMyRun's app for ages as it integrated well with their web site; because of this, I didn't need to look for anything else. Until now. MapMyRun's app has recently been upgraded to an unusable level (it's truly awful now and has the feel of a poor web site rather than an actual app; really really terrible) so this review has made me aware of an alternative. Thank you El Reg.
Re The app can be set to announce your progress at certain intervals
Automated phone calls saying that you're on the phone can't be far away.
You could just ask Google.
@ Eponymous Cowherd
Fair comment but most of the reader requests we get are to feature apps that have been around for a while.
Agreed My Tracks is no spring chicken, but I've been using Android since the G1 came out and managed to completely overlook it until this March. I suspect I'm not alone. It's the downside of their now being a quarter of a million odd apps available in the Market.
The idea of the column is both to evaluate new apps and look at apps that Android users will find useful even if they have been knocking about for a bit.
I've been an android user for a good while now and was not aware of this application, so thanks for the review.
I used it for ages before I discovered Endomondo, which I much prefer for its community features - being able to challenge your friends is great.
Re: Great App
Here here. Endomondo is the business for competitive types. I can see how my friends are getting on, see what routes they have trained over and follow those routes and, best of all, when I'm out fell running on my own, my wife can track my progress in near real-time in case I get into difficulties.
I've been using Android for a while, try to keep abreast of apps available, and have been using RunKeeper (another excellent Android and iPhone app) to track my running/walking/cycling, but I'd never heard of this app, so thanks for reviewing it!
I've used this on an occasional basis for most of the year or so I've had and android phone. Most amusing use was when I recorded a track when we did the hedge maze at Longleat .... looked at the track when we reached the centre to find quite how lost we'd been trying to get there ... seem to have managed to cover most of the area of the maze while searching!
I've been slightly suspicious of the distance it records when walking at times .... especially as (doubtless due to GPS inaccuracies) often see a very zig-zag track when walking in straightline down a road but other than its great.
Only caveat is that when you install you have to agree to a huge list of things to allow (including, IIRC, the ability to make phone calls - why?) ... I suspect that many of these may be for features I'll never use and I suppose its from a "reputable source"!
Yes, sometimes I zigzag into the next suburb over, thanks to the super-duper GPS capabilities of the samsung galaxy s (maybe someone needs to make an attachment that holds the phone on the top of your head so it works better). Makes for interesting stats when I return from a walk. I wouldn't go out running with a $600 phone in my pocket though.
If M'lud would look
you will see that my 'spouse' was never where they said they were on the day/time in question and I claim half their pension rights!
I read this in the description...
..."Record in Metric or Customary units".
Sadly I can not find out how long my journey to work is in linguine, or measure areas in nanoWales, or even tennis courts - not even when on a tennis court, though I realise the answer there would be approximately one tennis court.
Have a word with them, someone - they seem to think everyone's 'Customary' units are Imperial.
...my phone is tracking my whereabouts and uploading the details to a web site...ah
Apple already do this builtin! Oh, wait, that's not right...
Shit jokes aside, I wonder how good this would be for skiing. Normal GPS trackers for skiing* put lots of effort into distinguishing between skiing and riding a lift, 'run length', and 'vertical height lost', speeds, playback etc.
* These things map it onto virtual piste maps, but run a bit pricey - around £100 a day to rent - and are bulky mofos to boot. I've never been tempted...
Make maps public
This box is ticked by default, which I personally think it shouldn't be.
The effect of this is that "Uploaded maps will be visible to anyone on maps.google.com"
Just untick the box if you're concerned about privacy.
I use Endomondo (at the same time as My Maps) too - the autopause feature is useful.
While you're on GPS...
... check out Maverick. I bought the 'pro' version simply because the free version was so good I felt guilty using it.
Neat little app
Like many others, I´ve been using this for a while now on Galaxy S.
I live/work in the Sierra Nevada and do lots of trekking/climbing/falling in the mountains. What´s useful is that you can load the GPX files onto Garmin´s Basecamp or Mapsource software (both free) and do funky stuff with them (annotate, add pikkies etc.). I use a proper GPS when in the mountains and can transfer the data to Mapsource, Googlemaps/Earth as well as my minature fondleslab. The latest version of Android Googlemap gives a terrain-view, so you can sit in the bar and review/plan your misadventures in 3D.
Additionally, you can, if you´re a nerdy-outdoorsy type, go to Wikiloc (www.wikiloc.com) and download other tracks/routes or upload your own. This site is a goldmine for all that sort of stuff.
Trekbuddy has similar position recording abilities and is also really good. It can record in GPX and NMEA formats. But the main reason I like Trekbuddy is that you can create your own Atlas/Maps, which means (with a whole load of screen grabbing from my OS digital maps purchased from Mapyx) I can use my collection of OS 1:25k maps on the move. Also being able to plot your route as waypoints in advance then export from your digital mapping program of choice (Mapyx Quo for me) to view on your Trekbuddy display is essential for me.
Trekbuddy's been around for a few years now and I used to use it as a Java application on my SE P1i but the developer started packaging it for Android about a year ago.
The only downside to Trekbuddy (as of a few months ago when I last checked) is that it doesn't support the built-in GPS on the HTC Desire, but I tend to use a Bluetooth GPS receiver (Holux M-1200) anyway for better accuracy and improved battery life of the phone. Also means I can keep the phone out of the way of crud and rocks when mountain biking as well.
Updating of your position to Google Maps is pretty cool though. I developed my own solution for a charity bike ride where the GPX data would be sent by HTTP POST to a server and stored in a DB, then plotted on a Google Map so people could follow our progress on the website.
I think there's an official Ordnance Survey mobile application for displaying their digital maps on iTard devices. But there's nothing for Android and their digital mapping is so overpriced it's sick.
Not the best
I've had a look at MyTracks. The big issue for me is that, compared to nearly every other [sports] tracking app in the Android Market that I've looked at (e.g. Endomondo, RunKeeper, SportyPal Pro, Sports Track Live and [soon] Sports Tracker - the one that used to be Nokia Sports Tracker) it doesn't support the Polar Wearlink+ Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor.
Apart from that, the displays look like they come from an Open Source app (which, of course, they do); no one has actually gone to the trouble of actually making the UI appealing.
You may be right about it being the best if it's really accurate, but I expect that's more down to the device it's running on than the app itself.