iOS Apps for Navigation

Everything about following the wiggly line and finding the stuff to the left and right of it

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Redballrun
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iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by Redballrun » Fri Oct 13, 2017 10:28 pm

Got an iPhone or iPad and want to use it to navigate the TET? Which app should I use? This is what other TET riders recommend:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/Transeu ... 868794792/
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ErwinE
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by ErwinE » Wed Mar 28, 2018 6:39 pm

Ok - have had a look around on the facebook poll results, but as well on advrider.com. The app of choice is maps.me, have just installed it on my iphone 7 plus. I downloaded a TET GPX-track and converted it to KML using Google Maps. Imported it into the maps.me app, and it looks good.

I understand that it works as follows. Switch on the maps.me app and let it show the current position, with the current driving direction on the top of the screen. The track is visible as a line on the downloaded map. That is all. No turn-to-turn navigation, just follow the line. That looks simple and promising.

Will try part of the route in the upcoming days and will share my experiences with navigating here.
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ErwinE
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by ErwinE » Sat Mar 31, 2018 9:52 am

Experience with maps.me on the iPhone 7 plus. Used for a full day on the tracks.

What is it?
Maps.me is an app that displays open source maps combined with extra information. A waypoint-based route (kml-file) is displayed on the map. The app can be used to navigate to a specific point: turn-by-turn style. For following a route, especially on dirt roads, I chose to only display the actual map with the loaded route. The app does in this case not instruct me, and I need to decide about taking turns (or not).

General preparation
Pre-loaded the app with the right maps. The route is loaded by sending a kml-file to self, then opening the file on the iPhone and let it open in maps.me.

Before riding
Before riding, take care of the display auto-lock settings, because I think the app can not override the iOS setting. Also be aware that every time the app has been out of focus, the display options in the app itself have to be set: current position central on map (crosshairs symbol), map orientation in line with driving direction (compass symbol). And do not forget the data usage options of the app.

Riding
The map is shown and the current position is shown like a chevron arrow symbol. pointing up (due to the map settings). The pre-loaded route is displayed as a line. With this setup, I navigated the tracks. So, this is no turn-by-turn navigation.

The displayed scale is generally ok. Do not know if the scale can be changed permanently. The actual position appears to be at the base of the chevron symbol, not its upper tip. This means that sometimes the arrow has to move past the turn before it is reached. This also means that the arrow sometimes obscures the route line. One has to check regularly to have a rough idea in which direction the route will go at the next turn. Missing a turn becomes visible after riding between 50 and 100 meters.

The roads and tracks are displayed as white lines, the route as a thicker blue line. The white lines are important in order to know that the current track or road has to be left at the next turn. This is not always fully visible, due to limited contrast with the background. Maybe some color scheme settings can change this.

Sometimes, the app seems to be reacting a bit slowly. Assuming that the phone's accelerometer is used next to gps. But, it looks as if a poor gps coverage (e.g. under trees, overcast skies) is the cause of this behavior.

Battery life
Left in the morning with a fully loaded iPhone 7 Plus. After some 3 hours of constant usage, some 25% was left. The gps-function and the always on display cause this. This is when I put the phone on an extra Xtorm Powerbank Xtreme. This works well. After 1-2 hours driving with maps.me on, the phone was fully charged again. Left it on the powerbank for the rest of the day.

Post riding
Maps.me has a setting to store the actual route. This can be set to 1 day max, and that is what I did. The app displays the actual route as a dotted line. There is no way to save or export this actual route, which I think is a pity.

Verdict
The first field test of maps.me for track guidance went well. There are many more features to discover, which might be very convenient during holidays. Some of the quirks, like the contrast and scaling, can probably be avoided by changing settings. Very happy with how this went. I will keep on using this setup during future dirt road trips.

Update
After a second day on the TET NL with the app:
  • Scale of the maps. Found that the scale sometimes goes back to a default level which lacks details. Had to manually zoom in until roads, forests, canals, etc get different colours. The scale indicator then shows 100m or 200m.
  • When zooming to that level of detail, the app is lagging behind a bit (1-2 seconds). Visible when taking sharp turns. Not really disturbing, but good to know.
  • Not sure I have seen it before, but yesterday, there was a considerable difference (20+ metres sometimes) between the actual and the displayed position. Could be the map (which I doubt) or the GPS system. This can be a bit inconvenient and caused me to miss a few turns.
Last edited by ErwinE on Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:23 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by Redballrun » Sat Mar 31, 2018 7:32 pm

ErwinE wrote:Experience with maps.me on the iPhone 7 plus. Used for a full day on the tracks.

What is it?
Maps.me is an app that displays open source maps combined with extra information. A waypoint-based route (kml-file) is displayed on the map. The app can be used to navigate to a specific point: turn-by-turn style. For following a route, especially on dirt roads, I chose to only display the actual map with the loaded route. The app does in this case not instruct me, and I need to decide about taking turns (or not).

General preparation
Pre-loaded the app with the right maps. The route is loaded by sending a kml-file to self, then opening the file on the iPhone and let it open in maps.me.

Before riding
Before riding, take care of the display auto-lock settings, because I think the app can not override the iOS setting. Also be aware that every time the app has been out of focus, the display options in the app itself have to be set: current position central on map (crosshairs symbol), map orientation in line with driving direction (compass symbol). And do not forget the data usage options of the app.

Riding
The map is shown and the current position is shown like a chevron arrow symbol. pointing up (due to the map settings). The pre-loaded route is displayed as a line. With this setup, I navigated the tracks. So, this is no turn-by-turn navigation.

The displayed scale is generally ok. Do not know if the scale can be changed permanently. The actual position appears to be at the base of the chevron symbol, not its upper tip. This means that sometimes the arrow has to move past the turn before it is reached. This also means that the arrow sometimes obscures the route line. One has to check regularly to have a rough idea in which direction the route will go at the next turn. Missing a turn becomes visible after riding between 50 and 100 meters.

The roads and tracks are displayed as white lines, the route as a thicker blue line. The white lines are important in order to know that the current track or road has to be left at the next turn. This is not always fully visible, due to limited contrast with the background. Maybe some color scheme settings can change this.

Sometimes, the app seems to be reacting a bit slowly. Assuming that the phone's accelerometer is used next to gps. But, it looks as if a poor gps coverage (e.g. under trees, overcast skies) is the cause of this behavior.

Battery life
Left in the morning with a fully loaded iPhone 7 Plus. After some 3 hours of constant usage, some 25% was left. The gps-function and the always on display cause this. This is when I put the phone on an extra Xtorm Powerbank Xtreme. This works well. After 1-2 hours driving with maps.me on, the phone was fully charged again. Left it on the powerbank for the rest of the day.

Post riding
Maps.me has a setting to store the actual route. This can be set to 1 day max, and that is what I did. The app displays the actual route as a dotted line. There is no way to save or export this actual route, which I think is a pity.

Verdict
The first field test of maps.me for track guidance went well. There are many more features to discover, which might be very convenient during holidays. Some of the quirks, like the contrast and scaling, can probably be avoided by changing settings. Very happy with how this went. I will keep on using this setup during future dirt road trips.
Interesting stuff. Thank you!
I have a Samsung phone but downloaded the maps.me app.

The variety of maps available seems very limited ie just their own. Is that right?

Below are screenshots in maps.me, locus x2 and backcountry navigator. All are free and all are cachable for off line use.

Are there apps for iOS that give the (free) variety that android uses and allow gpx direct import ?

ImageImageImageImage

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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by Didado » Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:28 am

I've tried all the major apps such as OSMand, ViewRanger, Maps.me etc but I keep coming back to Galileo. Sure the other apps have zillions of features but you need to spend the weekend watching YouTube Tutorials to get your first ride in :-)

Galileo uses offline vector maps which makes zooming etc much faster and the maps are tiny (UK is 243 MB). It also supports a few of the other online OSM maps

The interface is minimal, you can import gpx tracks (via mail, url, dropbox, icloud,etc) and for those in between TET moments in town or on the highway you can use voice navigation. You can even set the track color dynamically according to speed or elevation.

But then again, apps are all about personal preferences so others might find Galileo lacking :-)
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by ErwinE » Sun Apr 01, 2018 9:32 am

The variety of maps available seems very limited ie just their own. Is that right?
It is not their own, the map source is OpenStreetMap. The map source for the app can't be changed, I think. OpenStreetMap is user generated content and "open sourced".
Are there apps for iOS that give the (free) variety that android uses and allow gpx direct import ?
Generally, the more popular apps are available for both Android and iOS. There are some exceptions, and minor differences in features between iOS and Android versions of the same apps.
I've tried all the major apps such as OSMand, ViewRanger, Maps.me etc but I keep coming back to Galileo. Sure the other apps have zillions of features but you need to spend the weekend watching YouTube Tutorials to get your first ride in :-)
I did not try many, but what you describe confirms my gut feeling. There are many good solutions out there, but one has to invest some time (and/or trouble) to get used to it. To try an app, it has to be installed, data has to be downloaded, and the essentials from the user manual should be clear. That could take a long time. An alternative approach is to look at user forums, reviews, etc, and to list feature requirements following MoSCoW (must haves, should haves, could haves, won't haves). Then, dive into the feature specifications of various apps. That will limit the choice to a shortlist, which makes the process easier.

Just had a look at Galileo, and it looks promising. A big plus is that it allows to record tracks. This app will be field tested on my next trip.
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by *kartman* » Wed May 09, 2018 7:15 am

Does anyone know if I can change the appearance of gravel roads in Galileo to become brown instead of white like all other roads ?
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by Didado » Wed May 09, 2018 12:51 pm

*kartman* wrote:
Wed May 09, 2018 7:15 am
Does anyone know if I can change the appearance of gravel roads in Galileo to become brown instead of white like all other roads ?
No, colors and the visual representations on maps are generally baked into the maps. In general apps or Garmin devices don't allow you to change that. You can change maps and perhaps see it slightly different representation of certain types of roads.

Different maps, for example a mountainbike OSM map will show unpaved roads and mtb trails as dashed lines with some variation in dashes and slight color differences according to the underlying grading of the 'path' baked into the map.

Here's an example of an MTB Map Legend
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by tshansen » Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:00 pm

Didado wrote:
Sun Apr 01, 2018 8:28 am
I've tried all the major apps such as OSMand, ViewRanger, Maps.me etc but I keep coming back to Galileo. Sure the other apps have zillions of features but you need to spend the weekend watching YouTube Tutorials to get your first ride in :-)

Galileo uses offline vector maps which makes zooming etc much faster and the maps are tiny (UK is 243 MB). It also supports a few of the other online OSM maps

The interface is minimal, you can import gpx tracks (via mail, url, dropbox, icloud,etc) and for those in between TET moments in town or on the highway you can use voice navigation. You can even set the track color dynamically according to speed or elevation.

But then again, apps are all about personal preferences so others might find Galileo lacking :-)
Just started using Galileo my self, and so far i`m impressed :-D like it alot. This is actual the first app that makes me consider not to by a second gps (garmin) for my Dirtbike :handgestures-thumbup:
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Re: iOS Apps for Navigation

Post by Didado » Sun Dec 02, 2018 4:47 pm

tshansen wrote:
Sat Dec 01, 2018 3:00 pm

Just started using Galileo my self, and so far i`m impressed :-D like it alot. This is actual the first app that makes me consider not to by a second gps (garmin) for my Dirtbike :handgestures-thumbup:

Once you are on a longer trip you'll discover that the search function is very helpful. You can search for hotels, campgrounds, fuel etc and they are all shown on the map. Very handy.
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