Mar 092013

My Tracks - Google Android App

I have been using the android app, My Tracks from Google, to track my daily walks and other outdoor activities for a couple of months now. I have used my Garmin GPS to map my routes in the past but being able to use my phone is so much more handy. Just as we all use our phones as a handy camera, I want to be able to use my phone as a handy GPS. And just as my phone camera is not as ‘good’ as my large dSLR camera, my phone GPS only needs to be ‘good enough’ when I am out and about. So, what does a GPS app need to do to be ‘good enough’?

Background Mode Endomondo Pro had been on my Galaxy Nexus for a number of months and did a pretty good job but has a major failing; if you need to run any other app, it cannot run in the background and will close down as soon as it looses focus. So, if you need to take a call, answer a text message, or change up something on your android mp3 player, Endomond will silently quit running and you may not realize till you get home that you have no record of your activity.

Display Tracks on Google Maps We all want to see where we have been, especially if we took a nice hike. My Tracks can export your track to your My Maps at Google or you can share it on any of your favorite social media sites.

Export Tracks to a GPX Geo tagging photos allows you to place the location of a photo within the image so that you and others can see where the photo was taken. By using this on my last trip to San Antonio I could easily see where I was when I took each photo. Running the GPS constantly can be hard on battery life but I always carry 2 spare batteries when I plan to do this just to be on the safe side.

My Track Features

  • View your real-time location and where you’ve been on Google Maps for Mobile.
  • Monitor real-time speed, distance and elevation right on your phone.
  • Share your tracks with friends via Google+, Gmail, Facebook and Twitter.
  • Want to remember that secret vista or running path? Mark it with a waypoint.
  • Record your heart rate and bike cadence to know exactly how you’re doing.
  • Export your tracks and stats to Google Maps, Google Docs, and Google Fusion Tables too.

All in all, I like the My Tracks app. I turn it on when I take my daily walks and have it set to ‘announce’ every 2 minutes how far and how fast I am walking so that I push myself. I have used it on vacations, hikes, and even Cross Country meets to geo-tag photos, that then can be plotted on Google Maps.

What apps do you use?

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