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  1. #1
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    Best GPS tracker app for blackberry/iphone?

    If you you've paid attention at all to mobile technology over teh past 10 years its clear that standalone GPS devices will be obsolete in the main stream before too long. GPS apps on mobile devices have already surpassed the functionality, usability, coverage, price, etc of the standalone devices in addition to consolidating the digital crap you need to carry along with you while you are out there. I personally have been using a new version of a tracker (don't confuse mapping apps with trackers) app on my Blackberry, they just enabled capability to preload map tiles before a trek so that you can be as remote as you want on the planet and still track your trip and know exactly where you are at all times. My wife uses MotionX GPS on her iphone, $.99, and it does the same, but blows Trimble away in performance and usability. Others out there that people have good experience with? Am I missing anything in the standalone devices?

  2. #2
    This place is wasteland
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    My garmin edge is shockproof , waterproof, can record heartrate, power, cadence and can mount to my handlebars. I take my iPhone but don't subject it to being my gps for rides. Just a phone in my pack.

  3. #3
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    I've been using Gaia GPS (iphone app) lately and really like it. I keep it in my camelbak and then send the track via email (gpx file) when I'm done and open it in google earth. Gives both elevation and speed on a nice graph. I've used motionx in the past because it allows you to play music while recording the track but battery life suffers.

  4. #4
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    maybe a little off topic but my iphone gps was working great at least for the route finding on the streets- blue dot would locate exactly my location and move while i drove( even move while i walked around the house)- while following a route to a job or directions. Now my location is off same area in general but still off by 1/4 mile or so. Blue dot does not move while en route----havent done anything to it.

    of course im not a genius so maybe its me.......anybody?
    I'm a cowboy on a steel horse i ride!

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  5. #5
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    That happens on my iphone 3g every once in a while, usually I have to restart the google maps app or restart the phone. Usually the blue dot will be way off and not blinking, Ihave no idea what the cause is. I've never had any of my mtn bike tracks come back with any crazy inaccurate points, so I'm not sure what the deal is.

  6. #6
    not actually bad :)
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    GEEKS!

    Quote Originally Posted by guacamole
    My garmin edge is shockproof , waterproof, can record heartrate, power, cadence and can mount to my handlebars. I take my iPhone but don't subject it to being my gps for rides. Just a phone in my pack.
    ^^^
    Especially you.

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  7. #7
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    Map and compass app.
    Golden Bike Park Group

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    Trestle Bike Park

  8. #8
    This place is wasteland
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    Quote Originally Posted by bad andy!
    GEEKS!


    ^^^
    Especially you.


    Sad. But true.

  9. #9
    Rolling
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    My android put my garmin out of business so far.

    However, battery life could be better. But being able to use the gps with downloaded maps on my device WITHOUT the cell phone service on (aka airplane mode) is awesome.

    For those who have android, backcountry navigator allows hi res downloaded topos.

  10. #10
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    I have been using runmeter the last month or so, it's $5 but was well worth it. I also used runkeeper for two years. If you want the best tracking app, runmeter is the better of the two. If you want the best social media integration then runkeeper might have more for you.

  11. #11
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    For blackberry, GPSLogger:
    http://www.emacberry.com/gpslogger.html

    really good battery life... no maps but you can load *.gpx tracks into the background.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBR me!
    maybe a little off topic but my iphone gps was working great at least for the route finding on the streets- blue dot would locate exactly my location and move while i drove( even move while i walked around the house)- while following a route to a job or directions. Now my location is off same area in general but still off by 1/4 mile or so. Blue dot does not move while en route----havent done anything to it.

    of course im not a genius so maybe its me.......anybody?
    On my droid phone, there is an option in the settings menu to "use GPS satellites". If you don't check it, the phone still tries to calculate your position using cell towers instead of GPS satellites, which is less accurate.
    Turning it off saves battery but gives you a less accurate position. Perhaps the Iphone has a similar setting?

  13. #13
    Green Wrencher
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    I do pretty well with endomondo on my 9700

    It's free and has served me well so far.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    My android put my garmin out of business so far.

    However, battery life could be better. But being able to use the gps with downloaded maps on my device WITHOUT the cell phone service on (aka airplane mode) is awesome.

    For those who have android, backcountry navigator allows hi res downloaded topos.
    Is that the right link? It looks like a retail gear site. Or do you mean this?

    http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    Is that the right link? It looks like a retail gear site. Or do you mean this?

    http://www.backcountrynavigator.com/
    That's just the forum automatically creating links based on keywords.

  16. #16
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    I haven't completely given up on my Garmin, but for short rides (<4hrs) I'll use just my phone (Droid w/ My Tracks or Maverick).

    It's the battery life that I don't like. Having all your electronic gizmos on one unit is great when it works, but if the battery dies (or you fall on it and break it) you're SOL.

    Waterproof isn't a big issue for me, I just picked up a little waterproof bag at REI that my phone fits in and I can still use the touch screen.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by jjonas
    I haven't completely given up on my Garmin, but for short rides (<4hrs) I'll use just my phone (Droid w/ My Tracks or Maverick).
    It seems like the disadvantage to My Tracks is that you need a cell signal to see a map. Is there a way to use My Tracks with maps stored on your device?

    It's the battery life that I don't like. Having all your electronic gizmos on one unit is great when it works, but if the battery dies (or you fall on it and break it) you're SOL.
    How Much battery life are you talking about?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    It seems like the disadvantage to My Tracks is that you need a cell signal to see a map. Is there a way to use My Tracks with maps stored on your device?
    When I'm out of cell coverage, I use Maverick instead of My Tracks. Definitely a con with My Tracks

    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    How Much battery life are you talking about?
    Well, it all depends on how much I'm running the Droid. I've gotten 6hrs of track recorded when I put it in airplane mode and run nothing else but the GPS. But if the cell phone is on and I'm using it as an iPod and a GPS, I'm lucky to get 4hrs.

  19. #19
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    So Maverick and Back Country Navigator seem to be similar. Anyone have some experience to compare the 2?
    To have my ANDROID phone replace my GPS, I think it would have to do the following:

    * Store tracks on the phone for me to use at a later date (like tracks I get off the internets for new trails)
    * Save Waypoints.
    * Easily use maps stored on the card so internet service isn't needed.
    * Easily save tracks in .gpx format.
    * Show altitude, heading, time and distance while on a trip.
    * Elevation profile would be a plus (current GPS doesn't do this).
    * Easily measure distance to landmarks.

    That's a pretty basic list but really its all that I do with my GPS now. Would Maverick or Back Country navigator, or both, serve my needs?

  20. #20
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    I use cyclemeter and love it. Climb/descend measurements aren't terribly accurate, but it tracks your rides on a calendar and compares them to previous runs.

    So like last week I went up and down Chimney Gulch on Wednesday and Saturday, and on Saturday I shaved 3 minutes off my time moving and spent 12 less minutes wheezing by the side of the trail.

    But on Wednesday it says I climbed 2400 feet and decended 2040 feet, and on Saturday I climbed 1896 feet and decended 1913 feet, and I parked and turned around in the same spots.

    It does calories too, but those are based purely on speed, altitude gain isn't factored in, so I burned 670 calories lugging myself to the top of lookout mountain, but I burn 2000 calories/hour on my road bike?
    The correct number of bikes one should own is N+1, where N is the number of bikes currently owned.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by hirschmj
    But on Wednesday it says I climbed 2400 feet and decended 2040 feet, and on Saturday I climbed 1896 feet and decended 1913 feet, and I parked and turned around in the same spots.
    That's a pretty big error, but wouldn't the error be caused by the GPS itself and not the software? GPS's are known to not have good elevation accuracy, so one big advantage of (some) dedicated GPS's over a phone is a barometric altimeter.

    Anyway, what I usually do with my tracks after a ride is to correct the elevation on the track using Topofusion. It gives you the option of keeping the GPS elevations or correcting them using the DEM (Digital elevation model). Using the DEM is basically just using the elevation readings off the topo map at each point on your track, instead of the elevation your GPS calculates.

  22. #22
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    If you are comparing a $100 standalone GPS to the phone apps then you may have a valid comparison. You throw in a good GPS in the mix and the phone apps are very weak.

    My Android, my sons IPhone are not as accurate as my Delorme PN 60 or Garmin 60csx, 705. The phone apps dont offer near as many features as a dedicated GPS.

    If you are just keeping tracks for local rides not to far from civilization the phone app will prolly work fine for you, get a little further off the beaten path and you will prolly want something with more power.

    Phones and Apps still have some work to do before Delorme and Garmin close up shop.

  23. #23
    Rolling
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve
    So Maverick and Back Country Navigator seem to be similar. Anyone have some experience to compare the 2?
    To have my ANDROID phone replace my GPS, I think it would have to do the following:

    * Store tracks on the phone for me to use at a later date (like tracks I get off the internets for new trails)
    * Save Waypoints.
    * Easily use maps stored on the card so internet service isn't needed.
    * Easily save tracks in .gpx format.
    * Show altitude, heading, time and distance while on a trip.
    * Elevation profile would be a plus (current GPS doesn't do this).
    * Easily measure distance to landmarks.

    That's a pretty basic list but really its all that I do with my GPS now. Would Maverick or Back Country navigator, or both, serve my needs?
    Backcountrynavigator for example does everything above but show distance to landmark. If your phone has a compass, it uses it for heading.


    I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60csx and although it rocks the house, I found that all I really do when riding is log trails and look at terrain around me. I don't use waypoints and all that when I ride most trails. If I do backpacking, then I use my Garmin GPS---and a paper map. I would never rely on a phone or just a GPS for that.

    Elevation has to be questioned due to being gps, it has nothing over my garmin that uses a pressure altimeter, but it seems pretty good anyway.



    You can demo it for free for two weeks....and Nathan will extend it if you need more time.

    PS, if I ride around town or just want to log a ride and stats, or a run while I listen to music, nothing beats google mytracks for that on the android,...and it's free. It will log whether you have phone service or not, you just can't see the map. It supports gpx format, allows you to upload to google maps and shows you stats along with a speed and elevation profile versus time or mileage.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by lidarman
    Backcountrynavigator for example does everything above but show distance to landmark. If your phone has a compass, it uses it for heading.


    I have a Garmin GPSMAP 60csx and although it rocks the house, I found that all I really do when riding is log trails and look at terrain around me. I don't use waypoints and all that when I ride most trails. If I do backpacking, then I use my Garmin GPS---and a paper map. I would never rely on a phone or just a GPS for that.

    Elevation has to be questioned due to being gps, it has nothing over my garmin that uses a pressure altimeter, but it seems pretty good anyway.



    You can demo it for free for two weeks....and Nathan will extend it if you need more time.

    PS, if I ride around town or just want to log a ride and stats, or a run while I listen to music, nothing beats google mytracks for that on the android,...and it's free. It will log whether you have phone service or not, you just can't see the map. It supports gpx format, allows you to upload to google maps and shows you stats along with a speed and elevation profile versus time or mileage.
    Thanks for the info! Backcountry Navigator sounds pretty good. Measuring distances is a nice feature that it lacks, but that's not a deal breaker.

  25. #25
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    I've been hooked on the new version of TrimbleOutdoors for blackberry, the best new feature is it can load a 26 square mile area worth of satellite image maps (think google satellite view) to the device down to 10 meters of zoom. I took it backcountry skiing and could literally navigate to powder fields 100 yds away while in a dense stand of trees by following the little blue orb on the map. it does all of the things that Steve is looking for, and I can post my track to the internet once I get back to civilization (cell phone range) and share waypoints where the best and safest snow/terrain was. I plan to do the same on the bike this summer over Rollins pass/ Guinn Hut. In terms of battery life, I tracked the entire Monarch Crest (8 hrs) ride last summer following a buddies gpx track that I downloaded from the car in salida on our way up to the summit of the pass. I carry a quickcharge unit as backup just in case too. For a poor man's GPS, I can't think of any other features I'd be willing to pay more than $20 for. 10M of accuracy is good for my purposes.

  26. #26
    Old, Slow and now FAT! :)
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    I find MotionX on my iPhone4 to be really good. You can preload maps, it has terrain and many (but not all) paths on it, you can add routes to follow and waypoints and it is accurate enough to know what side of a street I am on.

    The downside if that the battery only lasts about four hours with it.

  27. #27
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    Powerstick is a little thumb drive looking thing you charge up, and then take it with you to charge your phone. $50 bucks, but a cool option for extended GPS usage:

    http://www.powerstick.com/store/inde...&product_id=49

  28. #28
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    For the iphone, I have been using Strava. You can use it to view others that have ridden the same area to compare time, speed etc.
    http://www.strava.com/

    I just keep using my trusty Garmin Forerunner 305 for regular everyday stuff
    Proud Tribe member since 1992 - looking for better singletrack to be ridden year round

  29. #29
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    I have used garmins for years and am now only using Backcountry navigator on my android htc hero.

    I bought 3 spare li-ion batteries with a docking charger that charges them outside the phone for $12 including shipping. I now have 4 batteries that weigh next to nothing and get about 7 hours out of each battery playing music and running gps with the phone in airplane mode.

    I do not understand why anyone would use any device (ie Iphone) that has an $80 internal battery that cannot be changed by the owner. As long as people keep buying their phones and $80 batteries they have no reason to change anything. The profit margin on that battery is around 98%.

  30. #30
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    mapmyride has worked fine for me, route, speed, elevation, time, all I need, free.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by yetirich
    For the iphone, I have been using Strava. You can use it to view others that have ridden the same area to compare time, speed etc.
    http://www.strava.com/

    I just keep using my trusty Garmin Forerunner 305 for regular everyday stuff

    +1 on Strava. It's amazing, but all the competition on the site makes it hard to go easy on recovery days!

  32. #32
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    I use Endomondo for sports tracking runs and cycling for my BlackBerry Torch 9800. Works pretty well plus they have a nicely integrated social page that lets people view your stats and stuff. The GPS tracking overlays nicely with Google maps and if you have a Bluetooth HRM like the Zephyr HxM or the Polar Wearlink+ Bluetooth you can track HR and cadence. Also works well with Garmin GPS watches too I think.

  33. #33
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    GPS essentials looks pretty good for android. And, its free!

    https://market.android.com/details?i....gpsessentials

  34. #34
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    +1

    Quote Originally Posted by kerryn
    I find MotionX on my iPhone4 to be really good. You can preload maps, it has terrain and many (but not all) paths on it, you can add routes to follow and waypoints and it is accurate enough to know what side of a street I am on.

    The downside if that the battery only lasts about four hours with it.
    MotionX here as well.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtncampbell
    +1 on Strava. It's amazing, but all the competition on the site makes it hard to go easy on recovery days!
    just checked out the Strava site, route competition is a pretty cool element to the whole tracking concept...Campbell/ YetiRich, how many front range users and tracks do you find on the site?

  36. #36
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    Viewranger

    It works great on my Android, downloadedable map tiles, records tracks, logs speed, elevation, etc.
    MY dog can lick YOUR dog!

  37. #37
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    I've been using everytrail on my iphone 3g and it's pretty good for a free app... I'm researching others and will upgrade when one seems like it will be that much better than everytrail... It's not very accurate but the jury is still out on whether that's just due to poor phone GPS or how everytrail interprets it.

  38. #38
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    I settled on locus pro for android after trying out a bunch of different ones. good gps tracking and you can download maps ahead of time for when you go somewhere with no reception, and you have plenty of map choices like google and OSM and others. OSM displays accurate terrain info and usually has all the bike trails on there already.
    When I had an iphone my favorite was accuterra.

  39. #39
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    As an off topic question, I have a Droid X and sometimes the GPS has difficulty finding a satellite. Usually it takes a minute or two to lock in but once every 3 or 4 times or so, the GPS just won't lock in. Over the weekend, while in CB, I signed up for the free Backcountry Navigator to try it out and the GPS never locked in during the ride, even when I was above treeline for more than an hour (i.e no trees or other cover to block signal). Quite frustrating, particularly when I needed it to navigate the trail.

    Anyone else have this problem? Suggestions on solutions or if the GPS unit is just bad on this phone?

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    As an off topic question, I have a Droid X and sometimes the GPS has difficulty finding a satellite. Usually it takes a minute or two to lock in but once every 3 or 4 times or so, the GPS just won't lock in. Over the weekend, while in CB, I signed up for the free Backcountry Navigator to try it out and the GPS never locked in during the ride, even when I was above treeline for more than an hour (i.e no trees or other cover to block signal). Quite frustrating, particularly when I needed it to navigate the trail.

    Anyone else have this problem? Suggestions on solutions or if the GPS unit is just bad on this phone?
    Are you sure its the GPS, or is it the maps? The maps and directions need a cell signal, the GPS satellite does not. I have trouble getting maps but never had a problem getting the satellite lock (even though it just shows you sitting on a blank screen).

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Are you sure its the GPS, or is it the maps? The maps and directions need a cell signal, the GPS satellite does not. I have trouble getting maps but never had a problem getting the satellite lock (even though it just shows you sitting on a blank screen).
    Yeah, unfortunately its the GPS. It keeps saying "acquiring" or that its trying to get a location (also tried Tracks and it gave similar error messages, such as unable to acquire satellite and it asked to make sure I was outside and under a clear sky). I have had Backcountry Nav on for the last 5 minutes and it still says "acquiring" and the map shows the last place it was able to find a satellite.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    Yeah, unfortunately its the GPS. It keeps saying "acquiring" or that its trying to get a location (also tried Tracks and it gave similar error messages, such as unable to acquire satellite and it asked to make sure I was outside and under a clear sky). I have had Backcountry Nav on for the last 5 minutes and it still says "acquiring" and the map shows the last place it was able to find a satellite.
    Have you tried going to settings/location and security/ and checking the box for "use GPS satellites?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilinsteve View Post
    Have you tried going to settings/location and security/ and checking the box for "use GPS satellites?
    Yes. Backcountry Nav finally locked onto a satellite (though it took about 7 minutes) but I am inside a building in town (though next to a window). Not sure why it was not able to lock in Crested Butte (while riding Reno/Deadman), though it appears to have done so the next day when I was in Gothic since when I pulled BNav this morning (for first time since I left CB), the map onscreen showed where I camped in Gothic before I left so it must have finally locked on but hours later.

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    Yes. Backcountry Nav finally locked onto a satellite (though it took about 7 minutes) but I am inside a building in town (though next to a window). Not sure why it was not able to lock in Crested Butte (while riding Reno/Deadman), though it appears to have done so the next day when I was in Gothic since when I pulled BNav this morning (for first time since I left CB), the map onscreen showed where I camped in Gothic before I left so it must have finally locked on but hours later.
    Don't know what to tell you. Maybe it is your phone. Do you have the same problem with street navigation, or just with the Tracks and BC Nav apps? I'm thinking maybe having more than one program running at once could mess it up. I think I have had problems getting the GPS to lock in if I switched from maps to nav, but I'm not sure.

    I use BC Nav myself, and have had pretty good luck with it.

    I just opened up maps and centered in on my location in about 5 seconds.

    One other idea (not saying that any of these ideas are good ideas), see if it makes a difference if your wifi is turned on or not. I know the phone uses wifi for location purposes as well, and if it is trying to use wifi with no signal, it might effect the GPS somehow. So wifi off might make your GPS react faster?

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    I have had the same problem with street maps/google maps. It often takes a few minutes to lock in, even when I am outside and the sky is clear (it occasionally takes 15+minutes and on rarer occasion, it never locks in). I have started opening Tracks as soon as I arrive at the TH to allow it time to lock in while I get ready to ride. It must be my phone! Unfortunately, the return/exchange time frame is over Thanks smilingsteve for your suggestions! I am now checking out the wifi issue to see if that is screwing with it.

  46. #46
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    double post...

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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    I have had the same problem with street maps/google maps. It often takes a few minutes to lock in, even when I am outside and the sky is clear (it occasionally takes 15+minutes and on rarer occasion, it never locks in). I have started opening Tracks as soon as I arrive at the TH to allow it time to lock in while I get ready to ride. It must be my phone! Unfortunately, the return/exchange time frame is over Thanks smilingsteve for your suggestions! I am now checking out the wifi issue to see if that is screwing with it.
    yeah it's got to be your phone hardware if you have the same problem using different apps. My Virgin Mobile LG Optimus takes maybe 30 seconds to lock on with the gps, if not faster. The phone manufacturer may have something like a 1 year warranty that you could look for since you're past the return date for the store.

  48. #48
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    BTW, smilinsteve, which mapsource do you use for BC Nav? MyTopo.com or USGS? Which is better? I have MyTopo but it seems dated by at least 10 years (if not more).

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTC Rider View Post
    As an off topic question, I have a Droid X and sometimes the GPS has difficulty finding a satellite. Usually it takes a minute or two to lock in but once every 3 or 4 times or so, the GPS just won't lock in. Over the weekend, while in CB, I signed up for the free Backcountry Navigator to try it out and the GPS never locked in during the ride, even when I was above treeline for more than an hour (i.e no trees or other cover to block signal). Quite frustrating, particularly when I needed it to navigate the trail.

    Anyone else have this problem? Suggestions on solutions or if the GPS unit is just bad on this phone?
    add this to your apps [its free]

    https://market.android.com/details?i...sstatus2&hl=en

    not only is it a decent app to play with but it has a feature that will "reset" the gps on your phone...

    once its installed:

    - open the app
    - press menu
    - press tools
    - press manage a-gps state
    - press reset

    - press menus again
    - press tools again
    - press manage a-gps state again
    - now press download

    - close out the app
    - reopen whatever gps app you were having trouble with and it will lock onto a signal 100% of the time. never fails.

    you're welcome

  50. #50
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