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  1. #1
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    Smartphone App that isn't a vampire on battery life?

    I just moved to the 21st century and got an iPhone. No more flip phone for me!

    I downloaded the Runtastic app. I love that I can track my rides over a period of time and see how much training I do.

    I am aware there are many apps out their for cycling and running. I am looking for one that does not eat up my battery.

    Runtastic will take my battery from 100% to 30% ON A 3 HOUR RIDE! If I go on a 5 hour ride I fear my battery will die out.

    Is their an app that does not consume so much of the battery?
    You cannot go against nature, because when you do, its part of nature too.

  2. #2
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    Pretty much... no. It's actually amazing that you can constantly query GPS data and get three to four hours run time.

    IIRC, there are some apps that permit you to turn down the GPS data frequency, but the result is reduced resolution of your path. That doesn't sound like an issue until you notice your app reports you running through people's yards, cutting corners, etc. In deploying a low refresh setting I once lost 0.8 off a 10 mile ride. Bleh.

    You are best off purchasing a USB power source to extend your phone's life and/or purchasing a separate GPS Bluetooth receiver. Option 1 can extend your phone's power x2 or even x3, option 2 will cut you power consumption as the phone will no longer have to crunch raw gps data into positional data.

  3. #3
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    Smartphone App that isn't a vampire on battery life?

    The way to save battery life with Runtastic MTB is to use offline maps.

  4. #4
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    Smartphone App that isn't a vampire on battery life?

    And keep the screen locked

  5. #5
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    You can also buy a case for the iphone which incorporates another battery, effectively it can double your battery life.

  6. #6
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    (Android user here)
    Does iPhone have "airplane mode"?
    If so, try this.. Launch the app, start tracking, once it's up & running deploy airplane mode, and 're-open the app. ^ Doing this eliminates cell tower triangulation, gives a pure sat signal, and enables me to ride for 6 hours without killing the battery.

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  7. #7
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    I've used the Cyclemeter app since iPhone 3gs days (it is now free in the App Store). Last year I clocked over 3,700 miles; all tracked with this app.

    I can recall exhausting the battery twice while tracking rides in the past 4+ years... once was ~85% into an 88 mile MTB ride (iPhone 5; had blue tooth on for my heart rate montior) and the other, I didn't start with a full charge (iPhone 4).

    Note: the iPhone 5s has an M7 motion coprocessor that saves more power than its predecessors (particularly if you use blue tooth HRM, cadence, etc.)

    I haven't tried the airplane mode suggestion that Flyin_W mentioned.

  8. #8
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    get a dedicated GPS receiver. 20+ hours of runtime on fresh batteries give or take depending on the model. Some like my Oregon 450 can be more like 16ish but still plenty for a day or two of riding.

    users of some android phones can get around battery limitations by carrying spare batteries. I have found spare batteries for my new android (Droid Bionic) in at least 4 different capacities, with two of the highest capacity options using a fatter back cover. I'd get one of those, but it makes finding a protective case a PITA. so, to the highest capacity option that uses the stock back cover for me. For that matter, I'm finding that squeezing out max battery life takes a lot of trial and error to get the settings just right.

  9. #9
    Dirt, Sweat and Gears
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    Might look at MapMyRide. Not sure how it is on iOS but on my Android I get about 10% battery drain per every 1.5 hours it's running. Provided I leave it alone and don't continually turn on the screen, and stream music at the same time and such.

    I figure that's pretty good (but I have one of the high battery capcity Droid phones)


    If you really get into GPS mapping, I'd look at dedicated GPS unit from Garmin or other. They really can't be beat as far as battery life and mapping accuracy and such.
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  10. #10
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    Try strava and see if it works better. A friend uses it on his android and he has no issues with long rides. But who knows how the different phones and strava implementations affect battery drain.

    Obviously you want your screen off during logging. You can try to turn off wifi, bluetooth and 3g/4g data to further help conserve battery. If you ride in an area without cell coverage then your battery drain is increased as the phone constantly looks for a signal. Unfortunately, you can't put the phone in flight mode as that will usually turn off the gps as well (it does for sure on 4 and 4s and probably does on the 5 series as well).

  11. #11
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    My windows phone will log 7 hours of riding with screen off. Still have 40% battery left.

    After ride I have a nice GPX file, with all details

    This is in an area with hardly any cell reception. People drop the inferior phone and get something that just works better.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flyin_W View Post
    (Android user here)
    Does iPhone have "airplane mode"?
    If so, try this.. Launch the app, start tracking, once it's up & running deploy airplane mode, and 're-open the app. ^ Doing this eliminates cell tower triangulation, gives a pure sat signal, and enables me to ride for 6 hours without killing the battery.

    (tapa)
    If you're using Android, you don't necessarily need to go on airplane mode to avoid network based location services. When I get a GPS fix I just select "GPS satellites" and uncheck "Google's location service". Doing that, I not only save on battery power, I also avoided the 600mph tower jump that usually happens when I lose sight of the GPS satellites. I use Everytrail as a primary track recording app and Maverick for offline navigation.

  13. #13
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    If you go to airplane mode on the iphone, Runtastic wont run, as it turns off the GPS as well. Try turning off Bluetooth and WiFi instead, and get a case with the extra battery as suggested. Sounds like the Windows phone is pretty good.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    If you go to airplane mode on the iphone, Runtastic wont run, as it turns off the GPS as well. Try turning off Bluetooth and WiFi instead, and get a case with the extra battery as suggested. Sounds like the Windows phone is pretty good.
    A friend of mine uses a Lumia 800 something WP. And beside the lack of GPS tracking and navigation apps, his rides on Endomondo keeps getting cut off when he rests. Such a shame because I started to use GPS tracking on old school Nokia phones like the N82.

  15. #15
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    Lumia 800 was released late 2011, not really a relevant phone anymore. Like I said my lumia 822 tracked 7 hours worth of data over endomondo and had 40% battery life left.
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ottoreni View Post
    I just moved to the 21st century and got an iPhone. No more flip phone for me!

    I downloaded the Runtastic app. I love that I can track my rides over a period of time and see how much training I do.

    I am aware there are many apps out their for cycling and running. I am looking for one that does not eat up my battery.

    Runtastic will take my battery from 100% to 30% ON A 3 HOUR RIDE! If I go on a 5 hour ride I fear my battery will die out.

    Is their an app that does not consume so much of the battery?
    What other apps do you have running? Do you lock your screen?

    I run Strava, Endomondo and Wahoo Fitness all using GPS and Bluetooth and my iPhone battery goes to 75% from 100% in about 90 minutes. I carry a spare extra rechargeable battery with me just in case.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by MSU Alum View Post
    If you go to airplane mode on the iphone, Runtastic wont run, as it turns off the GPS as well. Try turning off Bluetooth and WiFi instead, and get a case with the extra battery as suggested. Sounds like the Windows phone is pretty good.
    Bumping this to add what I just found out.

    I have an iPhone 5. If you put the phone into airplane made you can then manually turn the BlueTooth back on. This eliminates the GPS signal, but you can still get your speed, cadence, and HR info. Not sure how much battery it will actually save, and it will not get the mapping feature.

  18. #18
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    Might want to make this a poll thread.

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