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      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2013 edited
     
    So there are LOTS of apps to track and compare data, that's not hard to find. I've tried out a few, they all do what they're supposed to (usually).

    There's another segment of apps, those which tell you where to go. There are only one or two which work when travelling via bike in the US, one of which is Google's, and I'm not always pleased w/ the extra long routes it provides.

    There are Garmin devices out there that both track location & stuff, and also give you turn-by-turn navigation. (They're also upwards of $450).

    My first question is, why are there no android app that do that? I assume it's likely cause of Garmin patents and them wanting you to buy their devices.

    I'm considering buying a garmin device mainly cause tracking with my phone kills battery AND I'd get all the above...

    But I'm also just wondering if anyone has found any apps that do that, ideally, for android.

    Also general discussion of which apps you use and why, welcome here...

    (I started a new thread after bfixed&google search results were unsatisfactory)EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
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      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2013
     
    I just use Google maps? I set the default route to be pedestrian when I'm biking and I stick to main roads. I'm boring. Also, I try to know where I'm going without the map (doesn't always work, but life is more fun this way).Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
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      CommentAuthorMorgie
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2013
     
    Any app that would use your phones gps would destroy your battery, and the gps on a garmin is much more accurate. Why do you need this kinda service/info? In most cases I'd say get a garmin. I have a modern android phone with stava, map my ride, and a few nav apps and a garmin, each for different types of riding/mapping.
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      CommentAuthorseanile mick
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2013 edited
     
    garmin edge 500 is great for me. can do maps, just looks like a game of snake though, but that's gotten me around more than fine. and it's about half of the $450 price tag.somebody turn the lights off on this place already.
    •  
      CommentAuthora_lion
    • CommentTimeApr 24th 2013
     
    my brother works at strava and is hell bent on making me get a garmin cuz the gps is so much better than on a phone. suuuper don't care enough to pay for one, though.
    •  
      CommentAuthornerdo
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    Also, what Morgan said. If you can't hook your phone up to a power source, the GPS is useless because it'll kill your battery before you can get anywhere. I route before I ride and self-correct along the way if necessary.Worstcase I'll just zip tie on a seat... but i'd rather not. —Zev (who else)
  1.  
    I have not used Strava too much, but I was impressed by how much it did not kill my battery during the marathon ride.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
    •  
      CommentAuthorwest.
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013 edited
     
    I have a Garmin eTrex 20, about $180 at REI. It's pretty cheap (comparatively speaking), waterproof, shockproof, backlit, has a color screen, very accurate, takes 2 AA batteries (which last forever and are easily found anywhere), has a slot for a micro SD card which I loaded up with a torrent (I know, I know, but whatevs) of Garmin's North American road maps. You can plan out a route ahead of time and upload it to the device with turn by turn directions or you can have the custom settings set up to calculate a decentish route on the fly. You can export your GPS tracks to a computer when you're done for elevation/speed/distance profiles.

    I really couldn't be happier about this thing. My ONLY slight reservation is that the built in compass doesn't rely on magnetic fields (you'd need the eTrex 30 for that) so you have to be moving slightly for it to start to show the direction.unstuck in time
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    Fantastic advice and comments all... yes, exactly what I am looking for.

    I'm generally fine when I'm around boston, and plan my route ahead of time. I'm more thinking about how I wanna ride more. I feel like not having to pull out a map (print or digital) would help the flow of the ride.

    Responses, fueled by my "research" so far:

    nerdo:I just use Google maps? I set the default route to be pedestrian when I'm biking and I stick to main roads. I'm boring. Also, I try to know where I'm going without the map (doesn't always work, but life is more fun this way).
    The reason I hated doing using the Walking setting is cause they never expected you to be going upwards of 5mph. I would love if the directions came sooner. But they pay preference to bike routes & elevation in the biking navigation, which is sad for me, cause I usually want the most direct route. For a casual bike ride I imagine it'd be fine. (It helps that once the route is downloaded you can turn off data, and it's all still there if you dont screw up navigating too badly).

    nerdo:Also, what Morgan said. If you can't hook your phone up to a power source, the GPS is useless because it'll kill your battery before you can get anywhere. I route before I ride and self-correct along the way if necessary.

    RE: GPS+Battery. I turned off data on my phone once, just leaving GPS on til the ride was done, I managed to go the entirety of the 50 mile Hub On Wheels ride...

    surprisefries:I have not used Strava too much, but I was impressed by how much it did not kill my battery during the marathon ride.
    And the apps that are popular are making an active effort to improve battery life over the last few months. "MapMyRide" actually made a point of noting it in their "What's New" for the android app.

    I knot that's not a huge ride for most of you. Most of my rides right now are under 15 miles (working on more). Battery life isnt the biggest issue for me, though it'd be nice if I bluetooth also didnt kill battery. Long rides become a lot more dangerous if your phone isnt working. That's my main motivation for getting a garmin.

    The eTrex 20/30 seem like pretty good options. Also I'll have to compare the 500.EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013 edited
     
    Also... features i'd love to see in a cycling app:

    • Pace/timing/interval/fitness announcements
    • Turn by Turn nav
    • Strava or otherwise social integration
    • Route tracking and elevation
    • Speed & cadence display

    Is that so much to ask? I'd definitely pay for it if it were less than 200 dollars.EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    Btw... I just read that the eTrex 20 & 30 can both do Turn By Turn navigation if you use the City Navigator NT maps.
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/maps/on-the-road-maps/city-navigator-nt/city-navigator-north-america-nt/prod1456.htmlEPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
  2.  
    Oh yeah, I should say that I turned off my data (actually my data connection is usually off more than it's on) for the marathon ride, and paused the app when we were hanging around in Cleveland Circle and Hopkinton, which probably helped with the battery.DFL and DTF :D:D:D:D
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      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    For those of you with iPhones... http://www.ibikesports.com/EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
    •  
      CommentAuthorratattack
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    ^^^^I don't pay a whole lot of attention to these sorts of things, but how could you expect your phone to do cadence? That requires magnets or a power meter built into the cranks, as far as I'm aware.

    Also, all of the things that you listed are what a Garmin 800 does. I would imagine that they're so expensive for a reason and that it'd be hard to realistically fit that into a phone app.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    ratattack:^^^^I don't pay a whole lot of attention to these sorts of things, but how could you expect your phone to do cadence? That requires magnets or a power meter built into the cranks, as far as I'm aware.

    Also, all of the things that you listed are what a Garmin 800 does. I would imagine that they're so expensive for a reason and that it'd be hard to realistically fit that into a phone app.


    You'd be surprised with what you can accomplish with a USB attachment. but you're right, it'd still be expensive. App vs Device, device you're paying for the hardware, and it's engineering as well. As opposed to just the software. The calculations and software already exist, just porting it to an existing handheld device may not be worth it. especially if they're making tons of profit selling their devices.EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
    •  
      CommentAuthorratattack
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    Right, I'm just thinking in terms of battery life, additional equipment, etc...why bother trying to turn a phone into a Garmin 800 when it already exists in a much more compact/bombproof/water-resistant shell than a phone? We had to use a Garmin for navigation in the RGR last year and got stuck in a rain/hail storm about 80 miles in, in the woods, with no cell service. I don't see how you could make a phone perform better in that situation.

    There are always concessions that you have to make, and I think in this case if you want a phone to act like a Garmin you should just go ahead and get a Garmin. If you're fine just Strava-ing your routes around town, stick with a phone app.
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013 edited
     
    A phone definitely could not perform better in that situation.

    I'd like to start by saying I do not disagree with you, also, thanks. If I plan on biking as seriously as you do (or even close to it) I will definitely consider buying a Garmin Edge 800. It looks fantastic.

    I'll continue by saying I cannot budget more than, say, 50-100 dollars right now, for something to do this. (Edit I'm considering "splurging" and getting a eTrex 30 since I found it can do turn by turn). Smart answer: shut up, save up, and buy the right tool when you can. Concessions will be made for my poor self, though.

    ratattack:if you want a phone to act like a Garmin you should just go ahead and get a Garmin.
    I already have a 500 dollar phone w/ a gps in it. I'm saying it'd be nice if it could do some of it.

    I love hearing the tools everyone is using. I started this thread because I was frustrated I couldnt find ONE thing to do all the above. e.g there's one app that can give me turn by turn nav. and plenty other to track my route.EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
    •  
      CommentAuthorratattack
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    I have zero GPS anything, I don't even have a Strava account or a cycling computer. I have a heart rate monitor that I never remember to wear. I don't train with numbers b/c it takes the fun out of it for me, and I'd rather have fun than a powertap. I think the Garmin 800 is awesome because you can upload routes and it tells you where to go, it would make adventuring much easier than the way I typically do rides now - go a route I know, bring a map, or follow other people. Unfortunately, it's a big expense when I only really care about one feature and it only comes in the nicest model.

    There's no judgement in what I'm saying, I just think that if you're going to ask for someone to give you all the features of a fancy Garmin they're going to tell you there's already something out there that can do the job better than a phone can. It's really just a matter of deciding what features really matter to you, what you'd be willing to forgo, and possibly needing to save up for a decent computer if it's going to fit your needs best.
    • CommentAuthortristan
    • CommentTimeApr 25th 2013
     
    ^pretty much every model allows you to put routes on it, and it'll tell you where to go. Now, its not quite so easy as with the 800, but you can certainly have routes on lower-tier models. I navigated a tour of new england with only my 305 - making the routes was a little rough (no maps means you only get waypoints, and directions between them - you have to craft your routes to have a waypoint at every turn), but it worked. The magic in the higher level garmins lies in their ability to have actual maps in them, and to perform navigation calculations (past pre-arranged routes).

    To add my bit to the conversation, I use a few gps devices. First, I use a garmin 60csx. This is waterproof, maps/routes, has batteries that last forever, and is generally fantastic. It is actually a hiking GPS. Downside? it is large. Next, I use a garmin 305. This handles my heartrate and keeping track of where I go. While I've used it to do/guide tours, the effort to do so blows. Mostly, I use it when I am training. Finally, I use my iphone when I am lost and am looking for a route to get where I want to be. The mapping software is, honestly, far superior to any level garmin. It is garbage at actual GPS tracking in my experience - a draw on battery, and more or less inaccurate. My usage of GPS in my phone is limited to getting a fix on where "here" is so I can plug a destination into google maps.

    GPS are important to me and my riding, because of the way I like to do things. My general habit is to ride until I get tired, then use a GPS to find my way home. This leads me on new routes I'd never experience before, and ensures that I won't ever get so lost that I die in the woods somewhere. Growing up, I used to explore woods kind of like this - walk or ride around until I got tired, then hope to find my way to a road I recognized. Using a GPS is a welcome improvement to that model of exploration.

    I've thought a whole lot about GPS mapping, route analysis/generation, and active usage - it is a popular piece of braincandy for me while I am riding. My conclusion is that a phone isn't going to do what we'd want out of an "everything" device in the near future, and that specialized devices are ridiculously superior to them for actual rides. The more interesting part - to me - is in analysis of GPS data gathered by these devices. Strava is pretty excellent, but lacks some fairly straightforward reporting tools that could make it mind blowing. To that end, I've done a bit of work on my own GPX analysis tools to answer questions strava does not - namely, anything pertaining to aggregates over many rides. That said, Strava is the best analysis tool out there right now, and is really a blast to use.

    p.s. if anyone cares to give me a high level GPS, I'll be sure to send you a map of every ride I ever do. That is all.ascott430 - "Was going to build it up into a fixed gear until I realized I'd rather spend money and time on mountain bikes."
    •  
      CommentAuthorZevsInSF
    • CommentTimeApr 28th 2013
     
    Thank you Tristan for your description as well. And I know our brains are somewhat similar (though you're much more enthusiastic about most things, go you!). I appreciate the way you approach mapping and it's pretty much what I'd like to use it for. So I'm glad to have the detailed POV.

    Maybe I'll look into the 60csx or the 305.EPIC! Stratton: ^fwiw he did in fact have a map out.... ...while riding.... ...with no hands.... ..on fire*...
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    ^paging EllaDFL and DTF :D:D:D:D