My Tracks travel tracker
Every journey begins with a single app?
Android App of the Week My Tracks is a GPS tracker app and a must-have for any Android user who wants to record where they have been, how fast they got there and just about any other details of their trips, walks, bike rides and assorted wanderings.
Track your trip - with waypoints (left) and then upload to Google etc (right)
Recorded data can be exported as either GPX, KML, TCX or CSV files but most of us will just use the Send to Google function that automatically uploads journey details to your Google account where it appears in the My Maps folder.
Being a more-or-less official Google app - it’s run by Google staffers in their "20 per cent time", as well as volunteers - My Tracks integrates seamlessly with Google Maps. To borrow from the Cupertino lexicon, it just works.
Scroll right from the main map view and can see all the key trip data such as your average speed and distance covered in chart form. Scroll to the left and you can see distance or time data set against elevation, speed and so forth in graph form.
See your speed and elevation (left) - and other stats (right)
The app can be set to announce your progress at certain intervals from once a minute minute to every hour so you can keep a track on how far you have gone without actually having to look at your phone.
Next page: Pilgrim's progress
@ Eponymous Cowherd
Fair comment but most of the reader requests we get are to feature apps that have been around for a while.
Agreed My Tracks is no spring chicken, but I've been using Android since the G1 came out and managed to completely overlook it until this March. I suspect I'm not alone. It's the downside of their now being a quarter of a million odd apps available in the Market.
The idea of the column is both to evaluate new apps and look at apps that Android users will find useful even if they have been knocking about for a bit.
I've been using Android for a while, try to keep abreast of apps available, and have been using RunKeeper (another excellent Android and iPhone app) to track my running/walking/cycling, but I'd never heard of this app, so thanks for reviewing it!
Not the best
I've had a look at MyTracks. The big issue for me is that, compared to nearly every other [sports] tracking app in the Android Market that I've looked at (e.g. Endomondo, RunKeeper, SportyPal Pro, Sports Track Live and [soon] Sports Tracker - the one that used to be Nokia Sports Tracker) it doesn't support the Polar Wearlink+ Bluetooth Heart Rate Monitor.
Apart from that, the displays look like they come from an Open Source app (which, of course, they do); no one has actually gone to the trouble of actually making the UI appealing.
You may be right about it being the best if it's really accurate, but I expect that's more down to the device it's running on than the app itself.
Trekbuddy has similar position recording abilities and is also really good. It can record in GPX and NMEA formats. But the main reason I like Trekbuddy is that you can create your own Atlas/Maps, which means (with a whole load of screen grabbing from my OS digital maps purchased from Mapyx) I can use my collection of OS 1:25k maps on the move. Also being able to plot your route as waypoints in advance then export from your digital mapping program of choice (Mapyx Quo for me) to view on your Trekbuddy display is essential for me.
Trekbuddy's been around for a few years now and I used to use it as a Java application on my SE P1i but the developer started packaging it for Android about a year ago.
The only downside to Trekbuddy (as of a few months ago when I last checked) is that it doesn't support the built-in GPS on the HTC Desire, but I tend to use a Bluetooth GPS receiver (Holux M-1200) anyway for better accuracy and improved battery life of the phone. Also means I can keep the phone out of the way of crud and rocks when mountain biking as well.
Updating of your position to Google Maps is pretty cool though. I developed my own solution for a charity bike ride where the GPX data would be sent by HTTP POST to a server and stored in a DB, then plotted on a Google Map so people could follow our progress on the website.
I think there's an official Ordnance Survey mobile application for displaying their digital maps on iTard devices. But there's nothing for Android and their digital mapping is so overpriced it's sick.
I've been an android user for a good while now and was not aware of this application, so thanks for the review.