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Good Gps apps?

Postby Delorean_Man » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:19 am

Does any ody know of some good gps apps? It seems most o them cost money and I would like to get some opinions on them before I get one. I want to be able to get the gps coordinates, log how many miles I've traveled and also list the altitude. Anybody have one the like?
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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby Liquid Shadow » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:46 am

I use GPS Essentials (free) and Back Country Navigator Pro ($9.99)

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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby peter303 » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:48 am

This one doesnt run out of electricity: :lol:
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The GPS tends to drain batteries fast on all day hikes.

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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby dsunwall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 7:57 am

Backcountry Navigator is one I use, it has a lot of map choices, some free some paid. It has all the GPS features found on a standard GPS plus a lot of extras that a smartphone provides.

Google has the free app that partners with Google maps called "My Tracks". I find this too work very well. Google maps on a smartphone now has a download option so you can have the road maps, Terrain, and satellite images on your phone while out of cell coverage.

of course, if you post here, you will always hear from the anti tech people. :roll: not that there is anything wrong with that.......

Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:08 am

Motion-X is user friendly, but as stated before, it drains the living hell out of your battery. If you leave the car with 100%, you might be able to get in 6 to 7 hours worth of life. Same with ski tracks apps that track your progress for the day. GPS along with cold means 5 to 6 hours of battery life, tops.

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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby dsunwall » Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:55 am

lordhelmut wrote:Motion-X is user friendly, but as stated before, it drains the living hell out of your battery. If you leave the car with 100%, you might be able to get in 6 to 7 hours worth of life. Same with ski tracks apps that track your progress for the day. GPS along with cold means 5 to 6 hours of battery life, tops.


I would say that depends on the smartphone you have, some of the newer ones have great battery life, I can track for 16hrs on one battery in below freezing temps, airplane mode. Samsung Galaxy G3.

Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby lordhelmut » Tue Mar 12, 2013 9:37 am

dsunwall wrote:
lordhelmut wrote:Motion-X is user friendly, but as stated before, it drains the living hell out of your battery. If you leave the car with 100%, you might be able to get in 6 to 7 hours worth of life. Same with ski tracks apps that track your progress for the day. GPS along with cold means 5 to 6 hours of battery life, tops.


I would say that depends on the smartphone you have, some of the newer ones have great battery life, I can track for 16hrs on one battery in below freezing temps, airplane mode. Samsung Galaxy G3.


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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby cory1223oh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 10:44 am

dsunwall wrote:I would say that depends on the smartphone you have, some of the newer ones have great battery life, I can track for 16hrs on one battery in below freezing temps, airplane mode. Samsung Galaxy G3.


I haven't been able to try it yet, but there is a trick that will enable you to disable everything on an iPhone but the GPS (airplane mode disables GPS). If you turn on the SIM Pin and restart your phone you choose not to enter your pin. This will turn off all cellular data and phone signal but will still allow you to use the GPS. You'll also have to turn off the Bluetooth and WiFi as well. I've heard this will greatly increase your battery life when using the GPS.

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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby jdorje » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:05 am

cory1223oh wrote:I haven't been able to try it yet, but there is a trick that will enable you to disable everything on an iPhone but the GPS (airplane mode disables GPS). If you turn on the SIM Pin and restart your phone you choose not to enter your pin. This will turn off all cellular data and phone signal but will still allow you to use the GPS. You'll also have to turn off the Bluetooth and WiFi as well. I've heard this will greatly increase your battery life when using the GPS.


I believe you, but I'm not sure how to "easily" do that via settings. I can disable wireless and disable mobile networks via basic settings - it still searches for a phone signal though. Going airplane mode disables everything including the gps, which ain't great. Pulling out the sim card or even turning on a sim passcode (never done that) seems like overkill. Maybe some specialized settings app could let you control it more easily?

Time for some more research...
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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby cory1223oh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:21 am

jdorje wrote:
cory1223oh wrote:I haven't been able to try it yet, but there is a trick that will enable you to disable everything on an iPhone but the GPS (airplane mode disables GPS). If you turn on the SIM Pin and restart your phone you choose not to enter your pin. This will turn off all cellular data and phone signal but will still allow you to use the GPS. You'll also have to turn off the Bluetooth and WiFi as well. I've heard this will greatly increase your battery life when using the GPS.


I believe you, but I'm not sure how to "easily" do that via settings. I can disable wireless and disable mobile networks via basic settings - it still searches for a phone signal though. Going airplane mode disables everything including the gps, which ain't great. Pulling out the sim card or even turning on a sim passcode (never done that) seems like overkill. Maybe some specialized settings app could let you control it more easily?

Time for some more research...


The sim passcode is actually really easy. Just go to Setting> Phone> Sim Pin. The default for AT&T is 1111. Once activated you just turn off the phone and when you restart it asks you for the pin. It you choose not to put it in viola! no more cell phone signal. If you want to make a call, you can just navigate to the same menu and turn it back on. As far as I know this is the only way to disable the cellular signal. My guess is you can't do it any other way because Apple likes to make it difficult for you to manipulate their devices.

Please let me know if you find and easier way.

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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby jdorje » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:43 am

So you have to reboot to enable/disable cell service? Seems tedious, though might be better than nothing.

I'm on Android, not iPhone. Settings->Security->Set up Sim Card lock. The default also seems to be 1111. However, there must be an easier way.

Edit: Airplane mode now does not seem to disable the GPS receiver; I could have sworn it used to do so. A little research suggests turning on airplane mode then re-enabling individual features (GPS) might work.
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Re: Good Gps apps?

Postby cory1223oh » Tue Mar 12, 2013 11:52 am

jdorje wrote:So you have to reboot to enable/disable cell service? Seems tedious, though might be better than nothing.

I'm on Android, not iPhone. Settings->Security->Set up Sim Card lock. The default also seems to be 1111. However, there must be an easier way.

Edit: Airplane mode now does not seem to disable the GPS receiver; I could have sworn it used to do so. A little research suggests turning on airplane mode then re-enabling individual features (GPS) might work.

From the research I did, I believe that GPS will work in airplane mode on other phones, just not the iPhone (again Apple being difficult). You can reenable WiFi and Bluetooth while in airplane mode but not the GPS. Also, you only have to reboot to disable, but can enable it again without a reboot. I agree that this is a pain, but I guess it's better than nothing. I did a live track on a hike of Huron Peak (so not a long hike) using Motion-X GPS starting with a full charge and I was almost dead by the time I got back to the car due to the phone searching for signal. I'll report back after I try the SIM disable, but I'm hoping it will help lot.

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