Good point John ...
There are various apps available for live tracking and I've probably given them all a go to some extent ... but never paid for the full functionality because I don't need it
Some offer more functionality for free than others. Here is my experience and my brief notes on the major / most popular apps ...
I use Endomondo to record where I've been and when. I just start both Track Navigator and Endomondo it as I start cycling the route. It offers more for free than the other apps and has a good website still within the free option ... which does not include sharing of data. It tells me where, when, how far, calories, ascent, descent and shows me a map of where I've been. Of course, if I was following a plotted route, I don't especially need the map, so I never look at it. As I'm not selecting my plotted route from within Endomondo, I have to change the name of the route to the one I used in Plotaroute so I know what it was. (In reality, I'm probably wasting my time with Endomondo, because although I can look back to see what route I did and when, in reality I don't ... So there really would be absolutely no point in my paying money for it. I'm just toying with it)
If you are the sort of person who races around and wants to compete against friends or everyone on the planet and share your data with them (careful you don't show the burglars where you live and when are out in real time ...) then you will probably have to pay.
Here are my notes on other apps ...
Strava $6 per month - No voice GPS …
Map My Ride $6 per month - pushy adverts
Ride with GPS $6 per month, otherwise could be useful
VeloPal GPS Cycling Free … No Ads ! Basic allows select from Route title list, moving time, select bike, manually add rides, voice feedback … but poor website
And if you really have lots of spare time you could try the following (probably less suitable) apps:
Google My Tracks
Map My Tracks
Thanks for sharing all this Colin - that is very helpful. I think Mark was also looking for ideas for live tracking (recording) a route. We don't have a facility to do this on plotaroute.com but there are numerous GPS recording apps out there that allow a route to be recorded on a GPS mobile device, which you could then export and upload to plotaroute.com. I haven't used any of them myself but if anyone else has any suggestions of good apps for this, it would be great if you could share them here.
I use Plotaroute to do the obvious ... plot the routes ... then download to an Android phone.
Then I use voice to navigate. I found no advantages in looking at the map on the phone and trying to follow it. This is what I actually do ...
On the Android phone I use Track Navigator (it's free) and it reads me the turn instructions which are created automatically by Plotaroute.
You should check the route using Google Streetview to check, for example, whether the route/road continues around the bend ... or if it forks off.
You need to edit the Plotaroute-created turn instructions. For example perhaps add "then immediately right" in case it doesn't read the instruction before you pass the turn ...
Also, in the countryside, many roads don't have a name, so I use Streetview to see if there is a signpost, then add "... signed xyz". This helps to confirm I'm in the right place.
If you have a load of "Head north" etc with no turns you could delete them ... or change it to something to confirm you are still on the right road.
Track Navigator will not have maps unless you have wifi on ... which you probably won't ... so it only knows where you are (you will have GPS ON) in relation to the plotted route - and tell you the turn at the right moment (and a little in advance). Otherwise, it just says "Off track" - that means you are not on the plotted route so have possibly missed a turn.
For me, this works perfectly.
I also have "Here". It was developed by Nokia for satnav originally, but you can download it and check where you are because it is free to download the maps to your phone.
Furthermore, I also have OSMAND. This will actually do the two jobs mentioned above, but I prefer the maps of "Here" and I prefer the guidance of "Track Navigator".
OSMAND is also a proper GPS navigation system. It's free to install and free to install SOME maps - pick the ones you want.
These are the differences - Track Navigator is a pleasant female voice - OSMAND is a robot with an American accent, but its ok
OSMAND does NOT read the direction instructions you see / create in Plotaroute. It is much more chatty - it tells me about every bend and might or might not tell me the road name, but it will definitely tell me the turn. If I am lost and don't have a route home, I do use OSMAND, NOT to follow a plotted route, but I select BIKE (that's important as it will then avoid big roads), then I select HOME (it knows where I live) and it usually gets me back with really good routes. Remember that OSMAND is also a proper GPS system and the downside of that is that if you had a plotted route and you took a wrong turn it would try to get you back on course. This might seem better than Track Navigator's "off track" message, but the result could be that you are not actually following the route you plotted ...
So, I like the relative quiet Track Navigator, and the voice, and "my own" directions. OSMAND will get you around the plotted route without having spend time refining the directions but I'm happy to spend the time.
I save the downloaded route (select download to a file > then accept the defaults) then move it to my phone in ... \SD Card\osmand\tracks\ (I have a couple of different folders for regions, but you don't have to have any)
NOTE - they are saved in the OSMAND folder which works for OSMAND to follow a plotted route - AND Track Navigator finds them there too, so they are both happy
As for listening ...I use one ear only and that is on the pavement side (so I can hear traffic perfectly on the other side)
I gave up on finding a suitable bluetooth thing and I can't be bothered to charge it anyway - so I use wired.
I tried a skinny, rubber earbud that goes inside the ear but a) it came loose too often and b) so much wind noise it was hard to hear the directions
I now use a larger (about 16mm), solid one that fits in the outer ear. Wind noise is low and I can have a conversation and hear clearly with it in - and hear directions - and it doesn't come loose.
(I tie up the second earbud)
Oh ... turn the screen OFF - you don't need it and it saves the battery - just make sure your phone keeps the app running (I've got an Honor 4X and I have to select it as a Protected App)
Hope this helps
hello im new to plotaroute, im looking for a program that i can draw out a route, as i see this can do but then use the phone gps to track when the route is taken and then be store for future view. otherwise like a traced line or breadcrumbs so i know when myself or others i share with stay or do not stay within the route. Is this possible? If not withh this program, any suggestions.
Thanks for any help,