Crag GPS navigation

Finding the right app with a GPS navigation to track a trail to your crag could get sometimes tedious. Either you think you’ ve got the correct app and then there’s no GPS signal, or your app tells you, you are limited to 3 tracks in the free version or entitled to 5 Min’s of tracking, or you ve got everything right and your battery dies on you. And I hear my hubby shaking his head and telling me whats the use of having the highest technology when it dies on you when you need it? Sigh…

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Perhaps a little homework and analysing might help out. And it depends on what you’d like to do with it. I ve picked out 4 apps from the many apps I’ve tested here for the review. There’s two reasons for me to use the apps. It tracks my routes while cross /back country skiing and also, I use them to position crags and trails so that I can document them well for the future.

Interested in tracking the time when you run or cross/back country? EveryTrail could be the App to go with your IPhone. It was one of the first Apps I tried out and stayed to for a while. The app tracks your route seamlessly and lets you share this to your social media or EveryTrail account right after tracking. It shows you accelerations, speed and altitude during the trails you run and you can mark different way points, make a picture and insert descriptions or write a story to go with your trail. I found it an easy to use app. I started looking for an alternative when it once killed my battery after letting it run for 1.5 hrs under extreme conditions. It was winter, -15c and although the phone was carried near my body, and the app running on save mode, it died off after 14 km. It was frustrating. Also, you are limited to record and view only 3 differant tracks with the light version. You are probably better off using this app on normal conditions and be prepared to charge up your iPhone after 2 hours of usage. The nice thing about EveryTrail is that it has a big community of people sharing off their trails, POIs and has little guides. The costly premium version of EveryTrail enables you unlimited possibilities to download, share and track. On the web, you can upload and then edit the track manually. You can also update your own personal blog or website with your trip map from EveryTrail.com which makes the app a good all rounder.

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The North face app which is powered by EveryTrail has similar features. In the free version you may save up more than 3 tracks and share your track directly to your social media account. There’s an Ipod function to listen to music while tracking. To avoid extreme battery drainage, their features enables you to edit recording GPS points as well as a lock function. It has most of the key functions of EveryTrail and unlimited tracking amount. The free app enables users to search by activity type and distance, proximity (either from your current location using GPS or by zip code) and user ratings. The database of routes is pulled from EveryTrail.com, a platform for swapping trails with fellow enthusiasts.

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When I first downloaded the Motion X- GPS app it’s overloaded web interface  gave me the feeling that it could do possibly everything, perhaps even more than what I ever knew existed. This was the only app that saved my last holiday when we had only some coordinates to the crag. No other app has this feature built in in the free version where you could navigate to the coordinates of your choice. However recently after uploading the new version, they changed that policy. So there goes another free feature for me. It has a compass, you can download maps for offline use which proves useful when travelling abroad to save on expensive data roaming costs and you can use the app while you’re not online. Once you’re back in the vicinity with Internet only then it will download the map. It has a big choice of maps. Choose from terrain, google earth, Bing, etc. Use its voice control to follow you while tracking for information on avg speed, elevation, distance. Show your exact position with all the information that you need. I was very impressed with the features offered from this App. They did their homework and yes it felt as if they were working with outdoor enthusiasts quite a bit.

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Easy trails had quite a good recension and aroused my curiosity. And I wanted to know if it’s worth 2,30€ for the premium version and found out that it is actually has all functionalities which a free lite version of  EveryTrail app had. The interface was easy and simple as the other App and I could not really find the big difference.

You can continue tracking even while a phone call comes in, import or export way points and be alerted when you are near a certain way point. With the premium version you can track up to 250 tracks and 100 way points, there’s no time or length limit for tracking them and you do not need an internet connection while tracking . The lite version allows you to record only 1 track within 20 mins.  Well easytrails and Everytrail are both similiar, but if you’re asking me for the better of these two, I’d say everyTrail.

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Summary:

From the 4 apps i took a look at, you’ll have to weigh down on what you really want to do with the app. If you’re doing an occasional run and tracking a trial or two once in a while, you’ll be fine with the lite versions, as long as there are no time limit like Easy Trails has. EveryTrail offers better community and sharing features and wonderful features to let you share your trip with your friends. If you want to have an app that comes along with everything that helps you outdoors, I suggest on Motion-X GPS. It’s interface is a little overloaded but if you spend sometime with it at home before you go on your trip, you’ll get the most out of your money.

Downloads:

3 Comments

  1. I have to say that for the past couple of hours i have been hooked by the amazing articles on this blog. Keep up the wonderful work.

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