motionx with iPhone
Motionx. The iPhone application that I am currently using to log my rides, runs plus any other activity that I might get upto that is outdoors. This software was recommended to me by a fellow twitterer and cycle blogger based right here in Perth @scottdavis he has some very cool information on his website about his rides and especially the research that he has put into GPS and its accuracy with different devices and different applications.
I will not be going into massive detail on the technical specs of this software, however I would like to give you some idea as to what its like from a personal point of view.
The software costs $3.99 from the Apple App store, although its not free such as other apps like Runkeeper, mapmyride etc there are no ads on the application which to me alone is worth the 4 buck outlay. The interface is very clean and user friendly and I had no issues at all getting to grips with it, even without reading through the documentation or help files.
The Program its self consists of a few different screens which I will outline below.
The Status Screen
This screen gives you access to the accuracy of the GPS signal Long and Lat co-ordinates along with altitide and other things. I always use this screen prior to setting out to check that the gps signal is strong and accurate.
This is the screen that you use to start tracking your progress on a ride/run. Its simplicity in itself, just click start. You get a 3 second countdown then its off you go. You can either lock the screen and dim it using the lock icon at the bottom left of the screen or simply use the sleep button at the top of the iphone, I feel this saves more battery than the lock button thus making Motionx more useful.
You can also pause the activity at anytime and restart it, ideal for coffee breaks or small rests during your activity. Another great feature is the ability to take a picture and have it attached to your gps file for sharing. The beauty of this is that is also geotags the picture and shows the exact locaion it was taken on googlemaps, just awesome.
As the name suggests this section lists all your activites, you can view, edit or share these at anytime. Currently sharing exists for Twitter, Facebook and Email. Emailing the file attaches a GPX file that is suitable for imputting into various programs and websites for logging your activities. The file also holds speed and altitide data which can be analysed at a later date.
There is a detailed post on Motionx and Altitude accuracy on @scottdavis blog which can be found here
This shows detailed maps which can be zoomed in of your route, any pictures that you have taken whilst on your ride/run. I cant say I use this screen much but it could be very handy if you are in area of town that your not familier with. The other screen is the compass, again I dont really use this and it only works when you are moving, although I guess the new iPhone 3Gs will be better with the magnetic compass.
Overall this is an awesome bit of software that has put a hold on me purchasing a Garmin Edge GPS. The accuracy limitations on Alitude dont really concern me so its just right. Battery time could be an issue on really long rides, 4 hours plus but by knocking bluetooth/wifi off I am sure it will hold out. Extra battery packs for the iphone might help solve the battery issue if you need to use it for exteneded amount of time of 5 hours plus. However for most people the standard battery time will be fine.
I now use this on my morning and evening commutes everyday and also on my nightly runs and it has only crashed once, so I would be happy to say its pretty stable as well.
I will continue to use Motionx for the time being and will edit this post as more information comes to me.
If you found this write up helpful please leave a comment so I know its been of use.
Pics can be found here http://idurx.com/?p=156
I just found this program today and it's very cool! I went out and did a quick 13-mile loop with my iphone hanging upside down in the old case I've been using for years (since pre-iphone). Reception must have been really good throughout the ride as the map reflects exactly where I went. I tried sharing the data with myself by email and that works well, too.
I'd say this was very well-spent $2.99!