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Old 09-05-11, 07:51 AM   #1
dguest
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Does anyone use their smart phone instead of a garmin?

I was going to buy a garmin for my bike, I found an android app called my tracks and decided to try it on my smart phone. I have used it twice on the bike and a couple of times while in the car. So far it has been acurate and is nice since you can upload the information directly to google maps. The information provided is max percent of climbs, max percent of decents, max speed, average speed both moving and overall. maps your route on google maps, links directly to my timex heart rate monitor, and displays charts showing the profile of your ride and charts your speed relative to ride contour.

So far with this app I can not see the reason to purchase the Garmin with this app avaliable for free.

Would like to see if any others have used their smart phones.
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Old 09-05-11, 07:58 AM   #2
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I do not have a smart phone but am wondering how much battery life does that app use?
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Old 09-05-11, 08:02 AM   #3
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I do not have a smart phone but am wondering how much battery life does that app use?
So far I have used the app on a 2 hour ride and saved the info. I then used the phone as normal and went another 24 hours before it needed charged.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:16 AM   #4
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I do not have a smart phone but am wondering how much battery life does that app use?
I have found that whenever I am using my iPhone to track a bike ride or run, if I start the activity with a full charge it doesn't seem to use the battery up as quickly.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:18 AM   #5
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I was going to buy a garmin for my bike, I found an android app called my tracks and decided to try it on my smart phone. I have used it twice on the bike and a couple of times while in the car. So far it has been acurate and is nice since you can upload the information directly to google maps. The information provided is max percent of climbs, max percent of decents, max speed, average speed both moving and overall. maps your route on google maps, links directly to my timex heart rate monitor, and displays charts showing the profile of your ride and charts your speed relative to ride contour.

So far with this app I can not see the reason to purchase the Garmin with this app avaliable for free.

Would like to see if any others have used their smart phones.
I just downloaded it to my iPhone, I'll give it a try today if the rain and heavy overcast allow it.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:26 AM   #6
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My husband the techie, has one. All I am going to say is this: It seems that at the end of every ride we take where he's using it, a) I need to refer to my odometer for the mileage; 2) Somewhere along the route, I have had to hail down a guy on a tractor to ask where we are. Just sayin.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:32 AM   #7
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I use AllSports on my android phone. I dont think it drains the battery much. I take the phone in case I need it.
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Old 09-05-11, 08:41 AM   #8
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I have used mytracks, endmodo, but have settled on Sportypal Pro. I use a Zephyr HRM with it and it works with my android Casio Commando. It is pretty eay on battery life - it will last longer than I can ride right now. It uploads to website where you can review the data. I also use mapmyride and ridewithgps to map out routes. I think you can download the data for use on the bike while riding, but I haven't used that feature yet. Other than cadence, I don't see the need for anything else right now.

Roger
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Old 09-05-11, 09:02 AM   #9
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If you use them as just a bike computer they are ok. If you need mapping it will eat the battery faster. Also mapping will only work where you have cell phone service, and I don't always have service available in some of the places I ride. While there are options for some apps that allow you to add HR and cadence sensors I'm sure that will be an even bigger battery drain. Personally I like having my phone with a charged battery for use as a phone in an emergency and a dedicated bike computer for my bike computer. FWIW I once used the mapmyride app one day when I forgot to charge my Garmin. After 5 hours my iPhone was almost dead.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:22 AM   #10
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For the past three months, I've been taking my Garmin eTrex, iPod Touch (with Bluetooth GPS module), and Bell bike computer out with me to compare the readings. I ride various trails around the central Texas area, no street riding at all. The Garmin is significantly more repeatable than the others, and the recorded track seems to be much more accurate as compared with any of the four or five bike mapping programs I have on the iPod Touch. I've loaded the bike paths in the area into the eTrex and it tracks exactly, plus giving me functions that the bike mapping programs on iPod Touch don't have (such as get me back to my car in the shortest distance or retrace my path exactly). Plus the battery charge on the eTrex lasts 4-5 times longer then the iPod Touch (and it's easier to read in the sunlight).

To sum it up, f I had to choose just one, I'd pick the Garmin eTrex. It doesn’t do everything, but what it does is what I need, and it does that very well. I just pop it on the handlebar mount, and away I go.

Also... the eTrex does geocache navigation (the others don't), and that's part of what I do when I'm out riding.
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Old 09-05-11, 09:44 AM   #11
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I know several people who use these types of apps on their smartphones and they seem happy with them. Until and unless Verizon comes up with something better than charging an additional $30 per month for a data plan for each phone on a family account (major ripoff imho) my wife will remain the only one in our home with the luxury of a smartphone.
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Old 09-05-11, 10:03 AM   #12
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I like Bike Tracks on the iPhone.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bike-...438688683?mt=8

Since I always have my phone on a ride, if I could find a decent handlebar holder for the iPhone, I'd probably use this instead. They are going to be supporting ANT+ shortly as well. When that happens, then I'm going to ditch my garmin and go solely to the iphone based hardware. One less thing to carry.

One feature that I like about this is the mapping portion that specifically shows bike trails which can be pretty handy.

We've used the companion app Ski Tracks all last year and found it to be an excellent app as well. They have some sort of algorithm that helps save battery life. Don't notice a big hit on battery life on the bike app. FOr the skiing app, it would easily make it through an entire day of skiing with nothing more than a moderate hit on the battery (you have to expect some).

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Old 09-05-11, 10:51 AM   #13
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Yes, I use Endomonodo (see my signature for links), which works on iphone/adndroid/blackberry -- there is even a BikeForums "bike team."

Most online systems like Endomondo can probably read files from others -- at least I know Endomondo can read garmin data.

I also use the phone as an audio player while riding. I've found that on a full battery my Nexus One android phone will be good for 6-7 hours with tracking and music and occasionally google maps all running. A spare battery (yay non-iphone!) cost me about $7 as I recall.

Last edited by bjorke; 09-05-11 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 09-05-11, 10:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by dguest View Post
I was going to buy a garmin for my bike, I found an android app called my tracks and decided to try it on my smart phone. I have used it twice on the bike and a couple of times while in the car. So far it has been acurate and is nice since you can upload the information directly to google maps. The information provided is max percent of climbs, max percent of decents, max speed, average speed both moving and overall. maps your route on google maps, links directly to my timex heart rate monitor, and displays charts showing the profile of your ride and charts your speed relative to ride contour.

So far with this app I can not see the reason to purchase the Garmin with this app avaliable for free.

Would like to see if any others have used their smart phones.
I use "My Tracks" on my T-Mobile My-Touch Slide. I ordered a 2.5 x oversize battery for the phone from China and I have accidentally left the GPS function on for 24 hrs and still had battery. I have no reason to buy a Garmin.

Don in Austin
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Old 09-05-11, 11:14 AM   #15
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I use Runkeeper to track my rides, and Google Maps for the navigation if needed. Had to make a "custom mount" for the phone, as I was never happy with the Off-the-shelf mounts I found (Didn't try a RAM mount...).
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Old 09-05-11, 12:37 PM   #16
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I use one of these to mount my iPhone http://www.ibikeconsole.com/ It does a good job, but is not waterproof. Since I try not to ride in the rain, that is not normally a problem. I keep a zip lock bag in my tail bag in case I get caught by surprise.

I also use the Runkeeper app since I have a friend at work that uses it, that's what I started with and it does everything I need. With the iPhone 4, I can ride with music to the headset and display turned off for longer than I can ride. I did 5 hours Friday and the battery showed about half full.
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Old 09-05-11, 02:20 PM   #17
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Can't see it in the sun. Useless.

The display technology we really want doesn't exist yet. Something like the Kindle's b&w display would be a lot more useful in my opinion. I'd give up color to tbe able to use my smartphone outdoors.
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Old 09-05-11, 02:59 PM   #18
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I have tried B.iCycle, BikeMate and another one I forgot the name. Features are nice. But I don't like any of the iPhone mounts I have seen and none work with the mophie battery backup I have, so I carry my iPhone in my jersey in a zip lock bag.

The programs did drain the battery, where I would not want to ride more than two or three hours with it. So for centuries and touring, I wouldn't recommend them.

The main thing these programs did for me was convinced me I wanted a Garmin, and I love my Garmin 800 I bought in February. (The heart rate and cadence is very important to me, being a heart patient.)
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Old 09-05-11, 03:11 PM   #19
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It uses quite a bit of battery, however I use my Android phone from Sprint. It a Samsung Epic. It had great battery life before Android pushed their 2.21 update. Now the battery life is not near as good. The app I use is "Map my ride" I like it allot. But when you have your GPS and Digital signal the batter has a demand on it. You can look at some of my posts, it shows what the app records when it's used.

Here is one of the pages of information from it.

http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/46963368
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Old 09-05-11, 03:22 PM   #20
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Do your smartphones pair with a heart rate monitor and cadence sensor?

I love my Windows 7 smartphone, but would never substitute it for my Garmin Edge 800.
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Old 09-05-11, 03:41 PM   #21
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I don't believe I'm smart enough to use a "Smart Phone".

I'm tired and burnt out and not in the mood to learn how to use the myriad of techno-gizmos that are flooding the market these days. I am close to mastering the use of my inexpensive Cateye and Avocet bike computers and damn proud of that accomplishment!! I would prefer to live a simpler life devoid of expensive and seemingly quirky equipment.

My daughters seem to be very adept at navigating through their various fancy gadgets though, and are quite satisfied with the apps etc.

Of course I know that I'm in the minority here, but as Popeye used to lamnet "I am what I am.".
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Old 09-05-11, 03:45 PM   #22
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No, mine does not monitor heart rate and cadence, my Cat Eye does that though,, between both I am happy.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:09 PM   #23
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I don't believe I'm smart enough to use a "Smart Phone".

I'm tired and burnt out and not in the mood to learn how to use the myriad of techno-gizmos that are flooding the market these days. I am close to mastering the use of my inexpensive Cateye and Avocet bike computers and damn proud of that accomplishment!! I would prefer to live a simpler life devoid of expensive and seemingly quirky equipment.

My daughters seem to be very adept at navigating through their various fancy gadgets though, and are quite satisfied with the apps etc.

Of course I know that I'm in the minority here, but as Popeye used to lamnet "I am what I am.".
So, why on on earth did you even open this thread much less comment on it???

J.
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Old 09-05-11, 04:27 PM   #24
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I have the Magellan app on my iphone...works great for navigation, but never checked for accuracy on miles travelled, etcc
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Old 09-05-11, 04:29 PM   #25
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I use Google My Tracks on my android. It does everything I need quite well.

I also use Google Latitude, so my wife can see where I am, so she doesn't have to call to ask when I'll be getting home.

Pretty amazing tech for free, IMHO.
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