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Old 10-13-11, 03:46 PM   #1
iconicflux
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want testers for android turn by turn nav

I need some people willing to help me pre-alpha test a very early version of a turn by turn navigation app for cyclists. It's not pretty and doesn't have a huge number of features so don't get all excited. I'm concentrating on turn by turn nav directions being announced to the speaker or line-out without a person needing to view a map on the screen.

I imagine I'll add Toast's at some point to announce the turns with text as well as have a map (I actually have the position on a map displaying on a different test app that I haven't integrated yet) but right now I'm just doing parsing of gpx files and announcing turns as well as giving people the ability to replay the last announcement very quickly.

Let me know if you're interested. This could turn out to be vaporware but if I have some people willing to help me out here and there I'll probably stay motivated to complete it or at least send out what I have working already.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Old 10-13-11, 04:43 PM   #2
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I am writing this from an Android tablet [v 3.2], is it an app for this device?
Not sure I want or need a navigator, PM me if I could help.
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Old 10-13-11, 04:55 PM   #3
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Is it going to recognize and prioritize bike streets? The fastest way to the mall is down 49th, scariest bike ride I've ever done. 45th is a bike-friendly street...and I apparently like to learn lessons the scariest way possible.

Other than that, I'm still not sure if I want an android or iphone, I'm waiting for my current phone to die to force the issue.
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Old 10-13-11, 05:26 PM   #4
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Assuming you're going to use GPS, how do you address the battery drain issue?
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Old 10-13-11, 07:11 PM   #5
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On mine I use a small battery charger for really long rides and other than that I lower the rate at which it samples gps. By controlling the need to display to the screen I significantly cut down on power drain also. I use a dockboss to connect my Bike speaker to my phone and my smallest battery pack will fit inside it. This allows me to play Pandora radio then have it muted when needed so I can hear directions..
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Old 10-13-11, 09:07 PM   #6
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Also, will this app need a active data connection, or will it cache a route?
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Old 10-13-11, 09:13 PM   #7
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I'll probably eventually make it so it will work with open street maps and gpx loaded off the sdcard but to begin with I'm having it use a data connection. Once the route is loaded it doesn't really need the connection anymore though. I'm just using the connection for getting routes to the device right now.
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Old 10-13-11, 09:35 PM   #8
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Assuming you're going to use GPS, how do you address the battery drain issue?
I got a way oversize battery for my T-Mobile MyTouch 3G Slide and can leave the GPS on all day and use the phone all the next day before recharging.

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Old 10-14-11, 05:43 AM   #9
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I guess my concerns about battery aren't applicable to most. I just found that when I was using GPS with MyTracks, I utilized about 10% of my battery per hour.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:31 AM   #10
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I think I use maybe 20-30% per hour on my Droid2. That's why I decided to get a battery pack.

I use the battery pack for charging my hd808#11 as well so I get a lot of use out of it.

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I guess my concerns about battery aren't applicable to most. I just found that when I was using GPS with MyTracks, I utilized about 10% of my battery per hour.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:51 AM   #11
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Assuming you're going to use GPS, how do you address the battery drain issue?
I don't see why so many people shy away from using Android GPS for cycling because of the battery life "problem". Amazon ---> $6 spare battery or two ---> ride yer bike. If you take your time it takes 10 seconds to swap out a dead battery. Sure, it would be more convienent if the batteries just lasted long enough for 5 hour afternoon ride, but the battery life problem really isn't that much of a problem.
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Old 10-14-11, 06:58 AM   #12
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I'd be interested. Do you have an APK already? Also, you may want to cross-post this over at: http://androidforums.com, or on XDA.
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Old 10-14-11, 07:04 AM   #13
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send asap to scott.wetzler@gmail.com... doing a ride to seoul station this weekend from the DMZ and i ... uh.... dont really know the route...
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Old 10-14-11, 09:06 AM   #14
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I'll try to get an apk together tonight. I'd been using a tool to convert gpx files to a specific format for easy loading but I've just starting trying to parse the XML of the gpx files on the device. So far it has been a bit frustrating but I think I'll have it sorted out this evening.

The gpx routes themselves you'll be able to create on ridewithgps.com and then upload them to the app. I have a query out to the ridewithgps.com guys as to whether they mind me letting users authenticate to them in the app and pull directly from the app. If they say it's okay then it will eventually bring up a list of all your routes to select from.
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Old 10-14-11, 09:43 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I'll try to get an apk together tonight. I'd been using a tool to convert gpx files to a specific format for easy loading but I've just starting trying to parse the XML of the gpx files on the device. So far it has been a bit frustrating but I think I'll have it sorted out this evening.

The gpx routes themselves you'll be able to create on ridewithgps.com and then upload them to the app. I have a query out to the ridewithgps.com guys as to whether they mind me letting users authenticate to them in the app and pull directly from the app. If they say it's okay then it will eventually bring up a list of all your routes to select from.
I'd say ridewithgps is open to the idea:
http://ridewithgps.com/faq#mobile
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Old 10-14-11, 10:56 AM   #16
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I don't see why so many people shy away from using Android GPS for cycling because of the battery life "problem". Amazon ---> $6 spare battery or two ---> ride yer bike. If you take your time it takes 10 seconds to swap out a dead battery. Sure, it would be more convienent if the batteries just lasted long enough for 5 hour afternoon ride, but the battery life problem really isn't that much of a problem.
I don't see enough benefit of the GPS to justify the effort. That, and I don't have room to mount it on my handlebars anyway. I pull it out if I get lost or think I missed a turn, but for the most part I think the constant feedback on my progress (or lack thereof) would be discouraging.

Editted to add:

Besides, I can't get a battery for my phone anymore. And charging batteries is a hassle since I can't charge them without switching batteries in the phone. If I were going to use the turn by turn directions on my longer rides, I'd need to have 2 batteries in waiting.

Last edited by chandltp; 10-14-11 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 10-14-11, 11:01 AM   #17
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I think I use maybe 20-30% per hour on my Droid2. That's why I decided to get a battery pack.
What battery pack do you have, is it just a mini-usb connector? That might be beneficial for a lot of things
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Old 10-14-11, 07:37 PM   #18
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The one I got is a Duracell. It's somewhat like the Instant Powerhouse product but it functions as a charger for AA's. It's a bit large but the ability to change out AA's and have more power instantly is awesome. I found it at Weis and maybe it's an old product or something because I don't see it on the Duracell website.
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Old 10-14-11, 08:07 PM   #19
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I'm in! I have a Droid Incredible with an extended battery which easily allows me to use Strave for quite a while.
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Old 10-18-11, 09:53 AM   #20
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Sorry about being silent about this for awhile. I rode the Seagull Century last Saturday--and put up with that grueling 25mph wind w/ 40mph gusts--and since then I've had little time to figure out the XML parsing problem.

The good news is that I figured out how to do the XML parsing last night so I'm now working on finishing getting the attributes from the xml tags and then I can set the proximity alerts based on the lat/lon coordinates. (I've tested the proximity alerts and they're pretty sweet.)

Cheers,
Kevin
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Old 10-19-11, 06:07 PM   #21
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I've got a phone that's stuck on Android 1.5 due to some frustration between my phone provider and LG. If it'll run on that, I'd gladly test it.
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Old 10-19-11, 07:43 PM   #22
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I would be curious except that the screen on my HTC Incredible will not work in any kind of direct sunlight, so it's essentially useless for this application.

As well, another issue with battery life is the need to keep the screen on for the ride duration. That is a huge power use.
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Old 10-20-11, 04:26 PM   #23
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Actually, the whole goal of this is to have navigation WITHOUT needing to see the screen.

I'll send out an apk for it soon but I think I'm going to be collaborating with the author of another piece of cycling software so most of what I'm doing will probably be rolled into another application.
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Old 10-21-11, 04:04 AM   #24
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So basically it'd just say "Turn left at ____ street" sort of thing? That'd be pretty handy.
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Old 10-21-11, 10:28 AM   #25
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So basically it'd just say "Turn left at ____ street" sort of thing? That'd be pretty handy.
Having to listen to that would be really annoying, on a bike ride in any case. If I can't see it on the screen, it's useless to me.
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