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  1. #1
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    Touring Specific iPhone Apps and Hardware

    There are several threads connecting iPhone (or smart phones) to cycling and a couple which discuss some apps such as GPS features but I'd like to know what other people are putting on their iPhones which is touring specific.

    Here are some of the apps I use for touring:

    FINANCE:
    Mint, I plan to install Mint by Intuit as soon as my local bank gets their act together and allows account login from their homepage versus a three layered login process. FREE
    iXpenseIt Lite, Password protect your personal financial data, visual indicator of monthly budget vs expenses, overview of today’s spending vs daily spending average, Expense Summary, store digital photo receipts, and tonnes more. FREE (there’s a paid version with even more financial tools $4.99)

    CALENDAR:
    Calengoo, I use Google Calendar because I find it useful to plan tours while allow people to keep updated where you are so I use the CalenGoo app on my iPhone. It connects me to my Gcal in a small screen friendly manner where I can see and interact with my various calendars. $6.99 for the app but the Gcal account is free.

    WEATHER/NEWS:
    AccuWeather is packed with weather related information including multiple area listing (swipeable), 15 day forecasts in each location, 15 hours of hourly forecasts, severe weather alerts, forecast videos, indices (such as UV index, air quality, arthritis index, and flu indexes), weather alarms, and more. The only downside are the ads but hey, it’s FREE!
    NPR News, Lost touch with what’s going on in the world? NPR News allows you to listen to Radio NPR. FREE

    GPS/MAPPING:
    I haven't got to test much on any of the GPS features and apps but upon recommendation from friends,
    TrackMyTour, connects to your TrackMyTour.com account FREE!
    Topo Maps, meh... not impressed. $6.99. Next time I might try the iTopo Maps for $9.99
    • iPhone’s native Google mapping app is free but it’s off… WAY off, it thinks my location is about 12 miles away from where I actually am… in the water between the island where I live and the next island. At least it’s consistent. FREE
    Google Earth, Use the phone’s GPS to show your location while searching for things to see, restaurants to eat at and hotels and campgrounds, to stay at. FREE!

    SOCIAL NETWORKING
    :
    Facebook, I love blogging about where I’m at and what I’m doing on my tours and keeping in touch with friends and family, the iPhone Facebook app is great and allows me to upload pictures, videos, and of course my current status. FREE!
    Flickr lets me upload my pictures to the set of my choosing, view my contact’s and my pictures and has a great photo search function. FREE
    WordPress, I have not had the chance to use WordPress for iPhone yet because I use WordPress on an independent site host and so can’t log in using the app but a friend uses this app to keep in touch with his readers and he swears by it. FREE

    CAMERA:
    TiltShift Generator, this is my favourite camera app which allows for a variety of Tilts-shift options including changing the contrast, brightness, saturation, blur effects, and edges $.99
    CameraBag, A camera bag o’ tricks with a bunch of very cool picture enhancements $1.99

    EXTRA USEFUL APPS:
    Knot Guide shows you how to tie up to 76 different knots. This comes in handy while camping or tying your bike to the top of a truck somewhere in SE Asia $2.99
    Bicycle Gear Calculator, find out your gear ratio, and gear inches $4.99
    SpokeWrench wheel spoke length calculator for wheel building and repair $.99
    iEmergency+ puts all of your “In Case of Emergency” (ICE) information in one easy place for emergency personnel to find in case you are unable to provide it yourself. It includes up to four ICE contacts (including doctor), medical info with Rx info, and even insurance account numbers. $.99
    iHandy Level trying to find a perfectly level spot to camp or level your saddle? This app acts as a level while showing degree of angle FREE
    Convert It is a unit and currency converter $.99

    SOME APPS I’D LIKE TO TRY
    :
    iMapMyRide’s real-time tracking syncs training logs and routes with your MapMyRide.com account. FREEversion
    iMapMyRidePlus includes all the function of the free version but has no ads in app and you can take photos along your route $4.99

    What iPhone apps do you bicycle tour with for short or long expeditions?
    Last edited by twodeadpoets; 09-21-09 at 10:33 PM.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  2. #2
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    Hardware I hope to get include the soon to be released Dahon BioLogic case for iPhone which is waterproof and shock proof and their FreeCharge system which connects your iPhone to your dynamo hub.
    Last edited by twodeadpoets; 09-21-09 at 10:50 PM.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
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  3. #3
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post. I was looking for a map app the other day. Any suggestion for an app that is able to create a route on a map, possibly with a cue sheet? I have the original iPhone with NO GPS and NO DATA PLAN as AT&T will not let me add data to my old plan, so can't get updates on location through the network. (I bought a used iPhone and unlocked/jailbroke it). The only place I could get internet updates would be places with free WiFi. Most map apps seem to be geared for GPS capability on the newest iPhones only.
    Last edited by yeamac; 09-22-09 at 11:36 AM. Reason: was too wordy

  4. #4
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twodeadpoets View Post
    TrackMyTour, connects to your TrackMyTour.com account FREE!
    Thanks for the plug. The next version is in development and will offer some great new features. It should be available within the next few months.
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  5. #5
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    On my recent Pacific Coast tour, I used TwitPic and Twitterrific to keep people updated with my progress. For weather, I use The Weather Channel's app. To keep up-to-date with news, I use NetNewsWire and AP Mobile.

  6. #6
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    Have some new apps that I'm checking out:

    Organizational:
    "GeeTasks " ($2.99) I'm liking this more than the other's I've tried so far incl, GTasks and Task Pro (which would be great if it synced with an online Task/Todo network and synced with Outlook Tasks). GeeTasks syncs with Google Tasks. I just wish SyncMyCal would properly sync my Google Tasks to MS Outlook.
    Bike Quiver” ($1.99) is an inventory list of your bikes and their components. You can enter the name, make, model, mileage, type, colour, shop you bought it at, size, type of forks, all the wheelset info, (incl hubs, spokes, rims), shifters, derailleurs, crankset, pedals, saddle, seatpost, handlebars and stem, headset, and on and on. You can also set the picture of the bike to the list, the serial number, and enter in all of that bike’s maintenance records. Lastly it allows you to email everything to whomever you like.
    Shopping:
    I believe in shopping local but sometime (like in my situation) your local shops can’t always get you what you need and so you have to depend on internet mail order companies. In these situation to get the best price I found “RedLaser” ($1.99) barcode scanner to be the best. Tried a couple of others but hands down this IS the best one.
    Photo:
    As mentioned previously I really like “TiltShift Generator” ($.99) but this app only allows you to send to either email or Twitter (twitgoo to be exact). I need to be able to send to not only Twitter (twitpic to be exact) but also to Facebook, Flickr, and so on. I downloaded two photo apps today which have promise. “PhotoScatter” (free version or $1.99 version) allows you to take a picture (without filters) or choose one from Camera Roll and send it to Facebook, Flickr, ShutterFly, PhotoBucket, Picasa, and Twitter. You can choose to upload it to one or all at the same time. With “Best Camera” ($2.99) you can take a picture or choose from Camera Roll and use one or all of the filters provided to tweak your picture. You can then upload it to either www.thebestcamera.com, Facebook, Twitter, email, or save to your Camera Roll or all at once.
    GeoTagging:
    I really want an app that I can take a picture, have geo tagging info attached, and then being able to upload it to “My Maps” in Google Maps. I would also like to be able filter the picture (Tiltshift, etc…) and then send a link, maybe a even picture of the geo location and picture, to my Facebook, Twitter, my blog or at minimum be able to email it. No such luck so far. The closest I’ve come is “AroundShare” (FREE) which take pictures (without filters) attaches geotags and then emails it to their server which shows the picture and location using Google Maps. If anyone knows of the perfect app (or darn close) let me know.
    Loopt” (FREE) will take a picture or one from your Camera Roll (so can already have filters applied) attach geotagging and then send it to your Twitter or Facebook page but it doesn’t always seem to work out that way.
    Storage/Sync:
    Consider it a backup while you’re on the road. In “Dropbox” (App FREE, acct FREE for 2gb, $4.99 a month for 10gb, $9.99 a month for 50gb, or $19.99 a month for 100gb) you can drop any file into your lists and it will automatically sync to any computer you give permission. In case your phone becomes lost, stolen, or broken, you have all your files backed up on a server and onto your home computer or laptop. You can also share permissions for document, pictures or whatever to anyone you want. The free account comes with 2gb but they’ll give you (and me) and extra 250mb for signing up a new account and letting others know about it. You can also pay monthly for up to 50gb of storage.
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  7. #7
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    BTW here are some pics I've taken and uploaded using various apps (we'll see how long the links stay unbroken):











    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
    "People who enjoy waving flags, don't deserve to have one" ~Banksy


  8. #8
    Senior Member yeamac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisch View Post
    Thanks for the plug. The next version is in development and will offer some great new features. It should be available within the next few months.
    Will TrackMyTour work on a non-GPS iPhone? I thought TrackMyTour was suppose to work on a 1st gen iPhone, but I waited 10 minutes several times and couldn't get the app to triangulate my position, so finally gave up on it. Whenever I've used Google Maps to triangulate my position it does it in a matter of seconds.

    Cool app, otherwise, at least for those with GPS iPhones.

  9. #9
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yeamac View Post
    Will TrackMyTour work on a non-GPS iPhone? I thought TrackMyTour was suppose to work on a 1st gen iPhone, but I waited 10 minutes several times and couldn't get the app to triangulate my position, so finally gave up on it. Whenever I've used Google Maps to triangulate my position it does it in a matter of seconds.

    Cool app, otherwise, at least for those with GPS iPhones.
    I'm sorry you had to give up on it. I know a few users with the original iPhone who were able to use it. It surprises me that Maps was able to determine your location but TrackMyTour couldn't. Without getting technical, the TrackMyTour app asks the phone, "Where am I?" and can't do anything if the phone doesn't give an answer. Why the phone can answer that question for Maps and not TrackMyTour is a mystery to me. I'll look into it, but it's difficult since I don't have an original iPhone to test with.
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  10. #10
    Senior Member foamy's Avatar
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    Google Earth. Best app ever. In combination with the newer models GPS—really powerful combo.
    None.

  11. #11
    Senior Member DuckFat's Avatar
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    The Topo Maps app is very useful in areas where there isn't any cellular service. I use it on my backpacking trips more than bicycle trips though.

    MotionX GPS will let you create and save tracks with up to 303 waypoints that you can export to Google Maps or Google Earth. I love this app and they make a very decent in-car GPS called GPS Drive that can be used to find routes. It can even be set to avoid highways. Haven't used it on a bike trip yet but it should be useful in some situations.

    Around Me is very useful to find services like gas stations, hotels, hospitals, and restaurants.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckFat View Post
    The Topo Maps app is very useful in areas where there isn't any cellular service. I use it on my backpacking trips more than bicycle trips though.

    MotionX GPS will let you create and save tracks with up to 303 waypoints that you can export to Google Maps or Google Earth. I love this app and they make a very decent in-car GPS called GPS Drive that can be used to find routes. It can even be set to avoid highways. Haven't used it on a bike trip yet but it should be useful in some situations.

    Around Me is very useful to find services like gas stations, hotels, hospitals, and restaurants.
    I used MotionX with a map uploaded from mapmyride.com and it worked great (even determined we were off course) until the battery died. I probably spent about $50 trying all of the GPS applications I could and find that MotionX has the most potential. It's not quite as "plug and play" as other apps, but it has a lot of features. I tentatively used the RAM Iphone and it worked better than I expected. I'm curious as to Dahon's mount and the one used on the Tout-terrain website (http://www.tout-terrain.de/2/product...r.html?start=2)

    I currently have an Alfine Hub on order and just have to decide which charging module to get (Dahon, B&M, or Tout-terrain.

    All in all, I think the Iphone holds more potential for an all-in-one touring device than some give it credit.

    I just need to stop dropping it.

    my $0.02
    Last edited by intheways; 10-05-09 at 10:33 AM.

  13. #13
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    BTW-Does anyone know which mount this is: http://gps.motionx.com/gallery/07/?

    It looks like an Otterbox Defender with some sort of mount built out of it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisch View Post
    Why the phone can answer that question for Maps and not TrackMyTour is a mystery to me. I'll look into it, but it's difficult since I don't have an original iPhone to test with.
    This may be a questions of accuracy. At least that's one of the things I ran into when developing software for the iPhone.

    Without a GPS receiver, the iPhone relies on WiFi and cell tower information for positioning. I believe this technology is licensed from Skyhook Wireless, BTW. In remote locations, the phone may not be able to determine your location very accurately. The built-in Maps application doesn't care about this; it will take whatever location info it can get, plot it, and draw a (potentially huge) circle to indicate how precise the position is. If the phone reports a more precise location, it will re-plot the position and reduce the size of the error circle.

    We initially wrote our application expecting to be able to get positioning that was accurate to around 50 meters... and quickly found out that this didn't work well on 1st generation devices used in remote locations. In some cases, I think we were lucky to get positions that were accurate to 500-600 meters. If TrackMyTour requires very accurate (e.g. 10 meter) positions from the Location Service, that may explain why the built-in Maps application works but TrackMyTour doesn't: the phone just can't supply positioning information that is accurate enough for the app.

  15. #15
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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  16. #16
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    This may be a questions of accuracy. At least that's one of the things I ran into when developing software for the iPhone.
    I use "kCLLocationAccuracyBest", which according to the Apple Documentation should give me the best possible accuracy. I expect that would mean a position fix regardless of how accurate or inaccurate it is. How did you solve the problem for your application?
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  17. #17
    Senior Member willieb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by intheways View Post
    BTW-Does anyone know which mount this is: http://gps.motionx.com/gallery/07/?

    It looks like an Otterbox Defender with some sort of mount built out of it.
    It doesn't really say exactly which mount that is. I know it's not an otterbox deffender case and it's doesn't appear to be waterproof either.

    I have an Otterbox Defender and it's awesome! But it's not waterproof and I'm looking for a waterproof solution to mount on my bike. I figure if I have to carry the phone, I might as well use it for something on my bike. I may even let it take the place of my Garmin Edge 305. I guess I would loose heart-rate and cadence but I may be willing to give that up to simplify my rides and equipment further. I dunno yet. I wanted a GPS with color maps and thought about the Edge 705, but I can't justify the cost when I already have a GPS in my phone, lol...

    I think the Otterbox Defender case would work and be water resistant, probably never having an issue, but I'd feel better if it was a water proof case.

    Just poking around on the net a little, the Dahon BioLogic case for iPhone seems the best solution. But it looks like I'd be taking it out of the Otterbox (which takes a couple minutes), putting it in the bike mount BioLogic case then reversing it when I'm done. I don't really want to do that. Is the BioLogic case available yet?

    Anyone know of a waterproof solution that I can carry on my belt at work and just pop it on my bike when I'm ready? I don't really care about it being bulky if it serves it's purpose. But I would like it to go on and off my belt easily like my Defender.

    Here's a couple but they don't look belt friendly:

    http://www.thepocketsolution.com/PSI...roof+Case.html

    http://www.otterbox.com/iphone-cases...ries-pda-case/

    Also, otterbox armor case doesn't allow access to charge port which means no additional power.

    Ideas anyone?

    -Will
    ~willieb

  18. #18
    Training Wheel Graduate twodeadpoets's Avatar
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    Here's Dahon's case/mount which is coming out soon (http://www.bikeradar.com/commuting/n...ke-mount-23264).

    They're also coming out with a unit to plug the iPhone which plugs into your dynamo hub (http://nexus404.com/Blog/2009/09/07/...ee-green-power)
    "Ride Like an Orca!" ~tdp
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisch View Post
    I use "kCLLocationAccuracyBest", which according to the Apple Documentation should give me the best possible accuracy. I expect that would mean a position fix regardless of how accurate or inaccurate it is. How did you solve the problem for your application?
    We use "kCLLocationAccuracyBest" but we start drawing our map when the Location Manager passes us a CLLocation with a horizontalAccuracy that's less than 2000 meters. If more accurate positioning information becomes available, we update the user's location on the map. We call "stopUpdatingLocation" if we get a CLLocation with a horizontalAccuracy of at least 150 meters or after five minutes of trying.

    Initially, our app wouldn't do anything until we got a CLLocation with a horizontalAccuracy that was 50 meters or better. That turned out to be a problem for 1st generation phones, 3G phones used indoors, etc. They key, for us, was to be more flexible about using CLLocation objects with poor accuracy. This appears to be exactly what the built-in Maps app does.

  20. #20
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstorkel View Post
    We use "kCLLocationAccuracyBest" but we start drawing our map when the Location Manager passes us a CLLocation with a horizontalAccuracy that's less than 2000 meters. If more accurate positioning information becomes available, we update the user's location on the map. We call "stopUpdatingLocation" if we get a CLLocation with a horizontalAccuracy of at least 150 meters or after five minutes of trying.
    I'm still not sure why this user is able to find a point in maps but not in my app. I accept whatever the Location Manager passes back regardless of its accuracy, be it 20km, 500m, or 17m. It seems this user is getting nothing back from the Location Manager, so I don't even get a CLLocation to work with. I wish I had a 1st generation phone to test with...
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

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