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  1. #1
    Senior Member tombilcze's Avatar
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    Suggestions for iPhone app to map my tour

    I am leaving on my first tour in a few weeks. I would love to map my tour while on the ride. I’ve looked for an app that can map the ride. So far I have tested a couple of possibilities.

    Cyclemeter – I love this app for my local rides. It just does a great job of mapping a GPS route out and posting it to social networks. The con is that it sucks the battery with the GPS. I am afraid a long ride would just need too much power.

    TrackMyTour is an interesting app. It only uses GPS when you stop and mark a stop. It has some nice journaling options and lets you post pics. The cons are that it is relatively new and it abends when it tries to post to social networks. It might be the option I go with and just tolerate its faults. It just needs some more work before it’s a great piece of software.

    Does anyone have a suggestion for an app that works well for touring?

    Thanks.
    Tom
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    I use b.iCycle. Anything that keeps the screen lit will drain the battery in 2-3 hours. B.iCycle will keep running while the phone sleeps and the battery will last 6-8 hours. I have experimented with a few auxiliary batteries for the phone but havent hit on the right combination yet.

    Found this one at radio shack for $15.00

    IMG_4528 by Fletch521, on Flickr

  3. #3
    Senior Member tombilcze's Avatar
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    Thanks. I might give b.iCycle a try. I am going on a long ride tomorrow and am going to try Cyclemeter with the Internet access set to off. Their help says that the GPS will continue to work. I had tried using airplane mode previously only to find out that it turns off the GPS. b.iCycle seems very similar to Cyclemeter. Since I already own it, I am giving it another try. It would be cool to have a GPS map of a tour but if it sucks the life out of the battery I might just settle for a journaling app.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    B.iCycle does a great job of mapping your ride. This was a 48 mile spin I did the other day;

    map by Fletch521, on Flickr

    Turn off 3G and WiFi to extend your battery life , also turn off notifications from apps that you don't need to be bothered by during your ride. I rode a century in may and having it track in sleep mode I was able to track the whole 102 miles.

  5. #5
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    If you want to see what TrackMyTour looks like from the web for an existing tour you can look at www.trackmytour.com/4555, my recent tour on the GAP/C&O. I don't have experience with B.iCycle though it looks pretty cool.

    As you noted, you will need to enter specific waypoints as you go along to be able to track the tour. If you want to share a week tour with friends, it works well since you can attach photos to waypoints (even as edits to those waypoints later in the day). As you noted, it really doesn't play nice with social media yet and did not automatically update my Facebook wall when there was a new waypoint (which would have been nice). I don't use Twitter so that option wouldn't work for me. Still, not bad for a free app.

    I didn't have the time or desire to manage a blog on the trip so TrackMyTour was a good compromise.
    Last edited by QueueCT; 06-11-11 at 05:56 PM. Reason: update

  6. #6
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    It took me a while to warm up to B.iCycle, I even wrote them a negative review when I first bought the app two and a half years ago but they keep making it better and I love it now.

    It automatically post to fb if you want it to


    fb by Fletch521, on Flickr


    map2 by Fletch521, on Flickr
    Last edited by Fletch521; 06-13-11 at 07:54 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tombilcze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QueueCT View Post
    If you want to see what TrackMyTour looks like from the web for an existing tour you can look at www.trackmytour.com/4555, my recent tour on the GAP/C&O. I don't have experience with B.iCycle though it looks pretty cool.
    After seeing your tour, I have a higher opinion of TrackMyTour. You did a nice job of capturing the story of your ride. The social media thing just bothers me since I am a Twitter user and Facebook user. The Twitter feed did work. Facebook seems to be a problem. I got a notice of a new version today. I upgraded. Maybe I'll try it this week on a ride. I do like the photo journaling that it does. -- Tom
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  8. #8
    Senior Member tombilcze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch521 View Post
    It took me a while to warm up o B.iCycle, I even wrote them a negative review when I first bought the app two and a half years ago but they keep making it better and I love it now.
    I do like these features. It is definitely a contender. It does some pretty nice social media updates. Thanks! Tom
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  9. #9
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Hi Tom,

    I'm the creator and developer of TrackMyTour, so it's been interesting to follow this thread. I've looked into the Facebook integration a few times, but was turned off by their poor documentation and evolving APIs. I think much of that may have settled by now, so I plan to revisit the integration in the future.

    The good news is that there are ways to integrate TrackMyTour with Facebook using proven and standard methods. Have a look at RSS Graffiti (http://www.rssgraffiti.com/), which can take an RSS feed (which TrackMyTour supports) and automatically post it to a Facebook wall or page. A few TrackMyTour users have done this with success. It's not a perfect solution, but covers the majority of use cases.

    TrackMyTour isn't that new. The website (originally called MapMyTour until somebody with a MapMy____ site wanted to sue over the name) has been around for about three years, and the app was introduced about two years ago. I work on it in my spare time and think it's one of the best tools for what it does. As you know, it's not a real time tracker, and this is key to saving battery and roaming costs while on the road. Check out the link in my signature to see where people are bike touring now.

    Anyway, if you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about the application then please post it here or contact me directly (contact info on the website and in the app). I appreciate your interest!
    Last edited by chrisch; 06-12-11 at 03:22 AM. Reason: wording
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  10. #10
    Senior Member tombilcze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrisch View Post
    Hi Tom,

    I'm the creator and developer of TrackMyTour, so it's been interesting to follow this thread. I've looked into the Facebook integration a few times, but was turned off by their poor documentation and evolving APIs. I think much of that may have settled by now, so I plan to revisit the integration in the future.
    Thanks for the post. I gave it another try yesterday and do really like many of the features you have in the app. It does a nice job of on-line journaling. I use a RSS feed today for for my blogs. Tonight I will see if I can use my RSS feed tool of choice (TwitterFeed) to publish my maps to Facebook and Twitter. I took a quick look this morning but don't have enough time to dig into it. I notice each map had a RSS. For my blogs, I take a RSS feed URL for the site and feed it to TwitterFeed. Does TrackMyTour give me a single RSS feed for my account? That is most likely what I need. If so, I know it will work.
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  11. #11
    Senior Member chrisch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombilcze View Post
    Thanks for the post. I gave it another try yesterday and do really like many of the features you have in the app. It does a nice job of on-line journaling. I use a RSS feed today for for my blogs. Tonight I will see if I can use my RSS feed tool of choice (TwitterFeed) to publish my maps to Facebook and Twitter. I took a quick look this morning but don't have enough time to dig into it. I notice each map had a RSS. For my blogs, I take a RSS feed URL for the site and feed it to TwitterFeed. Does TrackMyTour give me a single RSS feed for my account? That is most likely what I need. If so, I know it will work.
    That should work. At the moment the RSS feeds are per map and not per user. That should probably work fine since you'll likely only create one map for your tour. Let us know how it goes!
    TrackMyTour.com - An iPhone app for Bike Touring! See who's touring now and where.

  12. #12
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    Hi Looking at b i cycle app, I am new to smart phone scene. I have droid which says the app is $9.99 just curious what it actually does. If any experts want to comment I would appreciate it. Thanks

  13. #13
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    B.iCycle iPhone Homepage

    B.iCycle Android Homepage

  14. #14
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    I know this isn't quite what you asked for, but...

    If your goal is to track where you've gone, I recommend a Garmin Edge (preferably 500) over any smartphone GPS app.

    • Much more rugged than a smartphone
    • Battery life is 18 hours
    (If your cell battery dies after half a day and you get into a jam, it's gonna be problematic)
    • GPS performance is better
    • works smoothly with Garmin Connect
    • The 500 in particular is much smaller than any smartphone
    • Can integrate with cyclometer, cadence meter and HRM (additional modules)

    Some of the units also include on-screen maps (e.g. Edge 305 iirc) and still have 12+ hours of battery life.

  15. #15
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    If you plan on doing more touring then invest in a real GPS unit: rugged, waterproof with long battery life. An iPhone is great as a secondary device to verify your location but I would never use it as my primary mapping/guiding device because it's too fragile and its battery life is too short.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Fletch521's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    I know this isn't quite what you asked for, but...

    If your goal is to track where you've gone, I recommend a Garmin Edge (preferably 500) over any smartphone GPS app.

    • Much more rugged than a smartphone
    • Battery life is 18 hours
    (If your cell battery dies after half a day and you get into a jam, it's gonna be problematic)
    • GPS performance is better
    • works smoothly with Garmin Connect
    • The 500 in particular is much smaller than any smartphone
    • Can integrate with cyclometer, cadence meter and HRM (additional modules)

    Some of the units also include on-screen maps (e.g. Edge 305 iirc) and still have 12+ hours of battery life.
    I can't see any point in spending $200.00 + for a duplicate device that also needs to be mounted on your handlebars and needs batteries and/or recharging everyday. There are emergency batteries that will quickly add life to your dead phone and take up less space than the Garmin. There are numerous ways to extend battery life on the iPhone to be able to run B.iCycle all day without running down your battery. I completed a century last month and showed 70% battery left when I was finished. The GPS in an iPhone is more than adequate. If I zoom in on the map it will actually show a loop where I turned around or even show what side of the street I am on. Is there something more I should want? Heart meter? There is a free app for that. Cadence meter? Who cares, we are not training for the TDF. Cyclometer? That is what B.iCycle is, for $9.99.

    IMG_1617 by Fletch521, on Flickr

    IMG_1996 by Fletch521, on Flickr

    IMG_1997 by Fletch521, on Flickr

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
    If you plan on doing more touring then invest in a real GPS unit: rugged, waterproof with long battery life. An iPhone is great as a secondary device to verify your location but I would never use it as my primary mapping/guiding device because it's too fragile and its battery life is too short.
    Or just invest in a zip lock bag. It will keep your iPhone (or any phone) completely dry and the touch screen on the iPhone works perfectly well inside the bag.

    ...and with the iPhone 4 you can leave your camera home too.

    IMG_1588 by Fletch521, on Flickr

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