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Main Boards => General Walking Discussion => Topic started by: ninthace on 17:25:33, 22/12/18

Title: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 17:25:33, 22/12/18
I have a Samsung phone that I use with ViewRanger and the OS app as a back up to my Garmin Etrex.  Until recently, I have just loaded the route on VR and OS but not bothered to set them tracking - they were just there in case the Garmin banged out.  A couple of trips back, just for fun, i decided to use both mobile apps to track my walk.  The first trip was just with VR and that seemed to work OK.  The second trip I tried VR and OS at the same time - they started fine but then VR had me way off course and the OS just stopped tracking altogether.  I switched my phone off and on again and after that both apps worked as expected.  I did it again today - both apps seemed to start ok but when I checked to see how they were getting on VR had had a nervous breakdown and OS had gone into a sulk.  Restarting my phone cured the problem and after that both apps tracked the remainder of the walk as i would have expected.  Has anyone any idea what causes this?  I have put copies of the traces below.


Garmin Trace
(http://i68.tinypic.com/r1fo0o.jpg)
ViewRanger Trace
(http://i64.tinypic.com/4jsz6g.jpg)
OS Trace
(http://i64.tinypic.com/1hxonc.jpg)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 18:06:18, 22/12/18
Maybe try asking VR help desk, they are really helpful. Costs nowt which is also helpful.
Doesn't look like you were in any GPS blind spots. Could your phone have been shielded by anything which could have stopped signal, like being buried in the depths of your bag next to your tinfoil covered sandwiches. Ok so that's an exaggeration but you get the drift.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Hillhiker1 on 18:10:31, 22/12/18

The different apps "arguing" over system resources?
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 18:56:16, 22/12/18
Maybe try asking VR help desk, they are really helpful. Costs nowt which is also helpful.
Doesn't look like you were in any GPS blind spots. Could your phone have been shielded by anything which could have stopped signal, like being buried in the depths of your bag next to your tinfoil covered sandwiches. Ok so that's an exaggeration but you get the drift.
  Good idea to talk to VR,.  It can't be screening.  Gps signal was good and the phone was in my phone pocket.  Both apps docked with the gps at the start - I checked.
The different apps "arguing" over system resources?
There used to be a computer phenomenon called a "deadly embrace" whereby 2 programs, each needing a resource the other had, would refuse to release the resource they held until the other resource became available, so they just froze.  That sort of thing should not happen any more with modern software.  Recycling the power would not prevent a recurrence.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 19:03:47, 22/12/18
If I am using OSApp.  I make a point of not multitasking on the device.  I saw something very similar to that once, when I was using my phone to take photos on a walk.  Now if I am using the App to Navigate. then that is all I have running.  These thing are too clever for there own good sometimes.  Adds to your previus argument for a dedicated GPS. O0
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 19:20:44, 22/12/18
If I am using OSApp.  I make a point of not multitasking on the device.  I saw something very similar to that once, when I was using my phone to take photos on a walk.  Now if I am using the App to Navigate. then that is all I have running.  These thing are too clever for there own good sometimes.  Adds to your previus argument for a dedicated GPS. O0
Interesting especially as photo apps can use gps to geo-locate images.
Now if the OSapp could record a trace while following a route I wouldn't need VR and if VR had OS mapping without forking out a supplement I wouldn't need the OSapp.  O0    Do you have an explanation my recycling on/off cures it?
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Hillhiker1 on 19:24:56, 22/12/18
There used to be a computer phenomenon called a "deadly embrace" whereby 2 programs, each needing a resource the other had, would refuse to release the resource they held until the other resource became available, so they just froze.  That sort of thing should not happen any more with modern software.  Recycling the power would not prevent a recurrence.



I still get this on my Laptop running Windows 10. If I have multiple programs running, and Memory Map And Lightroom, sooner or later everything locks up. I have to use Task Manager to kill off either MM or LR then everything runs fine again..  :(
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 19:34:17, 22/12/18
Interesting especially as photo apps can use gps to geo-locate images.
Now if the OSapp could record a trace while following a route I wouldn't need VR and if VR had OS mapping without forking out a supplement I wouldn't need the OSapp.  O0    Do you have an explanation my recycling on/off cures it?
Perhaps you could do the on off thing, before starting your trace.  Bit of a faf though.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 19:52:00, 22/12/18
Found this definition
https://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/41017/deadly-embrace
If this is what is happening - I still don't understand why on/off prevents a recurrence unless it is a one-off occurrence in the first minute or two.  Agree BuzyG it would be a faff to switch on and off but the outcome could be instructive - next trip I will start both apps, dock the gps then off/on straight away.
I was only trying both apps simultaneously out of curiosity to see how they recorded an identical trip.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Jim Parkin on 21:40:07, 22/12/18
Interesting especially as photo apps can use gps to geo-locate images.
Now if the OSapp could record a trace while following a route I wouldn't need VR and if VR had OS mapping without forking out a supplement I wouldn't need the OSapp.  O0    Do you have an explanation my recycling on/off cures it?
I thought that you could record routes with the OS app? 

I tend to only have my fitbit using the phone GPS.  Sometimes it gets the *distance* wrong, but the trace is right - for example my 20km bike commute follows the same roads as usual, but only measurs 15km.  That seems to be a problem with some releases of the fitbit app as recording directly with Strava got the expected result (without heartrate). 
Title: Re: Stability of Moūbile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 21:47:30, 22/12/18
Were you using both OS and VR on the same phone?
I use camera at the same time as VR. Never had a problem.

Seriously I have used the VR help before and found them to be great.

Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 22:15:35, 22/12/18
I thought that you could record routes with the OS app? 
The OS app can either follow a route or record a track (which it calls a route) but not both at the same time, unlike ViewRanger.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Mel on 23:07:23, 22/12/18
I've had a couple of weird spikes with VR track recordings just recently - in the last week or so - one type where it seems to "lose" me then "find" me again and join those two points with a straight line; the other type seems to be where it looks like I'm doing the wall of death round a building I'm not even in (this was in a city centre though).  I did wonder if there's some tweakery going on behind the scenes that's affecting things somehow.


... but I've not got/used the OSapp thingumybob so can't pass comment on that aspect.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Dovegirl on 23:59:28, 22/12/18
one type where it seems to "lose" me then "find" me again and join those two points with a straight line

I've experienced that occasionally with VR.  From what I read somewhere, it means the gps signal was lost for some reason or other.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Jim Parkin on 12:17:11, 24/12/18
I've had a couple of weird spikes with VR track recordings just recently - in the last week or so - one type where it seems to "lose" me then "find" me again and join those two points with a straight line; the other type seems to be where it looks like I'm doing the wall of death round a building I'm not even in (this was in a city centre though).  I did wonder if there's some tweakery going on behind the scenes that's affecting things somehow.


... but I've not got/used the OSapp thingumybob so can't pass comment on that aspect.
The OS Maps app is great if you buy a new OS paper map. 
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 13:16:26, 24/12/18
The OS Maps app is great if you buy a new OS paper map.
 
It is OK - it needs more work to be great.
As I have alluded to previously, the ability to record a track while following a route would be an improvement.
The ability to preview a route by hovering the cursor over the route pin would be another.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 11:34:01, 25/12/18
 
It is OK - it needs more work to be great.
As I have alluded to previously, the ability to record a track while following a route would be an improvement.
The ability to preview a route by hovering the cursor over the route pin would be another.


Possibly a case of expectation from greater experience of other GPS techniques.  As some one who has simply moved from using a paper map and compass, to the OSmaps App, I find it has more features than I need.  I still use it with my compass, as I don't trust any of the compass apps I have so far come across for my phone.  Probably my phone at fault and not the apps, as none of them give a stable accurate bearing.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 15:08:29, 25/12/18

Possibly a case of expectation from greater experience of other GPS techniques.  As some one who has simply moved from using a paper map and compass, to the OSmaps App, I find it has more features than I need.  I still use it with my compass, as I don't trust any of the compass apps I have so far come across for my phone.  Probably my phone at fault and not the apps, as none of them give a stable accurate bearing.
Surprised you say that. It is singularly lacking in features compared with its competitors. Its big plus is that you get GB wide up to date OS mapping without shelling out more cash.  Depends how you navigate. I usually decide the route I will walk before I go so I have a route plotted. Combine this with the ability to record your track and the compass element becomes a nice to have rather than a need to have.
The OS app is a bit like driving an old Ford Pop. Fine, gets you from A to B. Then you get a Garmin which is a Porsche by comparison and going from A to B is a lot more fun.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 18:37:10, 25/12/18
Surprised you say that. It is singularly lacking in features compared with its competitors. Its big plus is that you get GB wide up to date OS mapping without shelling out more cash.  Depends how you navigate. I usually decide the route I will walk before I go so I have a route plotted. Combine this with the ability to record your track and the compass element becomes a nice to have rather than a need to have.
The OS app is a bit like driving an old Ford Pop. Fine, gets you from A to B. Then you get a Garmin which is a Porsche by comparison and going from A to B is a lot more fun.


Explains a lot. Not a Porker fan and I never use the sat Nav in my car either.  I still have an A to Z wedged between the transmission tunnel and the passenger seat.  Just in case I forget the route.  Bring on the 21st century.  LoL
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Jim Parkin on 17:44:58, 26/12/18

Possibly a case of expectation from greater experience of other GPS techniques.  As some one who has simply moved from using a paper map and compass, to the OSmaps App, I find it has more features than I need.  I still use it with my compass, as I don't trust any of the compass apps I have so far come across for my phone.  Probably my phone at fault and not the apps, as none of them give a stable accurate bearing.
OK that's me too.  I still just use the phone GPS as a backup - unlike in the car, where I use it to decide which route is currently the best due to traffic conditions. 
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 17:06:00, 27/12/18
Well I tried the OS app and ViewRanger together again today.  I started the OS app first on my phone and set it to record a route.  Once I was happy it was recording correctly and leaving a trace, I started ViewRanger as well to follow a route.  Again I checked it was recording correctly and lotting a trace, then double checked the OS app.  About 100 yards up the first hill I checked my phone and, lo and behold, both apps had stopped tracking.  The off/on trick worked as before and every time I checked them, both apps were working fine from then on.
When I got to the the end of my route, ViewRanger had a good trace but the OS app had only recorded the last 9km or so although I checked it was tracking throughout.
Needless to say, my Garmin was fine as usual.
Incidentally, I used VR on its own on my Christmas day walk and it was absolutely fine, as it has been every time I have used it on its own.
Subsidiary question, I flashed up the OS app on the bus to the start of the walk and noticed that the location icon just ran of the screen as the bus went along- why doesn't the app keep the map centred on your current location - or have I missed a setting somewhere?
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 20:41:42, 27/12/18
Been out on Dartmoor all day today.  What a beautiful day it was.  Used my free digital down load on the OSApp, as and when I needed to check where I was usually to check the name of which tor I was on as it was a section of moor I do not walk much.  The App simply did everything I needed, faultlessly. O0 
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 20:57:48, 27/12/18
Now use it, and it alone, in poor visibility to follow the weak path from High Willhays to Dinger Tor that is not marked on the map but can be seen on the aerial imagery then go from there to arrive at the West Okement River at Sandy Ford.  ;)


Oooh and by the way I want to use the app to tell you where you actually went and how far you went
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 22:51:31, 27/12/18
Now use it, and it alone, in poor visibility to follow the weak path from High Willhays to Dinger Tor that is not marked on the map but can be seen on the aerial imagery then go from there to arrive at the West Okement River at Sandy Ford.  ;)


Oooh and by the way I want to use the app to tell you where you actually went and how far you went


That path is like a motorway, only with much moor peat. I  love that route out to fur tor.  I also wizzed out to Cranmere pool, from Meldon, a year or so back, late one winters afternoon.  Came back that way in pitch dark.  I  did not use GPS location, though I had my phone with me just in case, just my memory and Silva  ;)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 23:14:42, 27/12/18
It's good that people use things in different ways. The walk I led last Sunday was in poor visibility all day.  It was on South Bodmin moor another area I know well and I had natrualy reconoitered the key way points.  There was one moment when I was not entirely sure exactly where we were ,so I glanced at the OsApp confirmed our exact location and Carried on.  The rest of the route I simply used my compass and memory.  It's a usefull skill to have and one I encorage all who walk off the beaten track to use whenever they can safely do so.  Any way I have wondered off topic a little, better navigate back to the thread.  :)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 23:31:00, 27/12/18
No substitute for local knowledge Buzy but you don't need an app for that  :)   I'm the same on familiar ground, gps just ticks over until its needed, often just acts as an odometer. The OS app does what it does well and consistently (provided it can find the phone gps)
My ideal app tells me where I am, where I've been, how far I have come, where I have to go next, how far it is to the next waypoint and in which direction, how far I have left to go and when I should get to the finish.  It should also give me an audible warning if I have gone the wrong way, when the gps signal has been lost and when the batteries need changing. Garmin can do a lot of that.  ViewRanger can do much of that too (except the audible warnings bit).  The OS app is far more limited at present as it still a work in progress but has really good mapping on a decent sized screen.

But this is all by the by - my question is why won't the OS app and ViewRanger work together on the same phone so I have the next next thing to a satnav in functionality? Or at least, why won't they work on mine?  I like the OS mapping as it is better than ViewRanger.  The functionality of ViewRanger superior to the OS app.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 00:37:24, 28/12/18
HI Ninthace

VR does have audible warnings . Set up your cross track error alarm (XTE). you set it up to let you know if you have wandered of the track by whatever distance you ask it to.(google "viewranger set up XTE").

Also I don't understand how the OS app maps can be better than OS maps in VR. Having looked at both apps they are exactly the same. Or are you using OS maps on the OS app and the freebies on VR. Or did I just misunderstand what you wrote.

I bit the bullet and  pay the annual OS subscription for VR which was the same price as the subscription on the OS app.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 06:08:21, 28/12/18
HI Ninthace

VR does have audible warnings . Set up your cross track error alarm (XTE). you set it up to let you know if you have wandered of the track by whatever distance you ask it to.(google "viewranger set up XTE").

Also I don't understand how the OS app maps can be better than OS maps in VR. Having looked at both apps they are exactly the same. Or are you using OS maps on the OS app and the freebies on VR. Or did I just misunderstand what you wrote.

I bit the bullet and  pay the annual OS subscription for VR which was the same price as the subscription on the OS app.
Thanks for that Jim Bob. Yes I have already paid the OS subscription direct to OS primarily so I can use their mapping website and I donít want to do pay it again just to use OS maps in VR given that I am only using my phone as back up to my Garmin. When my sub runs out, I think I will switch to VR and drop OS unless they improve their app it markedly.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 12:47:04, 28/12/18
HI Ninthace. This thread has interested me to the extent that I have spent time on the interweb looking into the problems you found.
It looks like if you have two apps running that share a resource ( in this case GPS and Memory) then you can cause the apps to hang up.
The apps are vying with each other to get the gps signal and then compare if to the tracks in memory and even write the data to memory. Smartphones struggle to do this, actually it seems most normal domestic  computers struggle to do the same work for two different bits of software at the same time.
Also as I suspected in an earlier posting not all   smartphones are created equal.The ability to capture the gps signal does vary according to which phone (and even the manufactured age ) you use. Some have better hardware, some have better software. Getting both good together on one phone will take a bit of research but as ever google is our friend and the Galaxy 5 and 7 came out as good in July but with the underlying proviso that they are battery  hungry and not as good as dedicated GPS Devices such as the Etrex.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 14:58:25, 28/12/18
If you buy OS mapping online and set your purchase to autorenew it is £20 per year. If you change your mind ,even during your first year you are not penalised. As opposed to VR at £25. So it works out cheaper . In saying that, when my OS mapping plan runs out in March , I may just buy a years Viewranger subscription. I'm on the fence at the moment.
Either one is a bargain in my mind.Hope I`m ok just posting like this as it`s my first ...hello  :)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 15:51:46, 28/12/18
Welcome to the  forum G&P.
I think you would get better value out of VR as opposed to the OS app at present.  It is far more versatile in what it can do.  Bear in mind in both cases you get access to the web sites as well the phone app.  The OS site has certain good features such as the "snap to" function when plotting routes inside national parks but VR has the edge.  For example, when plotting a route on the VR site you can add intermediate way points, the OS site does not support this yet.  VR differentiates between tracks and routes and allows you to store both; the OS website just has routes.  If you contribute a route to VR you get credits when someone downloads it which can be added to your account; any route you publish on the OS site is free to all once you make it public and the publisher is anonymous.  There are other differences if someone wants to drift the thread a bit.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 16:18:55, 28/12/18
HI Ninthace. This thread has interested me to the extent that I have spent time on the interweb looking into the problems you found.
It looks like if you have two apps running that share a resource ( in this case GPS and Memory) then you can cause the apps to hang up.
The apps are vying with each other to get the gps signal and then compare if to the tracks in memory and even write the data to memory. Smartphones struggle to do this, actually it seems most normal domestic  computers struggle to do the same work for two different bits of software at the same time.
Also as I suspected in an earlier posting not all   smartphones are created equal.The ability to capture the gps signal does vary according to which phone (and even the manufactured age ) you use. Some have better hardware, some have better software. Getting both good together on one phone will take a bit of research but as ever google is our friend and the Galaxy 5 and 7 came out as good in July but with the underlying proviso that they are battery  hungry and not as good as dedicated GPS Devices such as the Etrex.
Thanks Jimbob.  The situation puts me in mind of one of the first programs I wrote for the Royal Aircraft Establishment on an old ICL machine.  It used both the printer and the graph plotter.  The latter was not normally switched on so I wrote a routine to tell the operator to turn the plotter on via the executive typewriter when the time came to plot the data.  For some reason, this created a deadly embrace between the line printer and the plotter and the whole thing came to a shuddering halt and the computer locked up solid - the operator was not happy!  I was nearly as popular the time my program got stuck in a loop and drew a neatly labelled graph axis the length of the drum of paper in the plotter before the operator could stop it.
I would have thought 50 years down the line, the resource manager would have solved these problems, obviously not.  The curious thing is that restarting the phone clears it and so far, in my statistically significant trial of 2 experiments, prevents a re-occurrence.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: BuzyG on 16:39:23, 28/12/18
Also as I suspected in an earlier posting not all   smartphones are created equal.The ability to capture the gps signal does vary according to which phone (and even the manufactured age ) you use. Some have better hardware, some have better software. Getting both good together on one phone will take a bit of research but as ever google is our friend and the Galaxy 5 and 7 came out as good in July but with the underlying proviso that they are battery  hungry and not as good as dedicated GPS Devices such as the Etrex.


That is interesting to note.  I did notice, when I switched phones, that the GPS signal is generally locked very quickly on my current S5.  It sometimes took an age, on my previous S3 and S4.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Mel on 17:23:00, 28/12/18
I agree with what Hillhiker said on page 1, backed up by what jimbob said on page 2.


Ninthace, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to do the same walk running only the OS app.  Then do the same walk again running only the VR app. 


My uneducated guess would be that if you don't have the same problem then the problem is/was the apps struggling for dominance over each other regarding resources (your phone's GPS and processor functions).  If you do get the same problem then it's most likely your phone.... basically confirming what Hillhiker and jimbob have said.


Now, chill and go for a nice walkies  :)



Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 17:46:07, 28/12/18
VR often have sales and I can assure you as a tightwad I did not pay as much £25.00 towards my years OS subscription.

Yep samsung galaxy 5 and galaxy 7 seem to have a good gps set up according to my brain (erm actually google :D )
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 18:29:21, 28/12/18
I agree with what Hillhiker said on page 1, backed up by what jimbob said on page 2.


Ninthace, your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to do the same walk running only the OS app.  Then do the same walk again running only the VR app. 


My uneducated guess would be that if you don't have the same problem then the problem is/was the apps struggling for dominance over each other regarding resources (your phone's GPS and processor functions).  If you do get the same problem then it's most likely your phone.... basically confirming what Hillhiker and jimbob have said.


Now, chill and go for a nice walkies  :)
  Already done that Mel.  It is only when they run together I have a problem. The 2 programs seem to be fighting each other, probably over the gps data in some way.  As I said, 50 years ago when computers cost millions and only had kB of RAM I could understand it.  I am disappointed that the resource management software in my Samsung with gB can't apparently overcome the problem - I thought those days were in the past.  What I still find perplexing is that they start running together, then stop after a 100 yards or so but will then call a truce after a reboot of the phone.  The deadly embrace must be something complicated or they would not start to run together at all.  The reboot must be clearing something somewhere to make them run together but why does it not recur?
Just have to go back to one or the other. In the meantime - has anyone else tried parallel running?
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: alan de enfield on 23:51:12, 28/12/18
  In the meantime - has anyone else tried parallel running?



Is that where both legs go in the same direction ?
I tried it once and found it a quite productive method of locomotion.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 08:43:59, 29/12/18

Is that where both legs go in the same direction ?
I tried it once and found it a quite productive method of locomotion.
No that is ordinary running. Parallel running is when you are beside yourself.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Bigfoot_Mike on 08:57:59, 29/12/18
Didnít Spotty Dog from the Wooden Tops do parallel running? #showingmyage
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: alan de enfield on 13:19:28, 29/12/18
Didnít Spotty Dog from the Wooden Tops do parallel running? #showingmyage



"The very biggest spotty dog you ever did see"


A very nice dog but his acting was a bit 'wooden'
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 15:06:09, 30/12/18
Welcome to the  forum G&P.
  VR differentiates between tracks and routes and allows you to store both; the OS website just has routes.  If you contribute a route to VR you get credits when someone downloads it which can be added to your account; any route you publish on the OS site is free to all once you make it public and the publisher is anonymous.  There are other differences if someone wants to drift the thread a bit.
Thanks for the welcome, ninthace.
Something I do at the moment, is when I have created a route in OS, I transfer it to basecamp to make a track out of it which I then transfer into my etrex 20x.
Do you know when you create tracks in Viewranger, will they be accepted as GPX files straight into Garmins. To save me doing this via Basecamp? I have an etrex 20x..Thanks.

Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 15:22:48, 30/12/18
Thanks for the welcome, ninthace.
Something I do at the moment, is when I have created a route in OS, I transfer it to basecamp to make a track out of it which I then transfer into my etrex 20x.
Do you know when you create tracks in Viewranger, will they be accepted as GPX files straight into Garmins. To save me doing this via Basecamp? I have an etrex 20x..Thanks.
You cannot create a track in VR other than by walking it with VR running on your phone.  You can create a route though which I think is what you mean.  Yes you can export it direct to a GPX file via the menu button (top right of the view route screeen) to a file on your computer and then import that file directly into BaseCamp.  You can also do the reverse, create a route in BaseCamp, export it as a GPX file and then import it into VR as a route.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 15:39:52, 30/12/18
And you can place that gpx route directly into your Garmin, no need to use BaseCamp  O0
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: jimbob on 15:54:42, 30/12/18
For clarification you can run VR on a normal computer for covering track to route amending or even creating routes. As Sussamb says any GPX route can be ported straight into  any device which accepts gpx.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 15:58:19, 30/12/18
And you can place that gpx route directly into your Garmin, no need to use BaseCamp  O0
That is true but not if you wanted to turn the route into a track - not sure why you would want to but that is what G&P asked.
G&P  - if you are using the OS website to create routes you could export the route directly to your computer as a gpx file without involving VR.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 16:00:48, 30/12/18
Funnily enough I only ever use routes on my Etrex, far more flexible than tracks  ;)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 16:14:12, 30/12/18
+1. Routes are for doing, tracks are for recording.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 16:21:49, 30/12/18
Yep  O0
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 20:44:22, 30/12/18
Hey, thanks for the explanations. The reason I started transfering tracks (after having made them from routes in basecamp !) was because whenever I tried to transfer a (say) 15 mile route to my etrex, it only accepted about half of the route.

The first time I did it was a route I had created on OS, which was up and around llanthony in Wales. When I looked on the screen of my etrex after the transfer, it stopped approximately half way round. In my naive way I thought maybe the etrex didn`t have enough memory to show it all with so many waypoints, having snapped the route in OS. I thought maybe when snapping it creates too many way points (being so accurately following the route in this national park).
So I started converting them to tracks which my etrex readily accepted on transfer & showed all of the track from start to finish..Another thing was that the routes showed a lolipop sort of emblem at every way point which actually obscured parts of the route just when I needed to see it clearly (at a waypoint/turning etc) :o
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 20:51:30, 30/12/18
That is true but not if you wanted to turn the route into a track - not sure why you would want to but that is what G&P asked.
G&P  - if you are using the OS website to create routes you could export the route directly to your computer as a gpx file without involving VR.
Thanks yes. I do that already (transfer to my pc) then convert to a track in basecamp , for the reason on my previous post. I readily accept I may be something silly though. I mentioned VR because it seems more capable than OS, which expires for me soon.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 21:16:38, 30/12/18
Hey, thanks for the explanations. The reason I started transfering tracks (after having made them from routes in basecamp !) was because whenever I tried to transfer a (say) 15 mile route to my etrex, it only accepted about half of the route.

The first time I did it was a route I had created on OS, which was up and around llanthony in Wales. When I looked on the screen of my etrex after the transfer, it stopped approximately half way round. In my naive way I thought maybe the etrex didn`t have enough memory to show it all with so many waypoints, having snapped the route in OS. I thought maybe when snapping it creates too many way points (being so accurately following the route in this national park).
So I started converting them to tracks which my etrex readily accepted on transfer & showed all of the track from start to finish..Another thing was that the routes showed a lolipop sort of emblem at every way point which actually obscured parts of the route just when I needed to see it clearly (at a waypoint/turning etc) :o


I think I can help.  The lollipop thing is an OS artifact, it creates waypoints at each mouse click, these are what you are seeing.  Drop the OS file into Basecamp via your PC, convert it to a track as you have been doing, you now don't need the route anymore and can delete it if you want. Drop the track into your Etrex then convert this track into a route, make sure the maximum number of way points is set to 250 (assuming your 20 is the same as my 30).  Now you should have a route the length of your intended journey and the original track as well.  Now walk following the route and you can use waypoint and off course alarms etc.
In theory you could drop the OS gpx file direct into your Garmin but you will still need BaseCamp to do the route - track - route conversion thing. Personally I like to have a file of planned routes in BaseCamp and drop them into the Etrex as I use them.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 21:29:20, 30/12/18

I think I can help.  The lollipop thing is an OS artifact, it creates waypoints at each mouse click, these are what you are seeing.  Drop the OS file into Basecamp via your PC, convert it to a track as you have been doing, you now don't need the route anymore and can delete it if you want. Drop the track into your Etrex then convert this track into a route, make sure the maximum number of way points is set to 250 (assuming your 20 is the same as my 30).  Now you should have a route the length of your intended journey and the original track as well.  Now walk following the route and you can use waypoint and off course alarms etc.

That makes a lot of sense ..many thanks.! Hopefully this week I can create a track then convert back to a route on my etrex, then get out & walk the Xmas pud off....I carry a Doro 8020x  tough phone in my pocket, but it is the Etrex that stays in my hand/strap clip most of the time as it is so light, convenient & reliable.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 21:51:34, 30/12/18
Just to be clear - you will need BaseCamp to do it.  The Etrex menus do not have a route to track or vice versa conversion option (well mine doesn't).  I got caught by the maximum number of way points per route thing when I used the OS app to generate a route in a national park with the snap to option selected - every bend became a way point.  Didn't notice until I was well on my way and ran out of route so ended up following the track instead.  Stupid really as I usually check that my whole route is on the Etrex map before I leave home since I had the odd occasion when for one reason or other it wasn't there.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 22:18:36, 30/12/18
I've been there too, happened to me when walking the Ridgeway.  I knew full well that routes were limited to 250 points, which generally is more than adequate, but that section was particularly 'twisty' so I ended up exceeding the 250.  Lesson learnt!  It's the one advantage a track has, as you're allowed up to 10,000 points  :)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 22:07:12, 02/01/19
Just to be clear - you will need BaseCamp to do it.  The Etrex menus do not have a route to track or vice versa conversion option (well mine doesn't).  I got caught by the maximum number of way points per route thing when I used the OS app to generate a route in a national park with the snap to option selected - every bend became a way point.  Didn't notice until I was well on my way and ran out of route so ended up following the track instead.  Stupid really as I usually check that my whole route is on the Etrex map before I leave home since I had the odd occasion when for one reason or other it wasn't there.
What are the benefits of using a route if tracks can cope with more way points.? I always create a track from any route I make , because my Etrex does not accept long routes, even as a GPX... & I think from what has been said then, it is because there are too many way points when I use the snap to function on OS, which I like. I hike a lot in the Brecon Beacons, which as you know allows the snap to function in OS
Edit. : I just realised Ninthace, you said Off course alarms etc can be used with routes. ok
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 22:42:28, 02/01/19
Off course alarms and better options in data fields.  It's rare I come close to the 250 point limit, even the 26 mile route from Byrness to KY on the last day of my PW route was less than 250.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 23:00:21, 02/01/19
I would add to sussamb's reply the option to have an audible way point alarm.  I usually have my Etrex clipped to my pack, as I approach a way point it pings so I know I am on the right route without even looking at it (it can be heard even if the Etrex is in my pocket.  Conversely, if you come to a bend and it hasn't pinged, that may be a clue you are going adrift.
If you navigate by following a track you have to keep fishing the unit out to check it - a bit like old fashioned map reading.  ;)
A trick here too.  If your route includes a critical "do not miss" turn or geographical feature you can set say 4 waypoints almost together and the unit will ping 4 times within the space of a few yards to alert you.  For example, I have used it to let me know I am passing an interesting pothole or cave.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Jim Parkin on 19:56:28, 03/01/19
The OS app can either follow a route or record a track (which it calls a route) but not both at the same time, unlike ViewRanger.
Thanks - I have  strava or a fitbit to do the recording.  And I haven't followed GPS tracks, except once as a trial, which worked.

An interesting article around modern navigation methods here:
http://www.alexroddie.com/2019/01/skills-guide-modernise-your-mountain-navigation.html
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: sussamb on 20:37:59, 03/01/19
I would add to sussamb's reply the option to have an audible way point alarm.  I usually have my Etrex clipped to my pack, as I approach a way point it pings so I know I am on the right route without even looking at it (it can be heard even if the Etrex is in my pocket.


Good point, I use that too  O0
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Walk666 on 12:09:16, 06/01/19
Hi Ninthace I have used several tracking apps but now I have stopped tracking altogether, I just use the OS maps and I don't bother looking at the mileage anymore, I found it liberating because I'm not constantly checking my phone anymore, I'm just enjoying the walking, but I appreciate that some people like to track their walks, I did it for two years before I stopped, there are that many apps on the market it's a bit of a minefield but I hope you get sorted, I may well return to tracking one day but for now I'm just enjoying the freedom of walking, good luck :)
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 13:17:07, 06/01/19
Hi Ninthace I have used several tracking apps but now I have stopped tracking altogether, I just use the OS maps and I don't bother looking at the mileage anymore, I found it liberating because I'm not constantly checking my phone anymore, I'm just enjoying the walking, but I appreciate that some people like to track their walks, I did it for two years before I stopped, there are that many apps on the market it's a bit of a minefield but I hope you get sorted, I may well return to tracking one day but for now I'm just enjoying the freedom of walking, good luck :)
I love my etrex but have noticed if I am not careful I can rely on it more than I really prefer. I only started using a gps around 9 months ago, as before that it was alwaysOS map and the compass if needed.
I found it liberating in one way because I am doing hikes now that I wouldnt have dreamed of with paper maps, as at my age, using one would slow me down too much in areas that I really wasn`t familiar with, having to reference it so much. Im getting on a tad. Years ago my memory was much better and so could envisage the route more in my head.I do feel something is lost if I use the gps too much. A bit of yin & yang going on. Something gained and something lost ???
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 13:21:16, 06/01/19
Hi Ninthace I have used several tracking apps but now I have stopped tracking altogether, I just use the OS maps and I don't bother looking at the mileage anymore, I found it liberating because I'm not constantly checking my phone anymore, I'm just enjoying the walking, but I appreciate that some people like to track their walks, I did it for two years before I stopped, there are that many apps on the market it's a bit of a minefield but I hope you get sorted, I may well return to tracking one day but for now I'm just enjoying the freedom of walking, good luck :)
You are confusing 2 things there - tracking and navigating /route finding.
The tracking function is primarily to record your route over the ground so you know where you are and where you have been.  It is also useful for later reference when you get back, for example to look at your route on GoogleEarth or to maintain a walking log.
Navigation functions are to find out where you are and where to go next.  As I alluded to previously, the audio functions are useful in this regard because they let you know you are going in the right direction without even looking at your device.  Even without these however, there is absolutely no need to constantly check your device. I usually just walk but if I am ever unsure where to go next or need to confirm a decision then I flick the gps off my pack, glance at it and then replace it, usually a matter of seconds.  To me this more liberating than having to stop, open the map, work out where I am and which way I came to get there so I can work out where to go next and then have to refold and stow the map.  Even map pockets do not totally get round this problem.  You also lose the ability rapidly to work out how far you have come and more importantly how far you have left to go and when you will get there.
The only time I am likely to refer frequently to my device is if I am walking a preplanned route over trackless ground, especially in poor visibility but this is no different to walking a compass bearing except that I have far more confidence in where I am and where I am going.  Map navigation is also far more difficult in reduced visibility without constant reference to the map to keep track (see what I did there?) of where you are.


Enjoy your walking - however you chose to do it.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: ninthace on 13:31:58, 06/01/19
I love my etrex but have noticed if I am not careful I can rely on it more than I really prefer. I only started using a gps around 9 months ago, as before that it was alwaysOS map and the compass if needed.
I found it liberating in one way because I am doing hikes now that I wouldnt have dreamed of with paper maps, as at my age, using one would slow me down too much in areas that I really wasn`t familiar with, having to reference it so much. Im getting on a tad. Years ago my memory was much better and so could envisage the route more in my head.I do feel something is lost if I use the gps too much. A bit of yin & yang going on. Something gained and something lost ???
Interesting point about remembering your route.  I have long since started to draw my pension but I find the act of preparing and detailed plotting of my route from the comfort and warmth of my armchair helps me to memorise the route to the point that when I walk it, I have a really good idea where to go and what navigational features to look out for.  This adds to the walking pleasure by reducing the navigational task.  The 3D fly through feature also helps to visualise what the terrain is going to look like, especially if done in conjunction with an aerial view.
Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: GinAndPlatonic on 13:59:26, 06/01/19
Interesting point about remembering your route.  I have long since started to draw my pension but I find the act of preparing and detailed plotting of my route from the comfort and warmth of my armchair helps me to memorise the route to the point that when I walk it, I have a really good idea where to go and what navigational features to look out for.  This adds to the walking pleasure by reducing the navigational task.  The 3D fly through feature also helps to visualise what the terrain is going to look like, especially if done in conjunction with an aerial view.
I find routes at higher altitude often easier to remember, as there are far less field boundaries etc, especially in parts of the national parks.I think I am sometimes concerned I will carry on too far if I am on a  nice trail when I should have left it miles back, especially on a high level ridge if the views are great and I am really enjoying it. I get into a comfort zone & walk without thinking about directions too much..
I use that fly through and enjoy seeing what the paths look like from the air. Sometimes nothing can be made out if it is forested but other times its really clear. I plotted a route taking in a large farm complex recently and on the OS map it looked to me like it might be daunting, from the pointof view that I might feel I am intruding there.. but from the 3d view and later actually walking it. It was a place that felt inviting to walkers.

Title: Re: Stability of Mobile Phone Navigation Apps
Post by: Walk666 on 16:30:51, 06/01/19
I love my etrex but have noticed if I am not careful I can rely on it more than I really prefer. I only started using a gps around 9 months ago, as before that it was alwaysOS map and the compass if needed.
I found it liberating in one way because I am doing hikes now that I wouldnt have dreamed of with paper maps, as at my age, using one would slow me down too much in areas that I really wasn`t familiar with, having to reference it so much. Im getting on a tad. Years ago my memory was much better and so could envisage the route more in my head.I do feel something is lost if I use the gps too much. A bit of yin & yang going on. Something gained and something lost ???
To be fair I really only walk Lincolnshire fens and some towns so there's not much chance of me getting into too much trouble  I can see how GPS could be a life saver in mountainous or other regions, I see your point completely  :)