Author Topic: Location app for Android phone  (Read 875 times)

fernman

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Location app for Android phone
« on: 22:28:42, 10/11/20 »
On my old Windows Phone 8 I had an app called FollowMee that relayed details of my progress to the family's PCs, the theory being that if I failed to report home my wife and grown up sons could see where I was on the map on the PC and discuss whether to do anything about it, or wait a couple of weeks and see.

Apart from not working without a phone signal, the big drawback was that on Windows Phone the app only recorded your position at 30 minute intervals, so the route I walked was shown as a series of long zig-zag lines. You don't see a map on the phone, just a screenful of lines of data.

On an Android phone the interval is greatly improved at 5 minutes. However, when I tested it during a walk last week I was disappointed when I got home to find no maps on the PCs. The PC app told me I must pay for maps (it's a very small annual fee, $5.99) even though I paid a few months ago. I expect this was because I had changed my phone.

Now for the big question. I am calling on the collective knowledge of you members.
Is there an equivalent app for Android and PC that will record the way I am going on my phone and display it on a map on a PC?
 
So far all I have found is a number of apps that will track my route on a phone as I walk but they don't automatically pass it to a PC in the way that FollowMee does. You've got to download it from the phone yourself after your return, which is not what I want.

Finally, if anything does exist, it must be free or at least very cheap for me, although I might bite the bullet if it does exactly what I want.
« Last Edit: 22:38:26, 10/11/20 by fernman »

ninthace

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #1 on: 23:14:23, 10/11/20 »
ViewRanger.  It is free unless you want subscription mapping.  It includes Buddy Beacon which allows your location to be displayed on a map on the VR website..


When you set off, you activate the beacon on your phone through the app.  The beacon can be PIN protected so only those knowing your user id and PIN can see it.  You can set the intervals at which it reports your location in terms of time interval and distance travelled.  If you lose the signal, it can be set to report past locations so it will catch up with your location history when it gets the signal back.  You can even set the beacon to start automatically as soon as you switch on the app if you are the forgetful sort.


The person watching your progress has to go to the VR website and open the buddy beacon tab then logon with your user name and PIN (not password)  You can change the PIN between trips if you want.


Is this what you want?
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jimbob

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #2 on: 23:18:45, 10/11/20 »
Another thumbs up for View ranger buddy beacon.

You may need decent battery backup but you probably would with any app.
The more you read VR guidance the better it becomes.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #3 on: 23:44:26, 10/11/20 »
Another thumbs up for View ranger buddy beacon.

You may need decent battery backup but you probably would with any app.
The more you read VR guidance the better it becomes.
I used to have battery trouble with VR many moons ago with an old Nokia but my Samsung A50 will run VR all day long and the next day too
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sussamb

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #4 on: 07:10:27, 11/11/20 »
Yep, I use VR. Runs all day on my Android too without issue.
Where there's a will ...

fernman

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #5 on: 09:16:57, 11/11/20 »
Thanks to all of you for the useful information.

I do actually have ViewRanger free on my phone, I was using it for general mapgazing [UK and abroad] as I like the amount of detail compared to other maps [with the exception of course of BackCountry for UK] but I hadn't really considered the significance of BuddyBeacon. That certainly fits my needs.

Silly question maybe, but does VR create a track of your route on your phone while you're walking?

Since my OP I have turned up one other app that will do what I want, that is LocaToWeb https://locatoweb.com/  Does anyone have any experience/knowledge of it?
A downside for me is that I can only download it through Google Play and not through any 3rd party site. I don't have a Google a/c but I was considering creating one just to get the app and then terminating it a couple of days later.

ninthace

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #6 on: 09:26:21, 11/11/20 »
VR will both allow you to follow a planned route and/or record a track.  Tracks can be saved in your account on the website and can be private or public.
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gunwharfman

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #7 on: 10:43:47, 11/11/20 »
For my part I always look for the free apps first, I have a couple of once only payment apps but avoid the yearly subscription ones like the plague!

The app I use is 'Real-Time GPS Tracker,' it's free and it proved itself more than once. I used it most in 2015 when I walked the GR10 across the Pyrenees in 2015. I raised money for our local hospitals 'Da Vinci Robot' and a number of people used it to track me as I hiked, just to prove to them I wasn't lying on a beach somewhere. They could either track me on their phone or on their PC. It worked a treat!

fernman

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #8 on: 12:00:28, 11/11/20 »
You're a man after my own heart, gunwharfman, everything I use is freeware with just one exception, I pay about 20 a year for 100GB of cloud storage.

I can get your Real Time GPS Tracker from a 3rd party site, but I was a bit nervous to see it is a Russian app where I had to select English language, and even more so when it presented me with a lengthy list of adjustments to make to my phone settings. But as you have used it successfully I will look at it again later.

Meanwhile that leaves me 2 other choices: ViewRanger whose BuddyBeacon will show my location as a dot, or LocaToWeb that will show my route ending where I have had a cardiac arrest or fractured a leg. I am still tempted to open a Google account to try the latter, but I wonder if closing the account will then affect the way the app functions.

ninthace

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #9 on: 12:09:23, 11/11/20 »
Actually Buddy Beacon will show your track as a string of dots leading to you last known location.  Before you surrender your phone to the Russkies, what doest it do the VR doesn't do?  It may appear to show your track but actually all it is doing is joining up the dots.
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #10 on: 13:34:05, 11/11/20 »
The problem with freeware is that inevitably if you aren't paying for a product then you are the product yourself, and they're skimming data/information from you to sell.


ViewRanger seems to do the job for me, maps are quite cheap if you look at it in the long run & BuddyBeacon and I've integrated that with http://www.shareyouradventure.com (Social Hiking) which allows you to create a live track and shows distances/pictures you've taken and uploaded in those locations.  It isn't for everyone but may fill some of the functionality gaps you're talking about.

jimbob

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #11 on: 14:09:51, 11/11/20 »
VR customer service is in my experience absutely top notch.
Would love to see a wee bit of extra functionality, such as printable maps, but there are ways around that using paste and copy.

I choose to pay for the OS subscription and also bought maps for Southern France and Northern Spain.  On a walk I tend to have my routes/maps downloaded to my memory card.

I did try some other apps including the OS app. None of them suited me personally. I asked for help on three occasions from the OS and years later still waiting their response despite being promised a reply within 5 days. :-\
« Last Edit: 14:53:55, 11/11/20 by jimbob »
Too little, too late, too bad......

gunwharfman

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #12 on: 14:26:12, 11/11/20 »
I downloaded my 'Real Time GPS Tracker' well over five years ago, never have seen a hint of Russian's in my case.

I'm sure there are other good apps out there, I just haven't looked for them.

ninthace

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #13 on: 14:31:44, 11/11/20 »
OS customer service can be a bit hit and miss but a telephone call rather than an email seems to work.  Early on this year I found a large number of the routes I had put on the OS website had disappeared.  I complained to customer support and fhey restored them from their back up file and I got a fulsome apology.


VR customer support is very good in my experience.  As to subscriptions, I use the credits I earn from people downloading my published routes to cover the cost of any map subscriptions so it is effectively freeware despite being able to download maps as and when I need them.  I "paid" for my last trip to NZ that way.
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fernman

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Re: Location app for Android phone
« Reply #14 on: 14:35:07, 11/11/20 »
Only just noticed I somehow opened this topic in the Welcome board. It was meant to be in Gear. Apologies all round.

Thanks for the info ninthace and forgotmyoldpassword, particularly for that link which enabled me to see routes created from beacons. Interesting site, I've bookmarked it.

Looks like it's going to be ViewRanger for me then. I'll give it a try on next week's (I hope) walk.
I can avoid having a Google a/c - and deleting it afterwards would probably mean no updates to the app - and I'll steer clear of Putin's chums.

there are ways around that using paste and copy.
Or screen capture.

I asked for help on three occasions from the OS and years later still waiting their response despite being promised a reply within 5 days.
I know the feeling. My 10 months-old hands free car phone kit has developed a fault, I've emailed the German "support" twice with no response.

a number of people used it to track me as I hiked, just to prove to them I wasn't lying on a beach somewhere.
In my angling days my sisters in law used to suggest that I really had a set of nice clothes in my fishing tackle holdall and I was off to spend the day with another woman!