Simple, non-spammy, elegant GPS recording for iPhone?
August 2, 2013 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I want something for iPhone that's basically similar to android's My Tracks. Does such a thing exist? Everything I've seen is horribly written/crashy/has terrible, terrible UI.

Yes, I know about Map My Run/Ride. It's a perfect example of what I don't want. Messy baroque interface, push notifications, somehow, even when you disable them.

All I want is something that will let me hit 'record' and 'stop' and give me an exportable log (including altitude and speed!) in between.
posted by dmd to Computers & Internet (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like Moves (maybe it is called Move). It tracks where you've gone, how long it has taken , method of moving. Runs in the background, too!
posted by shazzam! at 6:43 PM on August 2, 2013

Response by poster: That's another perfect example of what I don't want. I am not tracking my position for fitness or calorie-burning or sharing or anything else like that. Plus, it seems to not actually use the GPS all the time, which defeats the purpose for me - I want a good GPS fix at least every 10 seconds or so.
posted by dmd at 6:50 PM on August 2, 2013

I use MotionX for this. It has an ugly nerdy UI, but it does reliably make a high quality position log and has easy export options.

Be aware that Location on the iPhone is often provided by wifi or cell tower fixes, not actual GPS. That's generally a good thing; the combined location sources are more accurate than GPS alone, particularly if the phone is in your pocket. MotionX seems to be doing something on top of the simple Location services on iOS, I think it's trying to be more accurate. I've had no complaints with its tracks.
posted by Nelson at 7:15 PM on August 2, 2013

I'm a biker. I use Cyclemeter, and it works very well. When I hit "done," it sends me an email message with a summary, and a link to a page that gives me details of where I have been and stats for each mile from start to finish.
posted by yclipse at 7:31 PM on August 2, 2013

Seconding MotionX, even though if I haven't used it in a few weeks I end up spending a couple minutes trying to figure out how to use it again because of the dumb UI.
posted by jjwiseman at 8:34 PM on August 2, 2013

Oh, the Cyclemeter recommendation reminds me of iSmoothRun. It's a walking/running specific app, uses the motion sensor as a pedometer to augment the GPS tracks. It's good at correcting location errors where you suddenly teleport 100m away because the location fix is wrong. It's not good for general use, but if you're walking or riding it keeps the track more reasonable.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 PM on August 2, 2013

I use MotionX as well, and have done for years. It doesn't meet the "elegant" criteria, I'll admit. But it does the job of being a good GPS. The interface is modelled around a good old fashioned handheld GPS, with all the smartphone stuff crammed in there as well, but you can easily record tracks and email them off the device and in my experience they have a high degree of accuracy.
posted by Jimbob at 1:59 AM on August 3, 2013

posted by scruss at 2:10 AM on August 3, 2013

My own app, 700 City Maps, has the option to trace your steps - it's not the main feature, which is to offer offline maps for travelers, but it has a basic "keep a track" function which does indeed track every 10 seconds or so.
posted by DreamerFi at 2:18 AM on August 3, 2013

posted by humboldt32 at 11:16 AM on August 3, 2013

Another vote for Motion-X. I have saved tracks from all sorts of places - trails in Ithaca, train rides in Beijing - easy to export and work with on my laptop.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:42 PM on August 3, 2013

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