List a useful app for an Android device
I'll kick off with this free app: Grid Reference
It does not use any data, just the GPS to give you your location as an O/S grid reference.
Google Sky map
Train Times UK
Google Maps with cache enabled.
On its own it's a bit pants and the UI is a bit fiddly, but it comes into its own when you use the (not affilliated) Where's The Path website. The steps are basically:
otaku_steve has just reminded me by mentioning tracking - there's a very nice one which I regularly use called Endomondo. It's free and tracks you using GPS, estimating calories etc based on what activity you tell it you're doing (walking, hiking, cycling, etc) and will overlay your route on google maps, either map or satelite view.
If you set up an account on their website and link the app to it then it will give you all sorts of additional stats and features, such as weekly/monthly/yearly breakdowns of your exercise and personal bests for particular categories. On the website you can also: - Share where you've been with your contacts as pre-set routes. - Get routes that other people have made public. - Create new routes by drawing them on google maps (these will then sync to your phone for later use). - Export where you've been as GPX or TCX data.
This is more the kind of GPS app I like to use, as I still like to navigate by map and compass and just have the phone GPS as an emergency backup if I somehow get seriously lost (not happened yet!).
There's also a (relatively cheap) paid version which adds "low power mode". This increases the battery life while running the app by reducing the number of GPS fixes the app requests. This obviously reduces accuracy a bit but I've got it and found it to be fine for walking, and have tracked a couple of ~7 hour walks with it and finished with battery to spare. How well the low power mode works does seem to depend on your phone though, I have a Samsung Galaxy S2 and it's fine but I know someone with an HTC Desire HD who finds that the accuracy really suffers - something to do with that phone not having a very good GPS antenna I think.
I've got loads of apps on my android phone of relevance to the outdoors (and a lot that are not).
I think loads have been recommended like British Hills and avsig, etc. If you haven't got google star maps app then you obviously a tent user and never bivvied or tarped. I mean it is such a nice feeling being up in the hills with little light pollution and all those points of light up there just begging for a decent app to tell you what they all are. ALthough great mine has stopped rotating as you do despite the correct settings being used. a real pain when north is in all directions!!
Endomondo is a good tracker as it has walk mode in too. Get the pro version it is cheap enough. There are plenty of similar ones mapmy run/bike for example.
Has anyone thought about a bit of foraging?? Well I have a few US army and USMC survival apps which are not too shabby and even include plants in our neck of the woods too. I'm trying to source a foraging app I've heard some rumour about that is basically one related to a good foraging book that you can buy.
Just one thing, don't rely on your smartphone with GPS and apps running all day. Batteries are a killer on the modern smartphones. My GS2 is a day of normal, street use even with GPS turned off. Use it in the hills and it drains faster than water down a sink hole. Of course do turn off your wifi and even networkdata connection in the hills. If it is spending the time always looking for adata network it will a) use upo your battery and b) use up your data allowance. I guess the last one is down to partial syncs every time it snatches a brief connection. I went through about 500meg in 4 hours once that way!!
If I'm just tracking myself with Endomondo then I have the phone in flight mode. I'm not interested in receiving calls or texts when I'm halfway up a mountain and GPS still functions in flight mode because it's passive. I've got the same phone as you and have found it'll last more than long enough if I do that, but the caveat there is that I'm using it for literally nothing else so the screen is off and it's in the top pocket of my rucksack to maintain a good GPS fix.
You can also get a proper Samsung extended battery pack for it which gives you a 2,000mAh battery instead of the stock 1,650mAh - just over 20% more juice. That might be worth considering if you're running into trouble, it retails around £30ish but I've seen it on ebay for less.
Dont follow me!!
Hi - could anyone give me some advice to save a lot of downloading and trying out please?
Looking at for the Android:-
Want a gps app that preferably has OS style maps, dont want to pay too much but will to get a good app..
For plotting routes, tracking progress during trip, fairly basic stuff
You can access OS maps for free with Maverick (via Bing) and it should do all the other stuff you need too. I've not tried any of the others so can't say how they are in comparison.
EM - BackCountry Navigator recommended (again). Easy to download OS maps to your device before your trip, so you're not downloading data on the move. Oh, and the Italian maps the programme uses are pretty good too .
I use mm tracker (the free one) it's good if you already have memory maps on your pc.
Whatever you take, don't rely on it solely
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