Android Apps Overview Part 8

My Tracks, GPS Status and Compass
At regular intervals, I would like to present a selection of applications from the Android Market, so once again: The Android Market is already installed on the G1 of T-Mobile by itself (as well as the Future HTC Magic from Vodafone). Simply click on the icon and the programs can be accessed via “Applications”, “Games” (Games) or directly via the search (“Search”). Then select the desired software, click “Install” and voilá, the download will start automatically. Now start the program (drag the action bar at the top of the screen, click on the download) and have fun. The program is definitely in the main menu, if you press the icon longer, so it can also be dragged to the desktop. Now follow the eighth part of the series…


My Tracks
A lot of useful things can be done with a smartphone and GPS, as eBiZdir says. Location Based Services, navigation and much more. But it is also practical, of course, when the GPS data are recorded so that routes and paths can be tracked, altitude differences can be displayed, and speeds can be evaluated. With Google’s My Tracks, an application has succeeded, which can do a lot and left the previous competitors behind. Just because the application is so good, it is described in more detail.

Of course, it is easy to record the route GPS accurately and many of you certainly wonder if this is necessary. After all, you know where you went. Also these questions I had in the back head, when I’ve been busy with My Tracks for the first time. But after a short time I was convinced by My Tracks, from the simple operation and the almost endless possibilities of evaluation. But let’s just start from the front and go bit by bit through the possibilities of the app.

When I first call MyTrack, a GPS fix, ie a GPS signal is searched for – with me this happens within less than a minute – it will show your own position on Google Maps by means of a small blue dot with an arrow for the Direction into which is moved. If you press the menu hardware button, the menu of My Tracks is called up, the recording of the path is saved by means of “Record track”, the path already traveled is marked with a red line. During recording, you can move the map, zoom, or switch between maps and satellite display with a finger. There are two other very useful options after touching the display. A temporal processing of the data of the track and a geographical preparation of the data of the track. In addition, any number of waypoints can be set at any time. The time format of the track includes, among other things, the current speed, the distance traveled, the maximum speed, the lowest and highest reached altitude and further data. The geographic coverage graphically displays the differences in altitude.

If the recording is to be terminated, the recording is simply stopped and detailed information about the recorded track can be given, eg additional comments. This is the first feature of My Tracks. The saved recordings can be sent to friends via e-mail, uploaded to Google or written to the Micro SD card. If the tracks are uploaded to Google, the data is stored with Google Docs (Google Docs is Google’s online office package). There, the data are prepared in a table and can be further analyzed-optimally to determine improvements or deteriorations during training. My tracks can be used for various applications, just a few useful applications.

Since the My Tracks data are interchangeable, tourists can make a tour of the city with My Tracks, with waypoints at sights or with good restaurants or cafes. Along with the MP3 player in the Android G1 is also a good audio guide at hand.
The performance improvements can also be optimally evaluated during training, which is clearly better and more accurate than with Nike+. Of course, the competition between friends and acquaintances is possible, it was never easier to compare these routes.
The advantage is, of course, that other software or a PC or a Mac are not necessary, the Internet is enough to work with the data of MyTrack.

Conclusion
Google My Tracks is the simplest GPS tracking software I’ve ever used. The interface is easy to use and the presentation is just awesome, especially with the live evaluation of the data. And once you are done with the recording, there are numerous other ways to upload the data quickly and easily-and without any other software-to the Internet and to make friends and acquaintances available. In addition, this is only the first attempt by Google, who knows Google, who knows that still countless further improvements will be made. Free in the Android Market, there is also 4.5 out of 5 stars.

And because just GPS is the topic, there are still two more, small helpers in the matter of GPS.

GPS Status
GPS Status shows the position, number and signal strength of the received GPS satellites, as well as its own position. Furthermore, the GPS accuracy, the current speed and the direction are displayed. In the Android Market available free of charge: 3.5 of 5 stars.

Compass
Compass shows the direction in which the user moves with the Android smartphone. Nothing is floating around the world, but it is sometimes quite good to know in which direction. Free in the Android Market: 4 out of 5 stars.