A few years ago, before Offa’s Dyke – Alex and I were walking part of the Nantlle Ridge in Snowdonia. Alex was recording the route using Sports Tracker (I think), and I was using ViewRanger – what was surprising was the fairly large difference in calculated distance and height gain / loss.
This morning, I was reminded of this as I was mulling over a discrepancy in distance between Social Hiking and a GPS unit, and GPS tracker apps in general (as you do). For my 1000 mile challenge, I have been using ViewRanger to record my progress – ViewRanger is a fantastic app, but feels like overkill when you are not using the maps or Buddybeacon (to share the walk live on Social Hiking). With 170 miles still left to go, I wondered whether it would be a good opportunity to have a look at other options available for recording tracks.
So, for the rest of the year, I have decided to run a group test of GPS tracker apps available for Android. The criteria is simple – the app must be able to record and export a gps track. I will be looking at things like ease of use, accuracy (based on how data compares with peers), cost, battery life, progress features, sharing features and anything else that catches my eye.
As well as being a useful test to run, it will also give me some extra motivation to complete my 1000 mile challenge, and will be helpful in my ongoing testing of the Powermoney Extreme and the North Face Etip gloves.
Diving into Google marketplace, it is really quite surprising how many apps there are that allow you to record a track! I found the following that seem to meet the criteria:
Google My Track
Alpine Quest GPS Hiking
Ultra GPS logger
GPS Grid Reference
Run Bike Route
Let me know if I have missed out your favourite. As the list is quite large, I will do a brief test of all of them, and then choose my top 5 for a more detailed test (including battery performance). The final test results will be published at the end of the year (possibly the start of next year) but I will be using the Twitter hashtag #trackertest throughout if you want to stay updated with the test.