iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
ge0rge
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iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby ge0rge » 11 May 2012, 10:57pm

traditionalist cycle-tourers, look away now...

I will soon be touring through France and plan to get a pay as you go SIM with data (quite cheap if you get an Orange Mobicarte, which are I think even available pre-activated on ebay), which means I will be able to use iphone apps :) ... Has anyone got any suggestions, either France specific or just cycle-touring related?
e.g.
Anyone know of a good accommodation/restaurant finder app? (analogous to the excellent UK Good Beer Guide app)
Anyone had any experience of the apps that have a library of bike repair techniques?
The Biggie: any good mapping/GPS ones? Would be very useful indeed, I think....
Cheers
George

pete75
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby pete75 » 11 May 2012, 11:01pm

Via michelin app should do the mapping and the guides.

CoolHandLuke
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby CoolHandLuke » 11 May 2012, 11:01pm

For GPS, I use MotionXGPS. You can download map tiles for specific areas before you travel or download them as you go. You can use map data from OpenCycleMap.org, Google Maps or Boing. I have been using it for 2 years and it is my favourite mapping software by far. You can have terrain data or road data, so it is not just for the tarmac. I believe it is still £1.49 and worth every penny.

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simonineaston
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby simonineaston » 11 May 2012, 11:39pm

Check out this app... http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iphigeni ... 46756?mt=8

I don't want to rain on your parade - I'm sure you've already thought of this aspect, but check out the data limits of the PAYG card, and another thing is, you'll be getting about 4 hours out of an iPhone before it needs recharging, unless you're very careful with your power management...
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

CoolHandLuke
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby CoolHandLuke » 11 May 2012, 11:42pm

simonineaston wrote:Check out this app... http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/iphigeni ... 46756?mt=8

I don't want to rain on your parade - I'm sure you've already thought of this aspect, but check out the data limits of the PAYG card, and another thing is, you'll be getting about 4 hours out of an iPhone before it needs recharging, unless you're very careful with your power management...


Biologic (www.thinkbiologic.com) do a couple of cases and handlebar mounts for the iPhone and a few ways of charging the iPhone from a dynamo.

PhilWhitehurst
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby PhilWhitehurst » 11 May 2012, 11:51pm

Google nav / maps for the navigation / maps. pre cache the map area via wifi when in a cafe or on free wifi overnight. Google has location aware search for accomodation / pubs / cafes etc. there are direct links on the mobile search page. Cost nothing. Charging I phone on go is easy if you have a dynamo hub.

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simonineaston
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby simonineaston » 12 May 2012, 12:02am

CoolHandLuke wrote: and a few ways of charging the iPhone from a dynamo.

That 'Reecharge' jobbie looks tempting - a purpose-built unit for charging an iPhone from a hub-dynamo - and at $25, almost too good to be true... there's been a good deal of talk about using iPhones on tour, and specifically, keeping them charged, on these forums, and the general consensus seems to be a) iPhones are hard to keep charged - they need quite specific partners, and b) the B&M kit seems to work OK with them, but the eWerk unit's about £100, and the cache battery's another 50, so something that does a similar job at a fraction of the price looks tempting but then there's that old cliche, No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!
Might get one tho' - at that price, it might be worth a try.
ttfn, Simon in Easton
(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

CoolHandLuke
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby CoolHandLuke » 12 May 2012, 12:18am

SJS Cycles have recently started to stock their stuff - handy, as I bought the two cases direct from the manufacturer and got stung for import duty.

I have both of the recharge methods but I haven't tested them yet. I should be able to give a good report in the next week or so. I have been using the Biologic cases on my motorcycle, which I use for byways, etc, and can attest to the sturdiness.

Unfortunately, for the reecharge case, the mount and the reecharge dynamo kit, you are looking at £126.00.

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horizon
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby horizon » 12 May 2012, 12:24am

ge0rge wrote:traditionalist cycle-tourers, look away now...



Oops, sorry George, I didn't see your warning until it was too late....

Actually I don't see myself as a traditionalist as such, more as a practical philosopher of bicycle travel (That's pushing it a bit horizon! Ed.) On the one hand it's necessary to know where you are going and how to get there. On the other hand I have this feeling that technology puts things in boxes, no matter how small, whereas life tends to let things bump into each other and combine in a circumstantial and serendipitous sort of way - you could call it the chemistry of travel. A bicycle lets you get close to the country - you feel every hill and breathe in every smell - so the information you need comes your way through your pores and maybe through a sixth sense, heightened by your connection to what is around you. An app might just not have enough magic to let you come across what you hoped you might.

And this from someone who has never used an app in his life. Apologies for going off what is a very practical topic.
Let's just get Brexit done so that we can get on with the important job of re-joining the EU!

JoeWarner
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby JoeWarner » 12 May 2012, 12:26pm

You probably want to take a look at Runkeeper too.

Although originally developed for Runners it works well whether you are walking or cycling or any number of other activities.

The problem you might find with all of these GPS-based apps though is that they are quite hungry on juice because they are effectively permanently active constantly polling for their current location.

Joe
check out Charlie Chadwick

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RickH
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby RickH » 12 May 2012, 2:41pm

The biggest power drain by far on any smart phone is the backlit screen so, unless you have it permanently hooked up to a dynamo, I don't think it is really practical for all day "as you go along" navigation.

Devices designed for the purpose, such as the Garmin Edge 800, fare much better (albeit at a price) as they don't need backlighting and will run all day with the screen on without needing a recharge (the claimed running time is 15 hours & my 4 year old 605 will still do over 10 hours without being anywhere near out of juice).

Alternatively a GPS that uses standard AA batteries may be a better option if you aren't likely to get near a power source for several days (you can always use rechargables most of the time).

roadvader
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby roadvader » 13 May 2012, 10:12pm

try giff gaff for sims,they do good deals over other ones,ok for 02,they do micro sims for the i-phone.
not sure about other network compatibility !?
sorry love not tonight im shaving my legs...

CoolHandLuke
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby CoolHandLuke » 14 May 2012, 7:56am

roadvader wrote:try giff gaff for sims,they do good deals over other ones,ok for 02,they do micro sims for the i-phone.
not sure about other network compatibility !?

You seem a little confused.

The original poster was asking about iPhone apps that help with navigation, not network providers and sim cards :)

Barrenfluffit
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Re: iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby Barrenfluffit » 14 May 2012, 12:46pm

RickH wrote:The biggest power drain by far on any smart phone is the backlit screen so, unless you have it permanently hooked up to a dynamo, I don't think it is really practical for all day "as you go along" navigation.


It may also be possible to extend the battery life by using it it a mode which doesn't require constant redrawing of the screen. This might be a simple as a stat's page on the app.

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Dean
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iPhone apps useful on a bike tour (e.g. good GPS?)

Postby Dean » 16 May 2012, 10:23am

Stanza - for ebooks. Invaluable as it saves having to carry a library with you.

Read It Later - let's you download web pages for reading when you're away from an Internet connection.

CityMaps2Go - uses OSM data and allows you to download maps to your phone for use without an internet connection. Coverage is pretty good for western Europe, pretty useless for eastern Europe and Asia.

When I have a connection, Google Maps is plenty good enough.

I wouldn't bother with any apps that record your route (though Rubidium is quite a nice one) as it's such a power drain, as others have pointed out. I've got a Reecharge but I use it for general charging, rather than charging on the go. It's also stopped charging my iPhone directly, which is a bit of a pain.