Google Android Takes You Hiking, the iPhone Finds Your Car
Article by George Norman
On 16 Feb 2009
My Tracks is an application developed by Google for Android-powered devices that effectively turns the devise into a full-fledged GPS receiver – what this means is that the next time you go hiking with your G1 phone for example, My Tracks will record the track you followed, the distance, elevation gains and losses, the time and average speed at witch you traveled. This is all very nice for when you are enjoying outdoor activities, but what about something more mundane, such as finding your car in a huge parking lot? The iPhone can help with that.

Product Manager and former professional cyclist, Dylan Casey comments: “My Tracks records tracks of outdoor activities using the phone's built-in GPS. It shows these tracks on a map and presents live statistics, including an elevation profile. And here's the best part: it lets you easily share your activities with friends and the world using Google Maps, as well as archive your training history with Google Docs. Many GPS receivers require you to plug a separate device into a computer, install software, transfer, convert and upload your track to the web. With My Tracks, this has become a whole lot simpler. I no longer need to carry multiple devices when I go out for a ride.”

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As good as My Tracks sounds, there is one main drawback: battery life. Google says that My Tracks draws additional power from the device whenever a track is being recorded, and at best you can expect to get about 5 hours of recording time.

Now, if you are the kind of person that gets easily disoriented or has problems with location and/or navigation, you will find the iPhone 3G most useful when trying to locate your parked car for example. According to Brian Hart, all you have to do is open up the Maps app, tap “target”, drop a pin on your current location and bookmark it. When you want to return to your car, rely in the iPhone’s GPS to show you the way.



Tags: Google, Apple, My Tracks, iPhone
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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