It’s tough to tell exactly when the announcement was made. Apparently, there was some mention toward the middle of the 2016 riding season followed by whispers across the niche motorcycling blogosphere. I myself only learned of our (soon to be introduced) issue recently, courtesy of the animately worried wordings of fellow rider and writer John Saporta.
“Google's free but proprietary Android app announced that not only would support for it's operability come to an end, the app itself would cease to function.”
John cried foul when his copy of Google’s free but proprietary “My Tracks” Android app announced that not only would support for it’s operability soon come to an end, the app itself would cease to function altogether. Apparently Google never intended the app for our use. We’ve leaned on it religously to record curve-‘o’-licious twisties all over the world.
Google is abandoning said app in favor of it’s fitness-centered “Google Fit”. Walking, jogging and cycling apparently eliminates all things motorbike. Obviously, a replacement would demand immediate research and I’m reporting back to say that, well … the alternatives are numerous and there’s really no problem.
Option one is our go-to app for custom route navigation, namely the ever-developing, open-sourced OsmAnd. This megalith development in experimental GPS “good happy fun time” riding has an optional plugin that’s self installing and allows for direct-to-GPX route recording. That may work for some but safety being a priority, a small number of big, dumb buttons fairs better whereas OsmAnd’s are tiny and intricate.
Other prospects made themselves known through review comparisons in the Google Play Store. Our decided favorite comes from a source we’ve relied on many times prior: the Ride With GPS mobile app. Many of our preplanned (not recorded off the cuff) sport touring motorcycle maps are built on their multi-format web interface. They’ve been good to us. We maintain that their route planner is the finest on the web (until ours is released, prospectively in 2017, hint-hint).
For more information on the technical specifics, see our tutorial revamp on how to record motorcycle routes on-the-fly using your smartphone, updated to make use of the very same Ride With GPS smartphone app.
What’s Your Favorite GPS Track Recording Smartphone App?
There’s a lot of great software on the market. Which downloads have you tried? What do you like about them and why? Your input is invited. Post an article!