the5krunner

Ride with GPS | New RwGPS Android Features

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Ride with GPS (RwGPS) is a long-established and well-respected cycling app that majors on all-things-NAVIGATION. The web-based part of their platform has always been the most-featured part of their offering, yet there were significant updates to their iOS app earlier this year and today marks the day when the Android flavour is officially announced, even though it has already been live for a few days.

This post will relatively briefly go through some of the new functionality and give some opinions. But first here’s a heads-up on some related points

RwGPS – Mobile Route Planner

Today’s new features are linked mostly to the mobile route planner. Here they are

Route Deviation Detection

In this example, you can see I accidentally chose a side street (#ItWasDeliberate). However, when I select the next point along the route, the ‘spur’ into the side street is automatically removed. I’ve definitely done that before and usually, it’s relatively obvious when following the route what I needed to do to avoid the error in the route…but not always

#Handy. And yes, you can undo the autocorrection.

Overlapping Route Sections

In this example from RwGPS they have a route (course) where one segment is routed over 4 times. The new app allows you to effectively choose which of those overlapped sections you wish to edit.

Change Start and End Points

There are now multiple ways to change the start and endpoint of routes. In this example, you can see that I am significantly away from the route I want to follow yet it would be crazy to navigate to the start of the route. RwGPS lets me choose the point on the route where I wish to join the route.

I’m not sure how well they might automatically decide which is the best place to joint the route. Most navigation platforms find that difficult to do well.

RwGPS – More General Thoughts

Here is my first attempt at creating a route on the mobile app. It starts from Pilgrim Cycles at Westhumble train station, mainly because they have very nice cake there (the coffee is not quite so good). The route then goes up the smooth-but-not-so-steep Box Hill where you can do your best to get a top-10,000 STRAVA segment place up what is a very popular hill in Surrey, UK.

The app was SMOOTH to use with good zooming and a choice of maps. It seemed to flow well and logically as well as having responsive “tap the map” action to create a routing point. You can see that an elevation profile is automatically created as is a turn-by-turn cue sheet.

As you can also see, there are different routing options and I would say that RwGPS is NOT perfect when it comes to creating the most sensible route for a cyclist as sometimes you have to force a segment to be chosen by using WALK mode and sometimes you want to avoid a tricky trail and might create the route in CAR mode. However, these are issues that are usually map-specific and so the ‘problem’ would be common to all software/apps using the same map.

Turning back to the 7 previous slides, I’ll point out one last thing about them. You can see I’ve created a series of imaginary coffee stops (POIs) both ON and OFF the route. The off-the-route POIs are stored in RwGPS’s route file and there are bikenavs, like the Hammerhead Karoo, which can then optionally route to and from the POI mid-route.

RwGPS – Some point from the company

I personally find that reading MANY company’s marketing literature and Press Releases is a thankless task. I get to the end and think…err…right, so what does it ACTUALLY REALLY DO? And…what’s ACTUALLY NEW. Typically, the marketing literature is just well-written gobbledygook. As I’ve said before, you could change the company name to another company name and you’d still be none the wiser.

Anyway. I got the following points from an email exchange with RwGPS. I like bullet points, so have a quick scan through this and you might get a better angle on the RwGPS’s ethos, usability aims and new app features.

Core ideas

Core features

Smart features

Other Features

 

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