Where Apple Ultra Fails, the FOOTPATH app Wins

Where Apple Ultra Fails, the FOOTPATH app Wins

Most reviews of the Apple Watch Ultra bemoan the state of its navigational abilities and rightly so. Apple might sort things out eventually but navigation features are complex, and hard to achieve. Indeed Apple might never implement feature-rich navigational skills as they could well overly complicate Apple’s somewhat deliberately spartan interface.

Footpath is the app that was so good that Strava was alleged to have copied its ability to create routes with your finger. Perhaps only Workoutdoors & iSmoothRun merit similar attention for Apple Watch owners looking for the best sports and hiking apps.

The Footpath App

Footpath is a mapping and navigation app for custom running routes on any device (iOS, Android, web) and the only tool to navigate custom routes on Apple Watch. It offers advanced route planning features such as colour-coded elevation profiles, custom waypoints, and route organization. Turn-by-turn audio navigation, offline vector topographic maps, and real-time elevation profiles are available on Apple Watch. Footpath solves the problem of navigating custom running routes that cannot be imported and navigated with apps like Google Maps or Apple Maps.

With the introduction of the Apple Watch Ultra, Footpath provides navigation features comparable or better than Garmin watches. The app was originally designed for runners looking to map out custom routes and its turn-by-turn navigation engine was built from scratchy the developer.

Footpath has unique features such as intuitive route planning by drawing on a map and turn-by-turn audio navigation that is hard to implement but makes the app the most powerful navigation app available for Apple Watch. Footpath is also the first app to implement the route planning by drawing feature and one of the only two apps to build its own map renderer for Apple Watch. The app is designed for runners who want to plan and navigate custom running routes for different purposes, such as exploring new areas, changing workout routines, planning group/club runs, measuring unrecorded runs, etc.

What’s Unique About the Footpath app?

Footpath is the only way to navigate custom routes on an Apple Watch https://footpathapp.com/user-guide/quickstart/

Apart from that, there are still some pretty cool Apple-related features (immediately below) plus similar features work when making maps for Coros and Garmin watches.

  • Advanced tools for route planning not found in other services:
    • Analyze steep climbs along the route with colour-coded elevation profiles: https://footpathapp.com/blog/footpath-4-1/
    • Mark out custom waypoints that can be announced during navigation.
    • Tools for organizing a large library of routes.
  • Powerful navigation for Apple Watch:
    • Turn-by-turn audio route navigation is available offline
    • Interactive vector topographic maps are available offline
    • A real-time route elevation profile that automatically zooms in on the current climb
    • Customizable running workout metrics and integration with Apple Health


Q: What problem is Footpath trying to solve?

A: Footpath was designed for runners to map out custom running routes. As time passed, custom audio prompts with TBT guidance were added

Q: Is Footpath better than Apple and Garmin’s native navigational abilities?

A: Footpath is certainly WAY better than what Apple has done here. Garmin has great navigation also but some of Footpath’s features edge it out over Garmin.

Q: Are Apple Maps used?

A: No Apple does not make its map renderer available to developers. Footpath and Workoutdoors are perhaps the only companies to have developed the feature themselves from scratch on the Apple Watch


More: footpath.com


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11 thoughts on “Where Apple Ultra Fails, the FOOTPATH app Wins

  1. Can you have this in the back ground with the audio prompts playing through headphones whilst using the apple workout app to record the run? I’ve done this with Easy route and it mostly works but sometimes crashes

  2. If you are navigating on roads or footpaths in an urban area and take a wrong turn, will the app calculate a new route for you?

  3. Footpath isn’t the only app offering turn-by-turn navigation for custom routes. My Navigr8 iPhone app also features a route-planning tool, allowing users to create custom routes with turn-by-turn directions. These can then be used offline on the Apple Watch app.

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