1. TechTimid's Avatar
    I have my first smartphone, an inexpensive Moto E5 Play. So far I haven't installed any apps on my own. I have limited minutes and data, 2GB.

    I like to take hikes while out camping in 'remote' areas, many places in national forests that get no cell phone service and even radio stations are hard (or impossible) to get in.

    I normally use an Omron pedometer to track my approximate mileage on any given walk, but now I'm thinking that maybe a GPS app to track mileage would work for me.

    I don't want or need any other options, just a simple recording of miles walked from point A to point B.

    I don't want any weight or fitness programs, no step counters and would prefer something where I could just reset the phone after each walk to prepare for the next walk. I don't want to save my walking history or load any info onto the internet.

    Is there a GPS app for a phone like mine that is accurate and free, if not, how much would something like that cost?

    Can an app like that be used in areas where there is no cell phone service/WIFI?

    Do apps like that take up a lot of data, do they all come with ads, etc?

    Thanks for any advice or recommendations.
    03-25-2019 04:05 PM
  2. Kodak2's Avatar
    Try the free app called "Simply Walking" it will record your distance + a few other bits of info regarding your walk, it's probably the simplest app available and it doesn't require a phone signal and doesn't use data as it runs from your gps signal. The only thing with any app that you are using is it will use some battery but not a lot. Check it out.
    TechTimid likes this.
    03-25-2019 06:37 PM
  3. TechTimid's Avatar
    Sounds good, thanks so much Kodak for your reply and recommendation.
    03-26-2019 10:43 AM
  4. Kodak2's Avatar
    I have checked this app against my Garmin gpsmap64 hand held gps, it is accurate to within about 5% of the Garmin on distance and speed.
    TechTimid likes this.
    03-26-2019 10:50 AM
  5. TechTimid's Avatar
    I installed the app yesterday and used it for the first time today, for a walk that is approximately 1.8 miles. The time was about right, 40 min., as I was also walking my dog.

    The distance read 108.3 miles

    Speed was 162.58mph

    For settings I tapped ON for Use Cell Network because it said 'may improve accuracy in mountains or cities'. I was in a state park near a city.

    Reset when GPS is set to ON. Reset the display when the first GPS data point is received.

    Eliminate stray s...was set to OFF. Eliminate coordinates that are not possible for somebody who is walking. Based on speed or distance covered. After I got home I switched that to ON.

    A couple of these setting were set that way in options, so I just left them alone.

    The route map showed me going waaaay across town in both directions.

    Can you please tell me what I have wrong to make the distance so extremely high and out of the area I was walking?
    03-28-2019 05:01 PM
  6. Kodak2's Avatar
    Gees, that's way off!! I do have eliminate strays turned on but it looks like your gps signal is weak for some reason. I have only used the app in open or wooded countryside in the UK and it works just fine. When you are next out check your location on Google maps to see if the gps on your phone is working okay then look on the Simply Walking app to see if they give the same location.
    03-28-2019 05:15 PM
  7. TechTimid's Avatar
    I have looked at the phone GPS map in the past, and the location seemed to be accurate. I just checked it on the Simply Walking app, and you can see my area on the map but it's way off, far from my start and stop points.

    I was walking near a lake in an open area. Tomorrow I'll make sure the strays are turned on and try it again. I wonder why the app GPS is so far off, wonder if I had to do something initially to make sure it showed the right location?
    03-28-2019 06:14 PM
  8. Kodak2's Avatar
    Sorry, I can't think of any explanation why the app doesn't work for you unless it's just not suitable for your location. Very strange.
    03-28-2019 06:22 PM
  9. Kodak2's Avatar
    Have you made this change to your settings?

    NOTE: Battery and Power Management Applications may disable GPS when the screen is locked or goes
    dark. If you are running this type of application on your phone please add an exception in the Power
    Management application for Simply Walking.
    TechTimid likes this.
    03-28-2019 06:41 PM
  10. TechTimid's Avatar
    I went under apps and it was set on battery Optimize for Simply Walking. I changed it to Don't Optimize (may drain battery). I think this is what you meant, and I really hope it works.

    Looks like a neat app that would be perfect for me locally and while out camping. Thanks for helping me with this Kodak2, I appreciate your time and advice.
    03-28-2019 07:22 PM
  11. Kodak2's Avatar
    Yes set to don't optimize. Battery drain is very small.
    TechTimid likes this.
    03-29-2019 04:49 AM
  12. TechTimid's Avatar
    Well, I went on the same walk today and the mileage was more reasonable but seemed a bit too low. The GPS map had my start and stop points all wrong, It showed I started on a nearby road which I was never walking on, and had me walking among area houses outside the state park I was in.

    I was determined to use the app and have it show accuracy, so I took a walk in an open area behind my house where there's a hiking trail, approximately 3 miles. I checked the mileage before I headed back, and although it seemed low at least it was working.

    When I got back home I discovered that it stopped recording my walk on the way back after I had looked at it. I didn't make any changes or hit any buttons, except for putting it back in my pocket on locked screen. When I looked at the map, it didn't show me walking on the trail I was on or the road to get there, instead it had me walking through houses in my neighborhood.

    I looked at reviews today on their website, and it seems other people have had the same issues, although some of them were happy with the app.

    I want it to work for me, I'll still test it and see if I can figure out why the GPS is so way off, and why it stopped halfway through my second walk.

    I did take your advice about the settings and I want to say thanks again for helping me work through this. Will post again tomorrow with my results, good or bad.
    03-29-2019 09:50 PM
  13. TechTimid's Avatar
    Today I took a different walk. When I was at the start point, and tapped Start, the numbers already started to move and it recorded .1 mile and I didn't even move my feet yet. So, I tapped Stop and restarted.

    On this walk I didn't look at the phone until it was complete. The mileage seemed to be accurate and the map was exactly the way it should be. It showed the start and stop point to be where they should, in the same spot and the trail walked to be accurate.

    I'm very happy that for the first time the app functioned the way I expected. Looking forward to tomorrow's walk and hope it's the same result.

    I'm still scratching my head as to why the GPS was so far off on my other walks, but right now, all is well.
    03-30-2019 08:35 PM
  14. Kodak2's Avatar
    It is normal for all GPS navigation devices to record a small amount even if you are not moving, your position in relation to the satellites change as the earth rotates. It's a good idea to pause the app if you go into a building because the satellite signal will be weak, you can also get inaccurate results if the signal is bouncing off buildings. Unfortunately no technology is perfect. Enjoy your walks as I do.
    03-31-2019 03:52 AM
  15. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks for the tips Kodak, glad you enjoy your walks so much like I do, getting outdoors in nature is so good for both mind and body.
    03-31-2019 12:24 PM
  16. TechTimid's Avatar
    Today on my walk that registered very poorly on the app the last time, was very good. The mileage as far as I could tell was right on, and the route that showed on the map was perfect.

    The only thing I did differently for the two good results was to tap start and leave the phone alone completely until my walk was complete and I tapped stop.

    Now I wonder if looking at the app results and putting the phone back in 'ready' mode or sleep screen made a difference. I wonder if I received a call and took it during my walk if that would upset the GPS and recorded data. I wonder if I stopped to take a photo with the phone during my walk if it would disturb the results of the app.
    03-31-2019 08:08 PM
  17. Kodak2's Avatar
    Try making a call and taking a photo on a walk to test if it disrupts your walk data, I have used the phone on walks for calls and photos without problems. Pause the app if you go into a building and restart it when leaving, be careful when pausing the app that you don't accidentally hit stop as the 2 switches are close together.
    Laura Knotek and TechTimid like this.
    04-01-2019 04:20 AM
  18. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks Kodak, I didn't know there was a pause switch, but I see it now and tried it out. On the reviews I read people complained that there was no pause on the app, but maybe they were old reviews.
    04-01-2019 11:28 AM
  19. TechTimid's Avatar
    I took the time to take several photos of the dog, and deleted a couple of the back of his head. Frustrating when he's looking at the camera in a perfect pose, you tap to take the picture, and by the time several seconds pass and it actually takes the picture, he has moved position.

    But, happy to say that using the camera did not affect the function of the app, another successfully recorded walk. Nice to have this app, I loaded it onto my husband's phone also, thanks again for recommending it.
    04-01-2019 06:50 PM
  20. Kodak2's Avatar
    Great. Looks like you're up and running now. Keep reading the forum posts, it's a good place to learn. Take care, Kodak2.
    04-01-2019 06:54 PM
  21. TechTimid's Avatar
    Thanks Kodak2. I took my husband's phone with me today to see if his app was working okay, the mileage was good but the GPS map route was haywire like mine was at first. Will take his on a few more walks, maybe it'll straighten itself out like mine did.

    This is a great place to learn, I will keep reading and posting here, lots of caring and knowledgeable folks here. You take care too.
    Kodak2 likes this.
    04-02-2019 08:55 PM

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