Best GPS app with ability to upload routes

rflook Posts: 72
edited July 2015 in Road buying advice

I am planning to cycle to my friends (80 mile journey which I have never done before) in a few days time and want to use an app on my phone for turn by turn verbal directions to ensure I don't have to keep getting my phone out of my pocket to check where the hell I am going.

I know I could do this with something like Google maps, but from what I can gather (on a phone anyway) you can't create a route for yourself and then get the app to follow that route. I know Garmin GPS devices can do this but (because I can't justify a bike GPS) I'd like to use my phone. Does anyone know of any apps which could fulfil these requirements?


  • bomster
    bomster Posts: 202
    I know it doesn't hit the verbal criteria, but I've always found the navigation/route following on the Strava app itself to be decent.

    For long rides I plug in a backup battery pack, and then set the screen to stay on.
  • wongataa
    wongataa Posts: 1,001
    For any phone app you will most likely have to create the route on a computer first. Apps to consider are RideWithGPS (cycling specific) and the various generic mapping/routing apps - maybe OSMand.

    Whatever you go for the ability to preload your maps so you don't need a data connection is a good idea.
  • djwc
    djwc Posts: 39
    RidewithGPS is the one I use. If I'm going on a route I don't know / need navigation for, I download it to my phone (an option in the app) so if there's rubbish signal I'm still OK if lost.

    I normally then put one headphone in, and it pings every time there's a direction change.... very much satnav style: "in 'x' yards / feet / metres turn left onto whatever street / road / lane.".

    Very useful, and on the computer if you so desire, you can then download the data from your ride and upload the file to strava.
  • craigus89
    craigus89 Posts: 887
    Just a thought, could you make yourself a route card like you get on a audax? You can jam it somewhere like your bottle cage and just pull it out every now and then.

    If it is roads that you have no idea about where you are going you could familiarise yourself with some/all of the junctions on Google Streetview. I guess you'll be stopping a couple of times even if just for 3 mins break and stretch?

    I've managed to ride a few Audax's by doing this. I only suggest as you'll presumable have to mount your phone on your bars which I'm never keen on personally - especially if it's wet, and battery life a concern.
  • redhanded
    redhanded Posts: 139
    Turn-by-turn directions and offline maps are "paid for" options on the Ride with GPS app but from memory, they offer this as a week free trial once you have registered as a user.
  • Be careful with you phone battery. GPS drains the battery pretty quickly... Just be sure that it is enough to carry you through the 80 miles ride
  • bomster
    bomster Posts: 202
    Be careful with you phone battery. GPS drains the battery pretty quickly... Just be sure that it is enough to carry you through the 80 miles ride

    I've never found this to be the case.

    With my phone in airplane mode (mobile data etc off) and then just GPS enabled I get atleast 5/6 hours out of my Nexus 5 (notoriously poor battery life) quite easily.
  • redhanded
    redhanded Posts: 139
    The screen backlight is the biggest drain on a phone's battery so if you are just checking it occasionally, the battery life should be fine.
  • djwc
    djwc Posts: 39
    Yeah I've not had an issue with battery life on my iphone 5. I just pop it in my jersey pocket, with one headphone in so it still gives directions, but never needs to have the screen on so the battery doesn't drain quickly. I've gone for 3 hour rides and come back having only used about 20% of the battery.