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Feedback of experience on four week trip to Spain

I recently got back from a four week trip to Spain.  I had made the brave decision to remove my BMW (Garmin) satnav and rely on MyRoute Navigation for this trip to assess it as a permanent replacement.  As it happened a series of updates came out while I was away which I installed, but seemed to be the cause of one or two problems, but overall it was a fairly positive experience.


One big problem was that one of the updates changed my setting for storing offline maps on my SD card, and when I changed this back it seemed to have lost all my maps (most of Europe) so I had to re-download the Spain maps over the slow hotel wifi.  The other maps magically reappeared following a subsequent update.   However when I got home my phone was running out of memory and I found that the app was using 6 GB of space on my phone's internal storage.  After uninstalling and re-installing the app this was cleared and I set offline maps to store on the SD card and the app rebooted to set this.  Unfortunately although it then showed maps would be downloaded to the SD card and showed a figure for free space on this, this number did not change as I downloaded maps and I found that they were still going onto internal storage. I repeated the process, but this time after the app rebooted I also rebooted the phone.  After this the maps were correctly stored on the SD card.  I remember reporting this exact same problem when the app was first released, so it seems there is still a bug somewhere.


Another issue I encountered was excessive recalculations and resetting the route back to the beginning.At first I found that every time I stopped and removed the phone from the bike it would provoke it to recalculate and start the journey from the beginning. I think this was caused by unintentional re-orientation of the phone, and seems to have been pretty much eliminated by the new option to lock the orientation, though I don't understand why the app needs to recalculate just because you change the orientation of the display.


This problem, and any route deviation which misses a waypoint, then neccessitates a game of guess which was the last waypoint you have passed so that you can tell the app to start from the next unpassed waypoint.   Though improved I still think this needs further attention. It is extremely irritating when this happens.  For example on a couple of occasions I left a hotel a few yards further down the route than the hotel waypoint which I had saved as a favourite and had used to end one day's route and start the next.  It was only after some unexpected and tricky turns that I realised it was trying to take a circuitous route back to what it regarded as a missed waypoint.


This whole issue of missed waypoints is extremely annoying.  All satnavs suffer from it, and MyRoute have an opportunity to provide much more intelligent handling of this and show a clear lead over other products.  After all, the app knows where you are and should really be able to highlight the next waypoint on the route relative to the current location and should offer to take you there and/or start navigating from there, or maybe pop up a big button saying "Missed waypoint, proceed to next?" with a YES/NO option.  Even if you have to be stationary to answer this for safety reasons, it would be a big improvement.


The app also had an issue whereby Bluetooth instructions would not be on a channel with sufficient priority to temporarily interrupt intercom communication between me and my wife on our Sena headsets.  This had not been fixed before we left and so we used a strategy of manually turning off the intercom whenever I really needed audio input from the app, such as finding hotels in town centres.  The rest of the time I managed without the audio and just used the display, though this meant I didn't get the very useful speed camera audio alerts.   I have not had chance to test whether any of the subsequent updates have fixed this, but if not, it is still a serious problem to me as I didn't find the workaround very satisfactory.


On the positive side I found the close integration of the routing and navigation worked really well, though I did most of the route planning on a laptop I took with me.  We were touring around Andalusia and did not plan all our routes and hotel stops in advance which was one reason why I was keen to use MyRoute rather than the nightmare that is BaseCamp.  This worked out really well and is so quick and easy that I could just book the next hotel on booking.com and then set up the next days route in a few minutes the night before.


The only other comment I would make is that the phone display was not ideal and things like current speed and speed limit were too small, so I used an overlay GPS speedo app (called SpeedOverlay) which worked really well and its speed display could be positioned near the top of the Navigation app.  (My bike doesn't provide a digital speed display which can be switched between mph and km/h.) I would also like the ability to move elements of the display to customise to my preferences, and this might make it possible to use the display in landscape mode which I would prefer, rather than the portrait mode which for me is the only usable option on a phone at the moment.  I am going to try running this on a 7" Android tablet to see if that would be better.


Further to the above comments, I meant to make a suggestion to add a pause/resume button to the app so that you can use the phone for other purposes when stopping en-route, and be confident that when you get back on the bike you can carry on navigating from where you stopped, as at the moment it is a bit of a lottery whether the app will come back still in routing mode or whether it will restart or recalculate with all the subsequent issues of identifying which waypoint to tell it to start from.


Nice comments Frederick.
And I completely agree with the problem of missed waypoint. We should be able to easily skip a missed waypoint.
And also be able to customize the way speed is displayed, really too small for my eye. For that I use a second phone ;( Overlay is not possible on IOS...

 

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