Tuesday, October 6, 2020 [Tweets] [Favorites]

MotionX-GPS to AllTrails

Earlier this year, Fullpower Technologies discontinued MotionX-GPS:

After years of offering a top-rated GPS app for the iPhone, we have made the difficult decision to remove MotionX-GPS from the iTunes App Store. We realize MotionX-GPS has a large following and those who already own MotionX-GPS will be able to continue using it. If you purchase a new iPhone in the future, you will still be able to download MotionX-GPS as long as you are signed into the App Store using the same Apple ID credentials you used when it was originally purchased.

In addition, there are some features that will no longer be supported in the app due to the infrastructure costs associated with ongoing hosting. These include:

  • Sharing waypoints or tracks with others
  • Auto Live Position Updates
  • Wikipedia Search
  • MotionX Road and MotionX Terrain map types (Apple, Google, Bing and NOAA maps will continue to be available).

Our team’s focus has shifted to the science of non-invasive contactless bio-sensing which is helping customers worldwide in improving their sleep through sleep analysis with actionable insights.

I had been using it since the early days of iOS, but with few updates and no support for newer screen sizes, the writing had been on the wall for a while. It’s a shame that they weren’t able to sustain development of what had been a very popular app. I don’t recall there being any paid upgrades.

The good news is that the app I’ve replaced it with, AllTrails, works pretty well. It has far fewer features but a more streamlined interface for the most important ones. It’s never given me any battery life trouble. Some features, like exporting, only work from the Web site. And the app itself has some bugs like sometimes redownloading the same map data you’d just viewed. The social network aspect is hit-or-miss. It’s missing tons of trails in my area, and trails that I’m familiar with often have inaccurate distances or descriptions. However, it has helped me discover some new trails that weren’t documented elsewhere, and the maps themselves are good. Hopefully, the freemium business model ($2.50/month or $29.99/year to pre-download maps, print, etc.) will keep it available.

Previously:

Update (2020-11-07): While I was frustrated with AllTrails forgetting its maps, I gave Gaia GPS a try. This is also a good app, and it has much more extensive labelling of trails in my area, though its actual list of trails is much shorter. Better maps are more important to me than better lists, so I’m using it for now.

I also eventually learned from AllTrails support that the reason the app was forgetting maps it had just downloaded was that my Pro subscription had lapsed. That was intentional, since I had found that I wasn’t using any of the Pro features. However, it turns out that I had misunderstood what Pro includes. AllTrails markets Pro as providing offline maps, which I interpreted to mean that you can download maps at home and then go out into an area with no cell service to use them (or, to an area with service but without needing to use your data). It does let you do that. But additionally, without Pro, the app doesn’t save the map to storage at all. Simply switching to the Camera app and back to AllTrails is supposed to discard the map and make you download it again if you haven’t subscribed.

1 Comment

I’ve had good luck with Gaia GPS. I never really got along with Motion-X though.

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