08
Aug
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My Tracks is not one of Google's more well-known offerings, but it's been around for nearly as long as Android has, lurking in the Play Store as a handy resource for Android users who enjoy moving around. Today My Tracks received an update expanding on the usefulness of this location-monitoring service bold enough to tell you exactly what it does in its name. Now when the app shows where you've been, it will provide a more exact and attractive picture. All the better to track you with, my dear.

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Google Maps has improved a lot over the years, now offering three-dimensional views of the landscape whenever we zoom in far enough. My Tracks now leverages this feature to provide a more detailed view of the landscape throughout your journey. It's also more accurate than before and can provide even more detailed stats.

What's New:

  • New location provider for better accuracy and battery usage
  • Automatically detect walking, biking, and driving
  • New stats view
  • New landscape view
  • Select multiple tracks
  • Merge tracks and play them in Google Earth

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If exercise just isn't your thing, My Tracks can also track movements while in the car, and it's smart enough to automatically detect when users are walking, biking, or driving. Try firing it up on your daily commute if for no other reason than amusement. It supports sharing tracks with others via Google Drive and is just the kind of cool thing that can, at least temporarily, encourage more tech enthusiasts to leave the house.

Bertel King, Jr.
Born and raised in the rural South, Bertel knows what it's like to live without 4G LTE - or 3G, for that matter. He now lives in the City of Bridges, adjusting to the presence of actual snow. His phone of choice is the HTC One.

  • dirtyid

    Really wish mytracks can be used as a persistent low power pedometer. It's pretty trivial for google to collage activity into monthly reports and boast free fitness tracking features out the box. Or built in sleep monitor and food logging to get Google Health 2.0 started. No more finding another place to clip an easy to lose dongle or wear ugly bracelets.

    • jaduncan

      I think this is probably a fewer arrows thing.

    • jammer

      Google has another app to do the pedometer thing. It's just not public yet.

      • Jörgen Pettersson

        Sounds great, where can I read more about it?

    • Kenton Douglas

      For that you would need a very low power processor, otherwise the persistence would kill the battery - so not an option for most phones. On the other hand, something like the Moto X ... :)

  • Tom Sabel

    Just 1 thing they forgot, zooming in the chart is possible but then moving to the right and left is pretty difficult... Or should i say, a design failure?

  • Bager

    No thanks, I will stick with Strava : ))) I like Strava segments and possibility to compete with other users : )

  • Jean-François Simard

    I wish they were supporting Bluetooth HRMs.. For now it is Endomondo Pro for me!

    • Ryan

      I wish Endomondo would support Bluetooth Smart HRM's... My Polar H7 isn't working.

      • Jean-François Simard

        Oh.. I have a Zephyr HX0 and it works..

    • Peter Békési

      According to the settings screen they support Polar and Zephyr Bluetooth HRMs now. I cannot test it as I don't have a HRM at all, but you can give it a try.

  • Jamin

    Why can not google follow their own UI guidelines???

    • Stylus_XL

      ...what's the problem?

      • Jamin

        One google app is white, the other one is black, once you've the card style and the other time not. It's just pretty bad that nothing even from one (main)publisher is even consistent.

        • Hans Pedersen

          The guidelines doesn't force you to stick with one colour or one specific app layout. That would be pretty boring. :)

          Maybe white on black is easier to read outdoors. Could be a reason for the colour choice in this app?

  • WelcomeToSprockets

    Neat. I would try it, but eventually aren't they just going to unexpectedly shut it down and tell us to use G+ with half the features?

    • Matthew Fry

      I know you're joking but still, it is pretty unlikely. The cost to keep it around is nearly nil. There's no server to maintain.

      • WelcomeToSprockets

        yes, I'm being sarcastic, But If it can be used to leverage you into G+, where you can be monetized, then it's future is in jeapordy.

        • Matthew Fry

          Good point. Ugh. G+ is my least favorite Google product ever. And I'm including Wave and Buzz.

        • Thomas

          I've been as resistant as I could to signing up for G+, but I think I'm going to go for it. Any good reasons not to that I might be missing?

          • Ray

            I've been using G+ since the private beta days and I love it.

            If you're going to give it a shot, don't compare it to Facebook. It's not about having all your friends on there. It's about discovering new people (and friends) and interests.

            I've meet quite a few interesting people on there that are both in Australia and overseas which almost on a daily basis are posting and talking about similar interests.

            If you go into it expecting to see all your friends and family on there posting like they do on Facebook, you're not going to like it at all.

            Find some interesting people and pages to follow and be prepared to get into some conversations and you'll probably like it. If you've got no interest in talking to random people or posting stuff publicly for the others to see and in turn, follow you, you'll probably find it very boring.

          • Thomas

            Thanks for the info.. I don't have any desire to share my habits or interests, in fact, privacy is an issue with me. I like the hangout option and that would prob be the feature that I'd go G+ for. Is there a way set it to where it doesn't share with others?

          • Ray

            For sure. You have complete control over who you add to your Circles (as Google call them) and to which Circles you share - if you chose to share anything at all.

            If you want to enter in profile information such as phone numbers, place of work, home town etc, martial status, you can control exactly what Circles or even individuals (if you wanted to explicitly define it) see that information.

            Although Google+ is a very open platform, Google have done a very good job of letting you control exactly what does and doesn't get shared. It really is completely up to you how you use it.

            I don't think there is a way to stop people from adding you to their Circles, but you certainly have full control over what you share with them.

            Give it a try. Worst case, Google have also made it very easy to disable your Google+ profile/account if you don't like it.

          • Thomas

            Thanks a million! You've been very helpful.

  • xnifex

    We used this when kayaking this weekend & it was nice, I wish it showed this newer interface tho.

  • Recznik

    they could do something like endomondo

  • Indianajonze

    what version number is this update? the new play store is so frustrating since it took that away. also, on my nexus it insists its updated, but i'm suspicious as my screens look nothing like those above

    • andy_o

      Was gonna ask this same thing. The Play Store installed 2.0.4 on my N4, and it says there Aug 7, but the appbrain link has a changelog which says 2.0.4 was put out in May. The stats screen in particular looks like something out of gingerbread.

  • Jorim Tielemans

    Anyone got an APK?

  • s7uar7

    I haven't used My Tracks since discovering OruxMaps. Far superior and also includes offline mapping.