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Old 08-10-2012, 02:39 PM   #43
wingwing OP
Gnarly Adventurer
Joined: Mar 2012
Oddometer: 119
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
but you did ask for suggestions.
Yes, thank you for the detailed report.
I'm a bit sorry you saved it all up for AFTER your trip. Had you contacted me more often (during the trip) I could have saved you some frustrations.

Some of your issues are due to your newness with the Android OS.
.. some are limitations of the current technology
.. some are limitations of my software.
I'll try and separate the issues and address each one individually.

Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
Okay, first of all, I am a newbie to my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone, and am constantly finding myself closing screens and doing other unexpected things, so some of what I am about to share may simply be my ineptitude using a smartphone.
.. If you have the time, please read this: I call it <> and it is a great place for people who are new to Android to start.. even "power users" might pick up a trick or two. The most common "trap" is using the back key too much. I call it "the hammer" because yes, it will get you back but often times too far back. With EMFB there is really no reason to use the "back" key. There is a button for everything.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
and I found the weather radar very useful on day 2 of our ride, when we were dodging thunderstorms most of the day.
.. that is good to hear. It is my primary goal that EMFB keeps your ride safe.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
Unfortunately, using the smartphone as a portable GPS has one major flaw, which is screen brightness. I kept my phone in the clear window of my tankbag, and really could not see it unless I stopped and cupped a hand over it. Having used an inexpensive Garmin auto GPS on my bike in the past, I found that screen to be brighter and easier to read.
In a side by side comparison, I agree that a stand alone GPS is brighter than most cell phones are. But I have used my cell phone as a primary GPS for something close to 50,000 miles and for the most part it is very usable. Yes, high noon I have to shade the screen. That phone you have has an awesome display and I've read more than one review praising it's outdoor brightness.
a) are you sure you had the brightness turned ALL the way up?.. if you leave it on "automatic" sometimes it still does not turn up all the way.
b) was the phone plugged in while you were riding or running off battery?... some phones will dim as the battery discharges.
c) do you have a screen protector on the phone?.. that is the biggest contributing factor to the screen appearing "dim" outside. If you have a screen protector AND clear plastic for the tank bag, then I'd be surprised if you could see it at all.
I do not have screen protector on mine; it makes it nearly un-usable outside.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
I also got a message that the server was unavailable, or some other line like that, about 50% of the time when I was trying to use the program. I ended up using the maps app built in to the phone, as it always worked okay.
Please check and tell me which version of EMFB you are using (tap and hold the EXIT button and the version will display on the first line). If you are still using version 4.18 then there is an easy fix and that is upgrade to version 4.19. Shortly after the release of 4.18 several people reported right away they were having connectivity issues with Samsung phones... it only seemed to affect Samsung phones for reasons unknown to me. I made some change in the code, released it as version 4.19 and in every case, it fixed the connectivity issues. I posted an update in the PLAY STORE and in this thread last month. See this post:
If you HAVE already updated to version 4.19 then I'm at a loss to explain your connection issues. No one else is reporting that at this time. Please, let me know?
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
Unfortunately, it only keeps the display on when you have it in navigate, and I wanted to use the map view, but had to use the navigate view instead or the screen shut down.
That is another setting on your phone. Some phones allow complete control and others only partial control. In either case there is an easy fix.
If your phone allows complete control you should find a setting either in DISPLAY or DEBUG that says something like "keep display always on when charging". If youre phone does NOT permit that, then the other alternatives are:
a) Go to Display and set the time out to the highest setting. For most Samsung, that is about 30 minutes. That means you only have to tap the phone ONCE before 30 minutes expires to keep the display on.
b) If your phone does not natively allow you to adjust the time out, you can download any one of several FREE apps from the PLAY STORE that will keep your display on for as long as you wish.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
While I hate Google maps online, as it always seems to freeze and/or lose a bunch of my route when I am making a new one, the ability to drag to different routes rather than the suggested one is an essential feature if one wishes to avoid riding interstates all day,
Something is wrong with your PC or your connection. Google Maps never freezes on me. I pre-plan many detailed routes using it. I often get asked for some "back roads" way to Key West since I live and ride in Florida a lot. When asked, I share this Google MY MAP I made. It was very easy to create by dragging the lines around. I'm at a loss to explain why Google MY MAPS does work for you..
See if you can see this from your BROWSER..
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
..and something I really missed with both the map app and your software.
My software, EMFB does NOT create routes by dragging lines. Even the Google MAPS for Android phone does not do that. There are many requests for that feature, but currently it does not exist.
There are however some easy workarounds (I'll get to in a bit).
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
I also wish I could enter the destination by typing rather than only by voice. I have to admit the voice entry worked pretty well the majority of the time, but it sometimes didn't understand.
if you had contacted me sooner I could have helped with that. The easy answer is yes it does. If you speak something and it does not get it exactly, just tap the blue window and the keyboard will pop up and you can edit what you said with BIG easy to see letters. If you don't wish to speak something first, just tap and hold the DESTINATION button and it will bring up a list of previous destinations.. tap on any one of those and either change it or erase it completely and type in what ever you wish. As soon as you tap either NAVIGATE TO or SHOW MAP that info gets entered into the EMFB previous destinations list. (and that is another piece of what I alluded to above about regarding "easy workarounds" .. more on that below).
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
I ended up using the phone's built in map app to make my next day's route each night, by entering my destination and then finding better looking secondary roads along the route, and writing a turn-by-turn route on large index cards for my tank bag. (I had done a similar process at home for the first day's ride, using the Delorme Gazetteer for NY
ok.. keep all that in mind but lets use EMFB to "keep" the list for you.
Whenever I plan a complex route for my next day I look at the roads I want to travel like you do. I read into EMFB the names of towns along the way. Just speak it, say show map and if it was "right", then use the task manager key to switch back to EMFB, tap "TRY AGAIN" and say the next waypoint. In this manner you can create your "index card" route in EMFB. You can save up 50 waypoints in this manner. Then, as you ride and reach your waypoint, just "tap and hold" DESTINATION, find the next waypoint on your list and either tap SHOW MAP or NAVIGATE TO.
An alternate method if you carry a small notebook is drag and plot the whole day on GOOGLE MAPS (the on line version).. save that to my MAPS and then using your Android GOOGLE MAPS select "MY MAPS and your course will be there. Tap the compass icon and you location will be super imposed over the route. All you have to do is stay on the line.

Actually, I use a combination of those two methods.
I have the MY MAP saved but then I use the DESTINATION button to select from my previous spoken list and then select NAVIGATE TO. Using the task manager button on your phone, you can be viewing the GOOGLE MAP line but listening to the GOOGLE NAVIGATE turn by turn directions.
They are not always "EXACT".. but if you drew the line from A to B and spoke your DESTINATION from point A to B, they will very very very close.
It is much easier to do than to explain.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
I then used your app to check the live radar each day to see how things looked before setting off.
Once you've gotten the hang of using MAPS and NAV as described above, you can further add to the mix and have the EMFB RADAR display working at the same time. Remember, your phone is a GREAT multi-tasking device.. you don't have to limit EMFB to see how how things are before "setting off".. you can in fact have MAPS, NAVIGATION and EMFB RADAR all running at the same time and using the phones task manager key (that little box-in-box looking thing) you just tap to change the view. (I keep all three plus have music running too.)
If MAPS or NAV tell me "continue for 15 miles" the first thing I do is switch to the RADAR view to keep an eye on the storms.. NAV will still keep talking to you in background.. and when she says get ready to turn I either switch to her or to my custom MY MAP..
.. again, much easier to do than to explain.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
For my needs, I would like to see the ability to drag and change a route to build it,
Me too!.. but not possible at this time. Google MAPS on line lets you do that, but Google MAPS for the phone does not... believe me, EVERYONE is asking for that.. Google is aware and hints at "working on it" in the developer forums.. but bottom line is "no can do at this time".
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
and then a button that puts the actual turn by turn directions on the phone screen in huge and highly contrasting letters (in landscape view), with the distance until the next turn underneath.
not quite there yet either.. BUT you can get close:
a) go into your phone DISPLAY settings and change the FONT size to HUGE.. that will help A LOT.
b) now when you are in the MAP view, switch from MAP to "DIRECTIONS LIST".. that gives you turn by turn with the mileage at the top.. you'll have to update that as you go if you want the miles to go to change.
The main MAP automatically provides "time" to go.. that works for me.
Originally Posted by ssevy View Post
Probably way to much to ask of a $12 app, but you did ask for suggestions.
again, thanks for the questions and suggestions.. we are in agreement on those and as soon as the technology is available I will do my best to incorporate it into the EMFB app.
I'm already working on creating custom routes by just speaking but that's a ways off yet to be truly stable and helpful.

I guess this would be easier if I could hold "seminars" on how to best use all this stuff.. but as you said:
"Probably way to much to ask of a $12 app".. :-)
... all kidding aside.. at the bottom of the EMFB help screen, is my direct phone contact info.. I usually check that and answer questions within a few hours.. unless I'm in the hills riding. then it takes a few hours longer.
(I'm leaving for month long trip next month.. still checking all the time but be patient if I don't get back to you right away.)

I could have provided some advice to resolve most of what seemed to disappoint you on your trip..
... no, not all, but most I think.

Feel free to contact me anytime if you have a question or if something does not seem to work as expected..
.. surely, that is worth the price of admission.?

Thanks again, and if you don't think EMFB is worth the purchase price,
just let me know the name it was purchased from and I should still be able to issue a refund from my end.
If that is not to your satisfaction, send me your address and I'll send you a check.
I only want happy customers.. I do this for fun and to share what I know.


wingwing screwed with this post 08-10-2012 at 03:06 PM
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