The MotionX on the iPhone Thread

Discussion in 'GPS 101 - Which GPS For Me' started by basketcase, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    Using search I did not find a thread devoted to the iPhone and the specific app so maybe this will become the MotionX brain trust.

    I have an iPhone 4 and have had MotionX installed for a while but have not used it. Then several weeks ago a friend broke down eight miles into the boonies on his bike and two of us set off at dusk dark with a Garmin 76Csx and a TomTom and had the devil of a time finding him.

    It would have been much simpler had I known the MotionX app well enough to load his position and go straight in. So now I'm on a mission to learn the app post haste!

    Insight any of you can offer about using the specific app (MotionX) and the necessary and related mapping and navigation needs will be appreciated. :thumb

    Thanks in advance,
    Rick
    #1
  2. Barman

    Barman Way Offline

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    I just downloaded the app yesterday.... :ear
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  3. Jeff@TheQuadShop

    Jeff@TheQuadShop TAT survivor

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    I've been using it for awhile now. Check their website, they have a really good set of instructions.
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  4. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    Jeff, thanks for the heads up.

    And here's the iPhone specific link: http://gps.motionx.com/iphone/overview/

    Duh -- finding the link was easy enough. Sometimes doofus here is oblivious to the obvious. :lol3

    But experienced uses can cut through a lot of the fog, so I would be interested in your general take on the app, trick, shortcuts, etc.

    Thanks again.
    #4
  5. Bob Tosi

    Bob Tosi Long timer

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    Have you had the issue of the phone interrupting the GPS with "voice mail password incorrect"?

    I keep getting this and it's a PITA because I have to stop, take off a glove and cancel out the msg and restore MotionX.
    #5
  6. kimel

    kimel I hit what?

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    Used both the regular Motion-X and Motion-X Drive for quite awhile. Haven't had the voicemail issue. The voice guidance subscription is well worth it.
    #6
  7. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    To avoid this go to settings>Notifications>Phone>Notification Center>set to off & do the same for messages. No more problems. I just turn it off when using MotionX and on when I'm not using it.
    #7
  8. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    I have MotionX drive and when the trial subscription ran out I got Mapquest for iPhone. It talks and it's free.
    #8
  9. Lounge

    Lounge Been here awhile

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    Motion X will crush an iPhone battery - at least that's my experience.
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  10. intothenew

    intothenew Briar Patch Navigator

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    I think your battery and the notification issue are related. I only have those two issues when I run "off map", and it's worse with weak signal. I don't think I have had either issue when the maps are cached.
    #10
  11. TRZ Charlie

    TRZ Charlie That's MR. Asshole

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    Yes, of course you're right that's why my tank bag is wired with a cigarette plug and USB adapter to power the iPhone.
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  12. MrBob

    MrBob Certified Geezer

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    I've searched for a iPhone app thread and didn't find one so I'll get one up in Shiny Things. If another one shows up it can merge.
    One of my apps is Trail Maps by National Geographic. The maps are nice: aerial, grid, and topo, and it's got a locate function and will scroll in all directions. Around here the mountains block cell coverage most of the time so I may need to go back to a Garmin for backcountry navigation.
    #12
  13. basketcase

    basketcase lifelong reject fixer

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    Hmm. My thought here is not so much about the shiny thing (iPhone) as it is about the LDT thing (MotionX software, referred to in Apple's lingo as an app).

    The more I read the more I realize MotionX is a player in electronic navigation, and MotionX GPS for the iPhone is a robust GPS software that happens to run on a particular piece of hardware. But my core question is about the GPS software, not the hardware.

    Since my original post and questions I've figured out how to utilize it for an inexpensive SPOT device by sharing my location. The upside of this for me with a college kid on the road all the time is that if she breaks down she can fire off a fix to me via email using MotionX, and within minutes I can be headed out navigating to her location using the same software.

    Re, Garmin and backcountry navigation. I have a Garmin 76Csx that is the cat's meow for that. It's a little bulky but highly accurate and functional. I used it last year to follow tracks to ride the CDT.

    Maps have to be loaded into the 76 model but by now there are probably handheld Garmin units with full map sets installed fresh out of the box.

    :thumb
    #13
  14. Nataraj85

    Nataraj85 Adventurer

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    Awesome - i don't have an iPhone, but if I did this would be very useful - thanks for sharing....
    #14
  15. abhibeckert

    abhibeckert Long timer

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    I've been using MotionX for years. It's great!

    If you ever ride off road and have an iPhone, you should buy this app.

    Be sure to use the built in map downloads feature to get a zoomed out version of everywhere you might ever go (I downloaded the road map of all of australia at zoom levels 1 to 9, it's only 9MB and has all the major towns and roads), and then download zoomed in maps of where you're actually riding (say, zoom level 10 to 14, both topographic and road map).

    The topo map is handy, but the road map is easier to read - especially if you're just glancing down while riding. And for some really remote areas the topo map isn't available at close in zoom levels.

    For navigating trails with no map, you can use the google satellite map while you have WiFi or 3G to place waypoints at key points along the trail, perhaps with labels like "turn south here", and then use the compass to navigate to the next waypoint (it will show you a marker for the direction you're travelling in and another marker pointing to the target waypoint, as well as remaining distance/estimated arrival time).

    Re: battery life, for me it only drains the battery when it's being displayed on the screen or when it's recording a track in the background. I usually have it plugged into power, but I once got about 6 hours of battery life running on battery, recording a track, with the screen turned off. I'm sure you could get it to last days if you don't need to record a track. Weeks if you power it down when not in use.

    If the road/firetrail/singletrack isn't on the map, I record it while riding, and when I've got time head over to openstreetmap.org and add it to the map.
    #15
  16. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I took a pre-turkey ride this morning by myself as an excuse for a Google-map-to-MotionX track following exercise. I created a simple route from my home to Huron River Drive in Ann Arbor (my vote for the best scenic motorcycle run in SE Michigan) with Google Maps. I transferred the .gpx file to Motion-X using their new "Drag and Drop" feature in iTunes. No problem.

    BUT, when I actually tried to follow the route, I found it had only kept the beginning, end, and and one point in between. My twisty route showed up as a few straight lines on the Motion-X iPhone map. It was still useful to keep you roughly on track, but I expected to see my little triangular avatar winding along my pre-arranged route.

    What I'd really like is to map this .gpx process over to Motion-X Drive as I'll use it on paved roads 90% of the time.

    Any advice from those more experienced with Motion-X?
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  17. soffiler

    soffiler Adventurer

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    Sounds like you must have followed some steps that are not mentioned. How did you get from GM to GPX?

    That's a new one on me; I'll have to check it out. I have been emailing theGPX to MotionX and getting a link back from them by email, which then imports flawlessly into MotionX.

    As far as I know (and I am NOT an expert) there is no way to push a route/track into MotionX Drive.
    #17
  18. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    I think this is a new Motion X feature to make it a bit easier to get the .gpx files onto your phone. I had done the email process before, but never actually tried to follow a track - so I don't know if it was any better. I do know that my buddy imported that .gpx file into his Zumo and it followed the road details exactly - not just the beginning-middle-end as I had.

    I created the route in Google Maps - then clicked on the "GMaptoGPX" icon in my Google Chrome browser. That brings up the actual gpx text file. I cut/pasted that into a Google Doc and saved to my desktop as a .gpx. I then opened iTunes with my phone connected. I chose the connected phone, then "Apps" and then scrolled down to the bottom of the screen where it shows the apps that sync data with iTunes. I selected "MotionX" and then added the .gpx file to the menu. When I sync'd the phone, the route came over, but in two pieces. Each piece was the crude beginning-middle-end line, not the detailed turn-by-turn route that had shown on the Google map.

    Maybe I buggered up the intial .gpx creation.
    #18
  19. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Problem solved: I had inadvertently converted my Google route to .gpx but did not click the button "Full" in the GMaptoGPX dialog box to create the detailed route file. You can select "Route", "Points" or "Full" and I must have selected only points.

    So - I selected "Full" and it created a much larger .gpx file. I cut/pasted that into Google Doc, saved it to my hard drive as a text file. When I imported it into MotionX in iTunes, I had to edit the name of the file to eliminate the .txt suffix, leaving only the .gpx. This worked fine and imported into the phone OK. When I now open MotionX, I see the full, detailed route!

    So - this looks like it will work just fine, albeit without voice turn-by-turn directions.

    This method seems a bit simpler than the previous email-yourself-a-link method, but both seem to work.
    #19
  20. soffiler

    soffiler Adventurer

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    Cool. That's exactly where I was headed in my previous reply to you but at that time I had no idea if it was indeed GMtoGPX bookmarklet that you were using.

    Right. This is a completely different way of using GPS. TBT is a different app altogether (MotionX Drive) and I don't know a way to upload Routes to it. Following a Track is different, because Tracks are just a series of lat/long points closely spaced. Tracks cannot know if they are following roads or wandering thru the wilderness. So, since Tracks know nothing about roads, they can't possibly do TBT.

    Whatever works for you. I read thru the iTunes method you posted, and in my little brain, it still seems quicker and easier to email the GPX off to MotionX. When they reply (under a minute, in my experience) it's about three taps on the iPhone and your route is loaded. But they both work; it's all good.
    #20