Q: What devices is Footsteps GPS compatible with?
A: The app takes full advantage of the improved location accuracy of the iPhone 3G and 3Gs as well as the compass of the iPhone 3Gs, BUT it will work on the original iPhone or iPod Touch. HOWEVER, as stated in the App Store description, the app is designed to work best on the 3G or 3Gs iPhone because only these devices have a built-in GPS receiver. The original iPhone can not accurately determine its location and, therefore, your location, speed and directional information will be estimated but may not be accurate. It also takes much longer for the original iPhone and any iPod Touch to determine its location or heading. So you may be waiting several minutes to get this information. The iPod is the least accurate. However, we are huge iPod users, so we have set the app to be able to run on iPods, BUT please be aware that it may take a very long time for the iPod (or original iPhone even) to determine its location. This is not the fault of our app. This is based on the limitations of the hardware. Also, iPods will only ever be able to determine their location when they are near Wi-Fi areas. So, dense cities with lots of homes or businesses with Wi-Fi networks will be much better.
Launching the app:
Q: What should I expect when I launch the app?
A: GPS attempts to determine your location as soon as you startup. However, it can take up to a few minutes to determine an accurate location. If this happens, then your APPROXIMATE location (if known) will be shown dimmed on the GPS Data screen and no time, distance or speed will be shown until those values are known and accurate. You can't start a trip until your location is known. You will see a progress spinner on the GPS Data screen until your location is known.
GPS Data Screen:
Q: What is the Accuracy field?
A: Your iPhone estimates its position based on wireless reception and GPS satellites (3G and 3Gs only). It can never determine your position perfectly. The accuracy field tells you how close your iPhone thinks its location estimation is. If the Accuracy is 200 feet, then it believes it has determined your location within 200 feet of your actual location. The lower the number, the more accurate your GPS Data will be.
Q: Can I reset the fields in the GPS Data screen?
A: Yes, you can tap the Average Speed, Maximum Speed, Time and Distance fields to reset them to zero and have them start to recalculate again. You will sometimes see the Average speed shoot up, but it will normalize quickly.
Q: If I quit GPS, will I lose my information such as distance traveled or time in route?
A: You will lose the information on the GPS Data screen, but if you are recording a Trip, that information will be saved.
Q: What is the Lock button?
A: If you want to leave GPS running but avoid tapping buttons inadvertently, you can tap the Power button to sleep the screen. But if you want to be able to still see the screen, you can tap the Lock button. If you have "Dim When Locked" turned on in the Settings, the screen will dim when you tap the Lock button.
Q: What is the Map button?
A: If you press the Map button, your location will be plotted on a Google Map inside the app.
Q: Why does the Magnetic and True Heading fields show "- -"?
A: Until the app can determine your direction, it will show two dashes. The iPhone's GPS antenna could take up to a few minutes to provide accurate information. Until an estimated compass heading is determined, the direction will not appear. This information is most accurate when using a 3G iPhone with a clear view of the sky. This direction can only be determined when you are traveling in a straight line over a period of time and distance. The more time and distance you travel, the more accurate the heading will be. If you have a 3Gs iPhone, your compass heading will be determined much faster and will be much more accurate.
Q: What is the difference between True and Magnetic direction?
A: The difference between Magnetic North and True North is called the variation. To convert magnetic readings to true, you need to find the variation for your particular location. GPS estimates this for you based on your position on the planet. Variation is listed in terms of degrees east or west. If it is east variation, you subtract the number of degrees from the magnetic direction to obtain the true direction. If it is west variation, you add the number of degrees to the magnetic direction to obtain the true direction.
Q: Why isn't the speed accurate when I first run GPS?
A: The longer you run GPS and the better your reception is, the more accurate all of the GPS Data will be. At first, your speed and other information may be less accurate.
Q: Why does GPS sometimes not give me accurate information?
A: GPS relies on your iPhone to provide accurate location information. If you have an original iPhone (and worse on the iPod), your position information will rarely ever be accurate. This is because the original iPhone does not have a GPS antenna. The 3G iPhone will be much more accurate, but you will still need good cellular phone reception and a clear view of the sky. Heavy clouds will prevent your iPhone from determining its location.
Q: Can my iPhone determine its location in Airplane Mode?
A: No. This is a limitation of the iPhone.
Q: Can my iPhone determine its location if I have a clear view of the sky but bad cell phone reception?
A: Not usually. This is a limitation of the iPhone.
Q: Why does the Compass not show a needle?
A: The iPhone's GPS antenna could take up to a few minutes to provide accurate information. Until an estimated compass heading is determined, the compass needle will not appear. This information is most accurate when using a 3G iPhone with a clear view of the sky. The red end of the compass needle indicates your estimated direction of travel. This direction can only be determined when you are traveling in a straight line over a period of time and distance. The more time and distance you travel, the more accurate the heading will be. If you have a 3Gs iPhone, your compass heading will be determined much faster and will be much more accurate.
Q: Which end of the needle is pointing to the direction I am traveling?
A: The red end of the compass needle indicates your estimated direction of travel.
Q: Why does the compass sometimes not show my correct direction of travel?
A: This direction can only be determined when you are traveling in a straight line over a period of time and distance. The more time and distance you travel, the more accurate the heading will be. If you have a 3Gs iPhone, your compass heading will be determined much faster and will be much more accurate.
Q: What do I use the Share screen for?
A: Use this screen to share your position data with friends.
Q: What is sent if I select Send Email?
A: When you tap Send Email, an email will be generated with the data from the GPS Data screen and a link to Google Maps of your current location. Each time you enter the share screen, your position is calculated for this map link.
Q: What is sent if I select Update Facebook profile?
A: When you tap Update Facebook Profile, a link to Google Maps of your current location will be uploaded to Facebook as your Facebook status. You can edit the message by tapping on the message bar to customize your status.
Q: Why do I need to set up my Facebook?
A: The first time you try to update your Facebook Status, GPS will take you through a series of screens from Facebook which are required by Facebook for GPS to update your Facebook Status. You will be asked to log into Facebook using your Facebook username and password. If you don't have one, then you will need to get one first. Simply follow the directions, but be patient as it takes a while for these screens to load as they are controlled by Facebook.
Q: What is sent if I select Send Tweet?
A: When you tap Send Tweet, a link to Google Maps of your current location will be uploaded to Twitter as your Twitter status. You can edit the message by tapping on the message bar to customize your status.
Q: What do I need to do in order to use GPS to update my Twitter account?
A: You will need to enter your Twitter username and password into the Settings screen.
Q: What are Trips?
A: You can record a trip including notes and photos you take along the way. You can save these trips for viewing later or share them via KML/KMZ format to review them in Google Earth.
Q: How do I use Trips?
A: Go to the Trips section of the app. You will see a blank screen because you haven't made any trips yet. Tap the + button to add a trip. Confirm that you want to start a new trip. As long as your iPhone knows where it is, your trip will start immediately, and you will see a green dot indicating your start position. If your device is still trying to determine its location, then you will not see this green dot until it determines its position. Then, just start driving, walking, running, boating or whatever. If you want to take a note or a photo along the way, just tap the Add Note button which is in the bottom left corner of the map. If you want to rename your trip or find out basic trip information along the way, tap the "i" button in the top right of the screen. If you want to pause or end the trip, tap the Pause button in the top right of the screen.
Q: How do I share my trip and view it on my Mac or PC?
A: Go to the trip you want so that you can see it on the map. Tap the "i" button in the top right of the screen. Then click Share Trip by Email. A KMZ file will be loaded into a blank email. Simply send that email. A KMZ file is the same as a KML file but it also supports the trip notes and photos that you took along the way. You can open this file using Google Earth on your Mac or PC.
Q: Can I overlay my current trip over a previously saved trip?
A: Yes. While you are recording your new trip, simply tap the "Trips" button in the top left of the screen to see the list of previously saved trips. Tap a previously saved trip and you will see your new trip (in blue) laid over the old trip (in purple).
Q: What does "Logout of Facebook" do?
A: If you have gone through the process of authorizing GPS to access your Facebook account to update your Facebook status, this reverses that process. Also, if you ever change iPhones, make sure to tap this button before disposing of your old iPhone.
Q: What is the accuracy filter?
A: The accuracy filter ignores potentially incorrect location by ignoring any position data unless the accuracy is good. When you have the filter turned on, GPS is more picky what location information it will use. So, you must have a clear view of the sky, a strong GPS satellite signal and strong cell phone signal. The filter will reduce the sensitivity of the compass, distance and other readouts because it will only update that information when it's sure the data is accurate. You may wish to turn this off if you are using a an original iPhone or iPod or have poor GPS coverage or want more location information and don't care as much about accuracy.
Q: How do I contact Bottle Rocket for more help?
A: Go to http://www.bottlerocketapps.com and click on Support to send us a message.