Columbia’s GPS PAL™
By Columbia Sportswear Co.
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A GPS enabled journaling app that gives you the ability to preserve memorable outdoor experiences on the go. Enjoy and explore the outdoors freely with GPS PAL.
• Use videos, photos and notes to set GPS tags at favorite spots.
• Track and store route, distance, time, pace, and elevation automatically
• Dynamic journaling using time and location to automatically organize your entries
• Capture and create media
• Rate and describe events
• Organize entries with the associated website
• Send and share adventures via email and social networks
• Create a free account to view and back up your journal
• Use videos, photos, and written journaling to create your entries
• Create and save paths, trails, and adventures for later reflection
• Store data in the app, and in your online account
• Use filters to sort through your entries
• Automatic sync with website account
• Continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life
• For the best experience, use GPS PAL on a gps-enabled device.
What's New in Version 1.0.2
Increased stability and general bug fixes
Added support for iOS 6 native Facebook functionality
OK - but not ready for prime time
The app has done a good job of tracking for me. It does not multitask well, but that's not something I necessarily expect from this sort of app.
It has the unfortunate "feature" of deciding which runs or hikes or whatever are part of the same event and which are not. For instance, take a hike from camp and stop for lunch. Forget to hit "resume" after lunch until you have walked a hundred yards or so. Two different events! The next morning, leave camp on another hike. Start the recorder. It's the same event as yesterday's return!
You can fix such things only on the website, which adds more problems. The user interface of the website seems almost willfully bad but worse, the sync function is unpredictable and often just wrong. Sometimes it just does not sync - and sometimes the changes you made on the website are overwritten by the older data from the phone.
Sync Issues Problematic
There is a lot to like about this app but the interface is terrible:
1. If you edit anything on the iPhone it does not show up in the Website download. Even worse, it wipes out what you added on the iPhone.
2. Pictures will be missing. Sometimes photos that are taken just don't appear. They do appear on your phone under the "Photos" app but GPSPal seems to lose them.
3. The time feature sometimes goes out. I did a 5 hour 17 mile hike and according to the app it took me all of 2 minutes.
4. The web interface is not very good. It only gives you aggregate information and not very useful information at that. You cannot get or post information about the distance or time for the specific activity.
5. It does not sync with Facebook. When you try it says "enable GPSPal in Facebook" but there is no actual way to do this.
6. If you publish to Facebook from the web interface it comes up more as an ad for GPSPal. It should provide information about what you are doing not what Columbia's app is all about.
7. There is something seriously screwy with the web interface. All of a sudden it didn't recognise my password, yet that password allowed me to log in from my phone.
These are all easily fixable and rather trivial programming issues. It is amazing they are not fixed easily.
Good, but . . .
I really like this app, but it has things that really frustrate me. As other reviewers have noted, it does not survive all "multi-task" situations gracefully, usually crashing upon restart attempt.. Sometimes it will remember the distance and route already traveled and forget the already elapsed time and sometimes it forgets both.
As another reviewer pointed out, the app decides when to hook two separate tracking events together as if they were one, or separate one continuous tracking event (that was paused momentarily, even without a "multi-task" switch) into two separate one in the Journal.
It would be nice to see more trip details in the Journal entries.
Overall, I still like and use the app, even after numerous frustrating experiences. Three full stars is about a half star too much. A "Half Ready" rating seems about right.
Great features, great interface (mostly!), but buggy and unstable are the best words I can use.
- Category: Utilities
- Updated: May 03, 2013
- Version: 1.0.2
- Size: 7.6 MB
- Language: English
- Seller: Columbia Sportswear Company
- © 2009-2012 Columbia Sportswear Company
Compatibility: Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.