Google My Tracks - GPS Training and Mapping

Compare Google My Tracks to Other Available Apps

Google

Google discontinued My Tracks, its GPS tracking app, as of April 30, 2016. If you've been using My Tracks and you cringe at the thought of losing all your data, fear not. You should be able to export it to an external drive or to Google Drive without much difficulty. Switching over to and getting used to a new app might present a challenge, but Google suggests four possible alternatives: Google Fit, Strava, MapMyRun and the GPX Viewer.

Here's a summary of how My Tracks worked if you want to compare its features to another app you might be interested in. 

My Tracks Features 

There have always been a number of good applications for the Apple iPhone that use GPS to track and measure workouts, but fitness-minded users of Android operating system smartphones experienced some serious app envy. Google came to the rescue with My Tracks for Android OS phones. It was free and downloadable directly from the Android app store in a phone's menu. It provided a very useful and fun-to-use set of workout tracking, logging and sharing features.

Pros

  • It was free.
  • It was easy to use.
  • You could upload and share your maps and stats.
  • You had your phone and workout tracking in one nice device.

Cons

  • My Tracks only worked on phones using the Android operating system.
  • It wasn't handlebar or wrist mounted, so it could be difficult to monitor the stats screen.
  • It could locate you on Google Maps, but it offered no navigation features.

Description

  • You could see your location and progress on a map.
  • You could zoom and pan elevation profile.
  • You could create waypoints, as well as segment training stats by waypoints.
  • You could upload to Google Maps and Google Docs directly from your phone.
  • You could send email as a Google My Map link.
  • You could tweet your map on Twitter using the Twitroid app.
  • Stats tracked included current speed, distance, max speed, time, average speed (overall and moving), elevation and grade.

Review 

I downloaded and installed My Tracks from the Android app store with no problem. The installation placed a convenient My Tracks shortcut in the phone's apps menu. You could simply step outside after the app was installed, wait for your GPS satellite fix, then select "record track" from the simple menu system. From that point, My Tracks recorded your precise route using GPS, including time, distance and elevation data. It didn't matter if you were running, cycling or walking – the data was logged. You could note the workout type when you saved the log.

You could simply stop recording at the end of your workout and quickly and easily review your route map, elevation, profile and workout stats. You could switch between views just by tapping on-screen icons. You could also upload your workout to Google Maps directly from the phone with the press of one menu button - a great convenience compared to upload routines that require a USB link to a personal computer and/or special software.

Disadvantages? You could locate yourself on a map, but the software didn't provide directions to a destination the way high-end dedicated fitness GPS devices often do. It wasn't easy to view your stats on the move because it's not mounted on a handlebar or your wrist – you were using a phone, after all.

On the plus side, you could cover your communication, emergency and workout logging needs with one device, rather than two or three. Overall, My Tracks was a very nice app for "Google phone" users.

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