New Workout App with a Map

Discussion in 'Apple Watch Apps' started by cfc, Jul 14, 2017.

  1. cfc macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    I have just released a new workout app for the Apple Watch which shows a fully functional vector map whilst you exercise. It is ideal for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, or any exercise where you need to navigate.

    The map has been created from scratch especially for this app. I think that it is the first ever vector map on the Apple Watch, apart from Apple's own Maps app, which isn't designed for workouts. Please correct me if I am wrong though.
    The map can be panned with your finger and zoomed in and out using the digital crown, just like the Apple Maps app. However it has several advantages over Apple's map app (and other workout apps):

    1) Maps can be cached on the watch for use offline (if the watch has GPS then you don't even need your phone).
    2) The map can be set to smoothly rotate according to your direction.
    3) A red compass is shown (which also acts as a button to control rotation).
    4) A dark blue breadcrumb trail is shown of your entire route.
    5) All types of routes are shown, including paths, cycle trails, ski routes and more.
    6) A scale is shown when you zoom in and out, to help determine how far away things are.
    7) Double tapping the screen increases the size of the map (and shrinks the workout stats).
    8) A green compass shows the direction back to where you started. Tapping it shows the distance.
    9) All routes are shown using bold colours to make them clearly visible, even in sunlight.
    10) At any time during the workout you can see more comprehensive statistics, including your route coloured according to speed or heartrate.
    If you are interested then here is a link to the app on the AppStore:

    If you want more information, more screenshots, and a short video of the app in action, then check out the website:

    This is the very first release of the app, so any feedback would be greatly appreciated!
  2. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    Does the vector map also cover European countries or rest of the world? What about exporting the data to garmin ( or any other provider) is it possible? thank you
  3. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    The map covers the whole world. It uses OpenStreetMap.

    There is no way to export data at the moment but I plan to add that with the changes for watchOS 4. This is because that version of watchOS allows the route to be exported to Apple's Activity app, so I will add GPX exporting at the same time.
  4. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    I have released a new version of the app that includes the ability to export GPX files. I decided not to wait for the watchOS 4 after all. The new version has a massively improved iPhone app that allows full analysis of the route, as well as the ability to export it.

    The analysis shows stats, maps and profiles for each route. Touching the profile shows the position on the map, and the stats (speed, heart rate, elevation etc) at that time and position. You can swipe across the profile to see how your stats change over time along the route.

    Workouts1.png WalkSpeed.png CycleHeartrate.png

    I have also added full elevation information to both the watch and iPhone apps, and made several improvements to the watch map, including the ability to tap a POI and see its type and name below the map.

    MaultwayElevation.png POIDetails.png

    Hopefully these improvements will tempt people into giving the app a go.
  5. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2015
    I purchased your app just to give it a try. As a runner and an Apple Watch 2 user, I like to try out as many of the running apps as possible to hopefully find one that truly does everything a running app should .. so far none are even close.

    Your app adds an interesting dimension with a visual map and crumb trail. I gave it a try on a walk earlier and it worked as advertised.

    However, to make it appeal to runners, you might want to consider the following for the AW app:

    • Add current average pace to the map screen view (I know real estate is limited, but most runners would want this)
    • Split notifications every mile at a minimum .. ideally configurable to any distance
    • I know the GPX export is new, but it is very basic and wouldn't satisfy most runners. You really need to add things like heart rate and cadence to the export which is possible within a GPX file.
    • Consider allowing exporting to a file sharing site like Dropbox, etc. Using email is clunky at best.
    • Any running app for the AW benefits greatly from voice feedback due to the small screen of the AW, and the "not" always on display.
    I could see this app being a very useful running app with the current features you have, plus the suggested additions above. The app would be very beneficial when trail running or running in an unfamiliar area with the map features.

    Great start, hope you continue to add features.
  6. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    Thanks for buying the app and especially for the detailed feedback. That's exactly the sort of stuff I need to hear. I haven't been a runner for years (since my knees gave in) so the app probably has a hiking / biking bias. All of the changes you mention make a lot of sense so I will try to incorporate as many as possible in the next release.

    To address each point:

    I am planning to add the ability to configure the stats shown at the bottom of the screen by double tapping. So double tapping the distance will change it to show pace, double tapping heart rate switches to show cadence etc. Would that be enough? Also, over what period would you want the instantaneous pace calculations to be based? For instance using the speed over just the last 10 seconds or over the whole last mile itself?

    When you say that you want split notifications more often than once a mile, would they still be the split time for a mile? So you would get your time for the last mile every quarter of a mile, or would it be for the last quarter mile if you specify a quarter mile as the frequency? I'm guessing it's the mile time regardless of the frequency but I just want to check.

    Apologies for not adding heart rate - that would have been easy and I should have included it. I hadn't even considered cadence, but it looks like Apple makes the step count available so I should be able to add it. Is there any other information that you would like to see in the GPX file? At the moment it is just time, position and elevation.

    More export options is on my list of features to add. I just started with email but will add other options in the next version.

    Adding voice feedback will need some research. Do you know of any other watch apps that have got it?

    Thanks again for the feedback!
  7. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    May 21, 2015
    No problem .. it's a really unique app that really has potential.

    I would say that Motifit Run and Nike Run Club are good examples of running apps that currently have customizable voice feedback.

    On the splits .. It would be the time for whatever distance you set .. .25 mile, .50 mile, etc. So if I wanted to run .25 mile intervals, I woul get a time for that distance.

    Thanks for building the app and I encourage others to give it a try.
  8. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    I also purchase your app but it seems that it can not start on watch when i push on app i see just icon circuling then app shut down on watch. i have the latest WatchOS i allowed everything on iphone/ health/gps setting i also restarted watch and iphone, nothing app can not start on watch
  9. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    Sorry you can't run the app. I haven't heard of that before. One possibility is that you have run out of memory on the watch so it cannot store the map data to draw it. To check please go to the Watch app on the iPhone and tap the My Watch tab. Then select General and then Usage. How much storage does it show available?

    If that isn't the case then please could you PM me the location of where you are in case it is crashing when trying to draw a map near you. I haven't heard of anything like that but it is impossible for me to test for every location, so it could be struggling with something specific in the map near you.
  10. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    I have enough storage more then 3 gb . My location Ljubljana Slovenia, map was transferred to watch with no problem but app do not work just crash[​IMG]
  11. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    Ah, sorry. I have been assuming that it was the map that was causing problems, because that is the most complex part of the app, but it looks like you are not even seeing the initial menu, which is just a simple list of activity types. That makes me wonder if it is hasn't installed properly rather than a specific problem with the app (although I could be wrong).

    Please could you try using the Watch app on the iPhone to uninstall the WorkOutDoors app from the watch. And then reinstall it.

    And if that doesn't work, please could you try uninstalling the whole app from the iPhone (which will remove the watch app too) and then reinstalling it from the AppStore.

    I'm sorry for the hassle but hopefully we can get it working.
  12. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    I did first i uninstall it from watch then again install it-not working. then i completely uninstall it from iphone and install it again with all permission on still nothing. Maybe it is security problem and something is preventing to start your app i have also apple pay on watch, but on the other hand all third party apps on watch are working just ok, so something is not ok with your app. I also remember in the past that some third party apps had the same problem to run it but when they were updated they started to work.
  13. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    I have done some Googling and it seems that the Watch occasionally gets in a state where some third party apps will not start, exactly like you have with WorkOutDoors. One possible fix that people mention involves uninstalling and reinstalling the app whilst both the watch and the phone are connected to power, and whilst playing some music on the phone (!). This is mentioned in a few places, including these two:

    Another possibility that would force the app to start in a different way is to place it in the dock, or to configure the watch face to show its complication (which allows quick starting of the app). Both of these things should force the app to stay resident in memory, which means the app is started by the OS so that it is immediately ready, instead of being started on request by the user. This may not make a difference, but it is relatively easy to do so is worth trying.

    If this doesn't work then the last resort is to un-pair and re-pair the watch, which I know is a pain, but may fix it.

    Sorry about this. The more I research it the more it looks like a relatively common problem with the Apple Watch.
  14. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2011
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    Does the new version still recognize workouts from the old version? I thought I had a couple, but updated, and don't see anything listed on the iPhone app now.

    The app starting issue has been around a while, but I think is improved in newer versions of iOS and watchOS. One thing to try is to power cycle both watch and phone, then use the iPhone watch app to remove the app that is giving you problems. Wait for it to show uninstalled in the watch app. Then install it again from the iPhone app, and again wait for the install to indicate finished before running it on the watch.

    Unfortunately, I suspect sometimes the problem is on Apple's side and they push a corrupt copy of the iOS/watchOS app package. An app update can fix this, as can contacting Apple Developer support to check the app in the region that the user reports problems with.
  15. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    I really did everything it was suggested i even restore iphone and watch and no luck. I think its more app related and permissions towards watchOS. I asked for refund as i do not have the time to search the right approach how to install
  16. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    I haven't heard of this problem from anyone else, so an issue with the binary on the Slovenian App Store seems the most likely cause. I am planning to release a new version in about a week with new features that users have requested, so hopefully that will fix it.

    I'm sorry you had all these problems and don't blame you for giving up and getting a refund. As I say I plan to release a new version in a week, so you could try again then if you still want the app? When it is released I will PM you a free promo code for that version so that you don't have to pay for it.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 14, 2017 ---
    The first version of the app only saved workouts to HealthKit. It was mainly intended to replicate the functionality of Apple's Workout app but with maps. The new second version is the first version to save workouts for analysis on the iPhone app, so unfortunately won't show any workouts created with the first version.

    What do you think of the app? Please be honest as I'm after constructive criticism and feature requests for future versions.
  17. redsteeler macrumors member

    Dec 30, 2014
    OK agreed at it seems the app from screenshots have really potential:)
  18. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2011
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    Thanks, that was what I expected.

    I've been too busy at work to use it much so far, but will give you some feedback when I have a chance.

    I seem to be having trouble with the map download in the version from last weekend. When I hold my finger then drag, I am not seeing the map regions select for download to the watch. Is this a bug? It worked well for me in the prior version.
  19. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2011
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    Never mind, I was not clicking on the grid button before trying to select the map tiles. It's working fine!
  20. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    That's good to hear. I have done the same thing a couple of times, so I was considering removing the grid button and making it always in "offline map management" mode. Hearing that it has caught you out as well has convinced me, so I will change it in the next version.

    The original intention was that it is nice to be able to see the map without the overlay of the cached areas slightly obscuring it, but the whole point of that screen is to control caching, so it makes sense to always show them. And it definitely makes sense when the current approach can be a bit confusing!
  21. CobraPA macrumors 6502a

    Mar 12, 2011
    Lansdale, PA, USA
    I remember when I first used it it was easy to use the map transfer. I think I may have read the instructions then and forgotten since. :(
  22. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    I have released a new version of the app, which is now available on the AppStore. The biggest change is the ability to import and display GPX routes on the watch map. These can be imported from any other app (e.g. Mail or Safari) and transferred to the Watch. There is also an option to send the relevant map tiles for the whole route to the watch for offline use.

    Once on the watch the routes can be easily selected to appear on the map. Routes with elevation information are coloured in various shades of purple to indicate gradient: Red for uphill sections and Blue for downhill sections.
    There is also a "Hollow" option for displaying routes, which enables you to see the underlying trail that the route follows. For example in the screenshots below the image on the left clearly shows where to go, but obscures the names and types of the trails on the route, whereas the hollow option in the middle shows that they are mountain bike routes called Red 6 and Red 7.

    The screenshot on the right shows the use of the scale to determine that it is 150m before you turn off onto Red 7. You can display the scale by slightly turning the digital crown (turning it any more will smoothly zoom in or out).
    There is a new Settings screen on the watch (available at any time using force touch), which provides several new features, such as the ability to hide the compasses; the ability to turn off heart rate monitoring (to save battery); and the ability to manually configure whether to use miles or kilometres.
    The statistics on the main workout screen can now be configured to show different values. Double tapping either the distance or heart rate values will change them to show the current speed. Double tapping the time will change the calories value to show pace instead. Double tap again to switch back.

    Another new feature for runners and walkers is the display of steps and cadence (steps per minute) information. This can be called up at any time during the workout, and cadence can also be analysed in detail using a new graph on the iPhone Workout screen. Wheelchair workouts show the same information but based on pushes instead of steps.
    The iPhone app has also received a new darker makeover:
    Other improvements include:
    • Now exporting GPX files using version 1.1, which includes heart rate and cadence details;
    • Profile graphs on the iPhone now reflect the section of the route displayed on the map above them;
    • You can now remove the map tiles from the watch;
    Hopefully these improvements will tempt more people into trying the app. The feedback so far has been brilliant, with lots of positive comments and plenty of feature requests (many of which have been implemented in this new version). Many thanks to everyone who has bought the app and especially to those who have taken the time to email me about it. All feedback (positive or not so positive!) is welcome.

    To redsteeler: I have PMed you a promo code to get the app for free. Hopefully the problems you had were to do with the Slovenian AppStore and this new version will be correctly deployed by Apple.
  23. zokstar macrumors regular


    Aug 15, 2016
    Nice update! Keeping a close eye on this one! I've recently broke my leg, but once im back at it i'll def give this ago!
  24. alunjunkinsuk macrumors newbie


    Dec 8, 2016
    loving the app, seems very stable
    Used it every day so far for walk and ebike rides.
    I find the interface good and the use of force to stop very useful. I tend not to have to lock the screen as i do in other apps to avoid false stops esecially when wet and raining.

    I cannot get the complication to work , its in the list of enabled ones
    Keep it up.

    I would love a kitesurf and ebike category
  25. cfc thread starter macrumors 6502


    May 27, 2011
    Thanks for the kind words. It's great to hear that you use the app every day. It has only had 7 reviews on the App Store worldwide, but 6 of them have been 5 star reviews and the 7th was a very positive 4 star review of the first version. So not many people are trying it, but those who do seem to really like it.

    To be honest I mainly chose the force touch approach to pause/stop the workout instead of swiping (like most other apps) because swiping just pans the map! But I'm glad that it works for you. The first version of Apple's workout app used force touch so I decided to go with that.

    The activities that the app offers are those provided by Apple's HealthKit, so hopefully they will add ebiking and kitesurfing soon.

    I'm sorry that you can't get the complication working. What sort of complication are you trying to use? At the moment I only implement the small complications with a simple icon that enables the app to be quickly started. I plan to add more sophisticated larger complications with workout details in the future.

    I am currently working on a watchOS 4 version, which enables several new features, including the ability to draw over the whole screen (apart from the time in the top right). This means that the maps are noticeably bigger, and has also allowed me to add a true full screen mode. WatchOS 4 should also allow a "map only" mode where you do not need to start a workout to see a map. This new version should be out in a couple of weeks.

    Thanks again for the feedback.

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