Do you run, ride or walk places? If the answer is no then maybe you should get some fresh air and exercise! For those that do, here is a step-by-step guide to recording your activities using My Tracks, a free Android app for your phone.
1 The home screen
My Tracks is a very simple app with minimal controls. The home screen shows your previous activity history and here you can see a few that were previously recorded. If this is your first time with the app, the screen will be mostly empty. Press the big red button at the bottom of the screen on the left and start running, walking or cycling. You could even swim if you had a waterproof phone or put it in a waterproof bag.
2 Start recording
The red button starts the recorder. The app uses GPS to find your location wherever you are in the world and the map zooms in to show you exactly where you are. There are pause and stop buttons at the bottom of the screen, but ignore those for now. You can switch off the phone’s screen and the app will continue to run, saving your current location every second and tracking you on the map.
3 Check the data
At any time the screen can be turned on and tapping the STATS tab at the top shows the statistics. You can see the distance travelled, speed, average and maximum speeds, time and so on. Switch the screen off and continue riding, running or cycling.
4 Stop and name it
When the run, walk or ride has been completed, press the stop button. You are then prompted to enter a name for this walk. Enter a short title. Below is a Description box if you want to enter more details about the activity.
5 Set the activity
There is an Activity type and at the right is a little down arrow. Tap it and you can select the activity type. Walking was already selected by default, but here is the opportunity to change it if you performed some other activity. If you add your weight, the app can then calculate how many calories you have burned during the activity. This is useful if you are trying to lose weight and are counting the calories.
6 View the stats
That’s it. The activity is recorded and you can view the STATS tab. If you are wondering why the total time is not the same as the moving time, it is because the total is the time the app has been running. In this case it took several minutes to get to the start of the walk – the point on the map to start recording. You can start the app and start the activity at the same time or you can walk to the start point before getting on your bike or the start of a race, then tap the start button.
7 View the charts
Tap the CHART tab and you can see your speed and elevation over the distance travelled. Speed can be useful if you are a serious runner or cyclist for example, and if you are climbing hills or mountains then the elevation is an interesting chart. There are plus and minus zoom buttons.
There is a Share button in the top right corner of the screen and you can share your activities with other if you want to. You could use it to share interesting walks, runs and rides. You might simply want to track your activities for your own purposes, such as losing weight or getting fit. There are lots of uses.
Title: My Tracks
Size: 35 MB installed
Android: Varies with device