This post continues where the previous one – Watch App Guide 1 : Getting Started – ended : a walk selected on your watch, points loaded and ready to walk.
When you tap the ‘Walk’ button on your watch, the TrackGuide watch app shows you a map with up to 5 symbols
The blue dot in the middle of the map is you. If the GPS signal is bad (which does not mean “not correct”), it has a red background.
If the watch knows where you are heading to (it derives this info from your current position and your previous position), the heading is shown as a little blue arrow attached to the dot. When two location fixes are too close or too unreliable to calculate the heading, no heading is shown. A map on Apple Watch is always North-up. If you are walking south and the next point is to the left on the map, you actually should turn right. To save you from this spatial conversion gymnastics, a second green arrow is attached to the dot that points left if you must go left, right when you must go right, down when you must go back and up if you are going in the right direction. Easy? Easy! Note that the quality of the directions is proportional to the quality of the GPS reception. So if the blue arrow is not showing, or its direction does not make any sense to you, the green arrow will probably point in the wrong direction also.
The number in the middle of the dot is the sequencenumber of the point you are going to. If higher than 100, it will be replaced by an ellipse (…) .
The green dot is the point your should be going to. If ou are heading in the right direction, the heading arrow will point to the green dot. The red dot is the point you just passed, and the 2 purple dots are points further on your way. The page will show 4 dots plus your position. No track lines. This is a limit of WatchOs 3. As soon as WatchOs allows, we’ll add a trackline and maybe some more dots to this page.
Be carefull : GPS reception between tall buildings or below heavy foliage can be very bad, resulting in faulty heading and postion info. If the postion and heading as shown on the map page are clearly wrong, just lower you arm, wait for your watch screen to dim and raise your wrist again to get a new reading.
- The Apple watch does not keep a permanent GPS connection. Whenever you raise your wrist to glance your watch, TrackGuide fires up the GPS hardware, locates your position and refeshes the screen. Advantage of working this way is that TrackGuide does not drain your batteries. Disadvantage is that you might have to wait some seconds for the page to refresh.
- If this wait is too much for you, (or if your watch does not have GPS hardware), you can always start the app on your phone and give it permission to access your location ‘even when not in use’. The phone app will share its location with the watch giving it a faster fix. But your phones batteries will only last a few hours this way.
- Best practice : raise your wrist whenever you arrive (or think you arrived) at a trackpoint to see where you must go next.
- Raising your wrist more often is Ok. Only, heading information is better if there is some distance (30 meter or more) between location fixes.
- It is a good idea to glance your watch whenever your heading changes – even when there are not trackpoints nearby. Just to let TrackGuide know you did not took a shortcut, but changed direction and walked some distance. The last paragraph of this post tries to explain why.
- If you pass a trackpoint without making a gps fix, TrackGuide will adjust your position on the track (green point) the next time you raise your wrist. It does this by taking your current position (closests point) and the distance walked into consideration. If only the closest point was taken into account, TrackGuide would force you to use all possible shortcuts on walks that contain crossing paths or U-turns.
- If TrackGuide fails to determine your progression through the track, you can manually go up our down by rotating the digital crown.
- The digital crown can also be used when you do take a shortcut (quiting the map page and re-opening it will also reposition you on the closests point).
- You can always open the app on the phone when you get lost. The big phone screen, the compass and the track line give will get you back on track in no time. And if you use the slider on the phone app to set the next point you want to go to, that point will be transferred to your watch as well. Moving the slider is a lot faster than turning the digital crown 100 times.
To come back on the heading calculation : imagine you glanced your watch at point X. Next, you walked 100 meter north, made a U-turn, and walked 50 meter south. If you now glance your watch a second time, TrackGuide would think you are heading north after having walked 50 meter, while you really did 150 meter and are heading south. That is why it is important to glance your watch whenever you change direction.