Thursday, January 22, 2015

Runkeeper on the iPod touch

I decided it was time I replaced my iPod touch that was stolen a year or so ago. I opted for the 16Gb version and called in at the Apple store while I was in Lakeside waiting for a call from the garage about the car (another story for another day). One of the reasons I decided to buy a new touch was that it will run apps like Runkeeper that use GPS to track movement. I rather assumed that the technology in the touch would be similar to the tech in the iPhone, but I got quite a surprise when I took out this evening for a short test run. I seemed to be covering the distance at quite a fair pace, and it wasn't long before I realised something was wrong. I know I walk fast, but I don't even run at less than 6min/Km!

It seems that the touch has much more difficulty with the GPS than the iPhone does. Here's what the touch reported:

Expanding the map showed that the GPS was jumping all over the place adding almost 2Km to the actual distance walked. Cleaning up the map took a while, but the difference is clear:

This is disappointing because I bought the touch so that I didn't have to use my phone, running down its battery and having the potential for access to more music on the iPod rather than the phone. It would also mean that if I didn't want to take my phone with me for some reason (I can't think of one except maybe because I was planning to run through a river and didn't want to ruin a phone!), I wouldn't have to. Shame really, the new touch is slim and light and lovely like it should be.

There may be a reason, even a fix, but at the moment, while I love the new iPod, I remain disappointed with the GPS performance.

1 comment:

Ren said...

The iPod touch doesn't have GPS in it. It tracks your location based on WiFi networks. It doesn't even have to connect to them. So you're seeing the back-and-forth attempts of the Touch to connect to all those different networks. Check out the Apple site for it. No GPS. I recommend turning off WiFi and just using the motion chip in it. You don't get maps, but you get accurate time and distance.