We’ve been working hard to bring you a more robust Bike Hub smartphone app, and one packed with even more features. We can now announce there will be two updates in quick succession. The first will arrive sometime next week. We can’t be more specific as uploading a new version to iTunes doesn’t result in instant availability.
A tweaked version of the Android app was released a couple of weeks back. This was a fix for a map problem: the app wasn’t sucking down maps properly. We switched to a new, faster server from OpenCycleMap. iPhone users will get the same speed and reliability upgrade next week.
Version 2.1 of the app will include:
Modify the distance that audio notifications are made before junctions
This was a common gripe with the app from otherwise satisfied users. The distance has now been amended. Sorry, we can’t make the voice louder.
Change speed options to 16kph, 25kph and 30kph (and the equivalent in MPH)
The speed merchants among you said you went faster than we thought you did. So, we’ve boosted the top speeds: the ETAs will now be more accurate.
New map server
Maps will download faster.
Point of Interest (POI) search
Bike shops are the standard POIs on the app; more POIs will be added.
GPX export by email
When we created the app we envisaged it would be used, mainly, by people wanting traffic-free routes via back-streets and short-cuts and so on. This is still the core user of the app but there are plenty of users who want to use the app as a training aid and want to see where they’ve ridden. By adding a GPX upload function you will be able to email yourself a file that can be loaded to training software, other GPS devices, or online route sharing services. Or, if the fancy takes you, fly along your recent route via the magic that is Google Earth.
‘How to’ screen
New users of the app will get a quick run-through of the app’s functions and there will also be a satnav-style tick-box requesting that the user acknowledges that using the app while moving is potentially dangerous and should only be done so with a smartphone handlebar device.
The navigation screen will include your current speed.
Version 3 will add even more features.
Map tile caching
You’ll be able to download maps to your device so you will always have maps whether or not you have a data connection. Drawing down maps via a low phone signal can take quite a few seconds. The live routing functionality will always require a phone signal. The new map file suck-down feature will be useful for loading local maps to devices, but can also be used for downloading maps of a new, unknown area. Download when you’re in a wifi hotspot.
A to A routing
Right now the app offers A to B routing, which is standard for satnavs. A to A routing will offer suggested on-the-fly circular routes, perfect for circular cycle tours. This will be an exclusive feature on the Bike Hub app. You will also be able to choose to follow sticky POIs, ie points of interest, such as National Trust properties. More and more POIs will be added over time. How about a bike tour sticky to CAMRA-recommended pubs?
Car satnav-style re-routing
When you stray from the Bike Hub app’s route suggestion, you get a ‘too far from destination’ message. The current app doesn’t re-route on-the-fly. Version 3 will offer dynamic route recalculation.
Routing by numbers
You will be able to retrieve a route from Cyclestreets.net and the Bike Hub online route planner by entering its route ID. So, you can plan your routes in advance, take a note of the route plan numbers and then use them to retrieve the route on your device.
The Bike Hub smartphone app is still the world’s only 3D cycle-specific voice-and-vibrate satnav. The app’s maps work all over the world but routing is available for Britain and Ireland only.
Paid for by the Bike Hub levy on all UK bicycle sales, the free Bike Hub app routes users away from busy roads and even avoids hills where possible. Unlike car satnavs, the Bike Hub app knows all about bike paths and quiet roads that cars can’t use as rat runs.
If you like the app, please consider leaving a review on iTunes and on the Android Marketplace.