Author Topic: ACA & Smartphones  (Read 2820 times)

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Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2013, 10:21:27 am »
To the OP point of mobile. My problem is the things I want to do from the road, using my smartphone, is check the road closures etc on the forums here and the map addendum. I suppose it can be done but it is tedious.
Another side issue I have is the map's addendum is done monthly which seems less than dynamic to me. Not to mention that fist full of cards to report changes that comes with the maps.

I have exchanged emails with ACA on this issue but it seems that I cannot convey my point that the membership is largely travelers who have or will have smartphones. As I related to ACA I cannot believe any organization, today, would build a website without some consideration of mobile. Especially an organization for travel.

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2013, 02:10:01 pm »
I may get mod'ed out, but:

I find it interesting that I submitted a comment on the blog entry announcing the new Adventure Cycling web site, questioning the web developer's choice to require a wider display than the previous version.  Again, that decision makes it much more difficult to use on a small screen.  Somehow that comment evaporated.  I can only assume someone decided that was objectionable -- that fits the pattern of the editor's response to a letter I wrote to AC magazine a while back.

I really prefer to be able to see honest, polite disagreement than sycophantic yodeling over poor decisions.  It's a shame my preference isn't shared by the management.

Online jsieber

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2013, 04:31:38 pm »
I may get mod'ed out, but:

I find it interesting that I submitted a comment on the blog entry announcing the new Adventure Cycling web site, questioning the web developer's choice to require a wider display than the previous version.  Again, that decision makes it much more difficult to use on a small screen.  Somehow that comment evaporated.  I can only assume someone decided that was objectionable -- that fits the pattern of the editor's response to a letter I wrote to AC magazine a while back.

I really prefer to be able to see honest, polite disagreement than sycophantic yodeling over poor decisions.  It's a shame my preference isn't shared by the management.
You don't have to worry about being mod'ed out. My hunch is that your comment has not yet been approved, not deleted. Due to the amounts of spam we receive we choose to not post comments live as soon as they are submitted. I apologize if you feel that your comment was not displayed intentionally. The change in width of the overall site was due to large amounts of negative feedback over the years about that original design being so narrow and the wasted screen real estate.

We will look at some more mobile friendly features down the road for specific resources that would be useful for a traveler on the road. Our current website traffic is still dominated by desktop and laptop users followed by tablet users and then finally mobile phone traffic. We are definitely listening to suggestions and will look into making improvements over time to meet the needs of everyone. 

To the OP point of mobile. My problem is the things I want to do from the road, using my smartphone, is check the road closures etc on the forums here and the map addendum. I suppose it can be done but it is tedious.
Another side issue I have is the map's addendum is done monthly which seems less than dynamic to me. Not to mention that fist full of cards to report changes that comes with the maps.

I have exchanged emails with ACA on this issue but it seems that I cannot convey my point that the membership is largely travelers who have or will have smartphones. As I related to ACA I cannot believe any organization, today, would build a website without some consideration of mobile. Especially an organization for travel.

We do appreciate your feedback and will look into making improvements in the future. The forums do have a specific mobile phone layout and it can be accessed by clicking the wap2 link at the bottom. The addenda page can be bookmarked and the print friendly option delivers a pdf file that can be saved on your phone so that it is available with or without an internet connection. The most up to date on route information is often available through each routes twitter feed and is worth checking and also adding to when on the road.

We do appreciate your feedback and the critical eye on the new site.

Offline winonas

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2013, 05:47:38 pm »
I may get mod'ed out, but:

I find it interesting that I submitted a comment on the blog entry announcing the new Adventure Cycling web site, questioning the web developer's choice to require a wider display than the previous version.  Again, that decision makes it much more difficult to use on a small screen.  Somehow that comment evaporated.  I can only assume someone decided that was objectionable -- that fits the pattern of the editor's response to a letter I wrote to AC magazine a while back.

I really prefer to be able to see honest, polite disagreement than sycophantic yodeling over poor decisions.  It's a shame my preference isn't shared by the management.

Hi pdlamb - I review comments on the blog and approve or delete them. I honestly do not recall seeing your comment at all, and I would not have deleted it on purpose. We are very light handed on moderation, removing spam and comments that blatantly flames an author, or use profanity. If you're willing to re-submit your comment that would be great, and we will look into whether or not we can re-create this issue. It's also possible that I deleted it inadvertently -- the last week before the blog launch involved many long days and things were hectic during its first week. Thanks so much for making us aware of your concern. We definitely want your feedback. Cheers.

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2013, 09:03:35 pm »
The forums do have a specific mobile phone layout and it can be accessed by clicking the wap2 link at the bottom. The addenda page can be bookmarked and the print friendly option delivers a pdf file that can be saved on your phone so that it is available with or without an internet connection. The most up to date on route information is often available through each routes twitter feed and is worth checking and also adding to when on the road.

We do appreciate your feedback and the critical eye on the new site.
I appreciate the pointers and WAP2 is my new knowledge of the day. Pretty much just disable CSS processing. I'll forgo PDF's as I abhor them in general. But I did sign up to Twitter so I could follow #acaTransAm. From what I saw, there is a lot of noise to sift through.

Maybe we will have an eyeball to eyeball discussion some day in Missoula over this issue.

Offline JMilyko

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #20 on: April 26, 2013, 06:30:23 am »
Not to mention that fist full of cards to report changes that comes with the maps.

There is an online map correction card available on the site if you'd like to send us corrections electronically:

https://www.adventurecycling.org/routes-and-maps/adventure-cycling-route-network/map-correction-form/

When you are signed into your My Adventure Cycling account, all of your contact information should be auto filled for you leaving only the items specific to your correction to be added.

Or you may email them to cartography@adventurecycling.org if that is easier.

Best,
.Jennifer.
*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*

Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #21 on: April 26, 2013, 09:51:19 am »
@Jennifer Thanks for the response. I did see the online form and was aware of it when I made my post. I was at a loss as what to do with the cards when they arrived with the maps. I don't like to carry anymore than I need to so they went into the recycle bin. I'll try to be a good ACA  tourist and use the use the online form or Twitter when I find something that should be reported.

Offline John Grossbohlin

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2013, 07:42:31 pm »
I ran into a lot of dead spots with Verizon along the Transam through the Rockies in 2011... We had three different devices with us and the problem existed with all three. As such, I wouldn't rely on real time access to the web via a smartphone as a primary navigation source. From speaking with locals there is no magic provider but AT&T held favor in some areas as having better access.

Offline staehpj1

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2013, 07:24:25 am »
I ran into a lot of dead spots with Verizon along the Transam through the Rockies in 2011... We had three different devices with us and the problem existed with all three. As such, I wouldn't rely on real time access to the web via a smartphone as a primary navigation source. From speaking with locals there is no magic provider but AT&T held favor in some areas as having better access.

I have used both AT&T and Verizon on tour and Verizon definitely had wider coverage on average.  I do remember a few places where AT&T worked and Verizon didn't (Riggins Idaho comes to mind) but they seemed to be the exceptions rather than the rule.

I guess I should have mentioned that coverage is far from being available every mile.  I kind of took it for granted folks would know that, but on hindsight that is certainly a bad assumption.

My advice:
1. Use a paper map for the long stretches between larger towns
2. If you must use the GPS use a navigation app that pre-downloads the data

On the TA using AC maps, you really don't need a GPS at all.  I personally wouldn't bother with one other than maybe to locate services in town.  The possible exception might be if going off route much.  I found that on the TA I never even needed a compass.  I carried a compass and GPS at the start of the TA and mailed the GPS home.  I continued to carry the compass, but do not recall using it at all.

Offline bogiesan

Re: a bit more on the Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus
« Reply #24 on: April 30, 2013, 06:01:27 am »
I have no way to determine the capacity or performance ability of the four AAs in this system but the case's ability to recharge my iPhone 4s has dropped tremendously after only a few weeks.
There is no direct indication on this device of the available on-board charge or actual power/energy level except for a multi-function LED.

Just a few weeks ago I could attach the Guide 10+ to my phone and get at least a 40% recharge, taking the iPhone from, say, 35% to about 75% in an hour or two. Now I can only get about 10% back into the phone before it appears the Guide 10 either shuts down or actually starts to feed FROM the phone.

I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline SlowAndSlower

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #25 on: June 25, 2013, 11:22:15 am »
After Action Report.

I found the most significant use of the smartphone was for weather and especially wind conditions. I used this info to set the days goals and in a couple instances the route I would take.
At Harrisburg IL instead of striking out for Chester and then north to St Louis i headed immediately northward, I had a very strong south wind, to Belleville. In Sterling KS instead of fighting a head wind to Larned I struck northwest to Great Bend, again because of the winds.

On the Katy I waited out a thunderstorm using the radar images to know when to go.

I used the smartphone to find resources in towns and cities. Great to determine best motel closest to things like Walmart.

As for navigation I downloaded map segments for offline use which I used periodically to put me in context with the ACA maps.

I also used the smartphone to post to my blog via email when I did not have wifi for the tablet.

What I would like to see is an ACA app that would give me the panel resource listings so I could put them on a map and call without having to dial the phone numbers. That same app could have the addendum's too.

But  there were a few problems too; motels that had been closed for years, getting dumped on to a gravel road albeit an enjoyable experience, campgrounds that didn't take tents or were members only (All Stays app), motels that were new and not listed.

Surprising to me was the inability of Verizion 4G to access some websites that I could with wifi. Frontier Airlines was is an example.

When there was no cell service there seemed to be wifi around somewhere to fill in the gaps.

All in all there were two things that I took the greatest care not to lose; my wallet and my smartphone.
 

Offline mdxix

Re: ACA & Smartphones
« Reply #26 on: June 25, 2013, 06:40:24 pm »
All in all there were two things that I took the greatest care not to lose; my wallet and my smartphone.
Hence I combine them in one :)