Aug 21st, 2009

mytracksAny one familiar with the web development world probably knows the name Matt Cutts. He is a Google employee and “the guy” when it comes to talking SEO or Anti-Web-Spam for the world’s biggest search engine and makers of our beloved Android. A few days ago I was reading his blog and delighted by the “slice of life” review he gave in regards to an Android Application he enjoyed – MyTracks.

His post was titled “30 Day Reports” and Matt made it his goal to do 1 new thing each month for the entire month. In May he didn’t watch TV. In June he took evening walks. August’s goal is to read 30 books (Okay, Doogie!). What about July? He biked to work every single day and his favorite companion was an Android application called MyTracks!

Directly from his blog post:

For the month of July, I biked into work. I learned:
– I don’t much like to bike to work. Part of it is probably that I have pretty old/crappy bike that doesn’t change gears quite right. The fastest path to work is on car-dense road, which also isn’t much fun.
– For the iPhone, I found a program for $3 called MotionX-GPS that does a very solid job of recording times and GPS tracks.
– But the best program I found was for Android. It’s called My Tracks and it’s free. It’s better than MotionX-GPS for a couple reasons. First, in addition to “total time,” the My Tracks application also tracks “moving time.” In other words, if you’re stuck at a traffic light, your “total time” keeps counting but your “moving time” doesn’t. Second, the My Tracks application can easily upload your GPS track to a Google Map.
– I can tell a notable improvement in my fitness level. It’s deeply satisfying to shave a few seconds off my biking time every day.
– The easiest way to improve your speed is to ensure that your bike tires are fully inflated.
– I get hungrier when I bike to work. I can also eat more without gaining much weight.
– Google has a program that lets bike-to-workers earn donations for their favorite charity.

Perhaps you could care less, but I found this little look into how an Android Application improved someone else’s life very interesting/entertaining. And what’s more, the MyTracks application looks awesome and I bet there are a ton of people out there who would use this everyday if they knew it existed.

Check out the following video which explains the app in depth:

Here is the “official” description of the app:

My Tracks is an application for your AndroidTM phone that enables you to record GPS tracks and view live statistics – such as time, speed, distance, and elevation – while hiking, biking, running or participating in other outdoor activities. Once recorded, you can share your tracks, upload them to Google Spreadsheets and visualize them on Google My Maps.

So there you have it… MyTracks  -an awesome Android application for excercisers also enjoyed by Matt Cutts!