I'm of course fully aware that there are tons of tracking apps for Android. But I want to track where I rode without draining my phone's battery. I want to know roughly how far I want, roughly where I went, and when I stop at a place for a few minutes, I want to be able to find that place later.

Runtastic (now renamed to "Running" by Addidas) did a great job at that before all the bugs that cause it to crash were introduced, except it drained my battery because I always used GPS. They had a heatmap-like tracked path on a map so you could see exactly where you slowed down. So you didn't even have to trace your path later on trying to find that place you went to. You could just check out the few places where you weren't moving for several minutes.

Google Location History does a good job at not draining my battery. However, its accuracy SUCKS. It often shows track sections of over 10 kilometers where I according to Google Location History went in a perfectly straight line right through lakes and dozens of buildings.

I'm looking for some middle-ground here. For example an app that only records my GPS coordinates every 10 minutes and then uses map data to figure out where I probably went and that can show me where I went slower or stopped completely. Of course it doesn't have to work exactly this way. But it shouldn't use GPS so much to drain my battery and not use it so little that I have no idea where I went.

  • I've cooked up something similar for Tasker (an android automation app). It requires a couple of hacky workarounds, and isn't really ready to be published yet. In my testing, GPS doesn't use nearly as much battery as mobile data etc., so it also enables aeroplane mode most of the time. It's not map-aware, and couldn't really be made so, but I don't think that's actually needed. Tasker itself is paid, but my bit would be free in all senses - if you're up for testing it would do much of what you want, with minor tweaking
    – Chris H
    Jul 19, 2020 at 16:50
  • ... Note that if it records every 10 minutes, the likelihood of catching a shorter stop can get quite small as the stops do. If it samples often enough to notice short stops, it may as well record to a file that often.
    – Chris H
    Jul 19, 2020 at 16:53
  • How long are your rides? For me, recording every 5sec with Locus Map while also using navigation drains less than 10% battery per hour, on an old Samsung Galaxy A3 2017 that already has a weak battery.
    – Erlkoenig
    Jul 19, 2020 at 17:15
  • 2
    Does this have any connection with a bicycle? Seems like you're asking about software, so softwarerecs.stackexchange.com would be a better place to ask.
    – Criggie
    Jul 19, 2020 at 19:50

1 Answer 1


Locus Maps allows you to configure GPS auto-off times, but I haven't tried it yet. However in my experience that's not even necessary unless you go on very long rides (or have a very old phone).

  • One of the drivers behind my attempt was (backup) logging over several days with limited charging prioritised for my primary navigation. So a solution lasting several hours may be an order of magnitude out - of course not using it for navigation would help a lot.
    – Chris H
    Jul 19, 2020 at 19:26
  • Right, for several days it's a different story... one would have to test the GPS auto-off mode for such demands.
    – Erlkoenig
    Jul 19, 2020 at 19:32
  • Had to set it to 60 seconds so it'll only drain 10 percentage points per hour. But that accuracy is great. :) However, to anyone also starting to use that app: At least for me there is a bug where the recording won't resume. I can pause it, press resume, and it will tell me it's recoding again. But it's not. Still showed the same distance as when I paused several hours later.
    – UTF-8
    Jul 26, 2020 at 14:38
  • Strange, haven't encountered that one, but I don't use the GPS auto-off anyways.
    – Erlkoenig
    Jul 26, 2020 at 14:44

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.