First, let's just look at the basics of the iFootpath App. An App is downloaded to your smart device and is a stand-alone piece of software. It is operating system specific. - e.g. Android or iOS/Apple and can provide detailed information as well as carry out complex calculations and reporting. Most importantly an App can run on a device without a connection to the internet (or a mobile phone signal). In contrast, a traditional website, including those optimised for tablets and smartphones, does require a connection to the internet and requires additional software (a browser App such as Chrome) to run.
This means that following a walking guide using an App (like iFootpath) uses much less data than viewing a walking guide on a website. Indeed, once you are following a downloaded walk on the iFootpath App the only data usage is for refreshing the background map as you zoom or pan. An App, such as iFootpath can also utilise some of the built-in features of smartphones and tablets such as the GPS receiver and compass to provide the user with additional benefits such as plotting the user's location live on a map.
An internet connection is required for the following activities. All of which can be carried out before following a walk on the iFootpath App.
1 - Downloading the iFootpath App from an App store - Apple App Store, Google Play, Amazon, etc.
2 - Creating an iFootpath account and logging into iFootpath. This means connecting to the iFootpath IT infrastructure where all of the walk information is stored. The iFootpath App and your device cannot store all of the walks, they have to be downloaded to your device as the more than 1,200 walks would use up all your device's storage. You will also want to use the most up to date version of the walk (unlike a book of walks). See iFootpath Expert: Refresh for Success
3 - Searching for walks on the App by location, walk type, etc. When you search for a walk you connect to the iFootpath servers and search through the iFootpath database according to your search criteria. The high-level walk information is then sent to your device. To learn more about searching for walks try iFootpath Expert: Searching for Walks on the iFootpath App
4 - Downloading your chosen walk to your device. When you tap the Download button, all the latest information about that walk - narrative, pictures and route (GPX track) is downloaded to your device. This information is now stored on your account. The only information that is not stored is the background map tiles from Google or Apple - more about that later.
5 - Some other iFootpath features also require an internet connection including viewing Favourite and Completed walks, Refresh a walk, leaving walk Comments and uploading pictures to the Gallery.
The GPS receiver installed in smartphones and tablets does not require you to be connected to the internet for it to work. GPS data is received by the device as long as it can 'see' the satellite. The confusion about this seems to lie in two areas. First, only iPads with a mobile/cellular connection have a built-in GPS receiver - this is simply because Apple only makes iPads with both cellular and GPS connectivity - you cannot buy one without the other. But you do not need a mobile signal for GPS to work. Second, the GPS feature is sometimes referred to as 'assisted GPS'. By assisted GPS, Apple means that the GPS receiver in the iPad can use nearby mobile phone towers to provide a faster position lock (what engineers call “time to first fix”). Instead of starting up cold and searching for satellites, which can take up to a few minutes in some cases, the iPad knows right where to look. With a hot start like this, your iPad can find its position in just seconds. You can find out more about GPS and how it works from iFootpath Expert: The Joy of GPS
Now here is the trick to making sure that you have all the information needed to follow an iFootpath walk on the App without using any data.
A - Download the walk to your device whilst connected to WiFi and have a look through - see 4 above. In particular, open the Map and take a look at the route. Zoom in and out and you will cache (temporary save) the map tiles to your device.
B - Do not close the App, this will clear the cached Map tiles. Just to say, also never log out of the iFootpath App - logging out deletes all the walk data that is stored on your device. You can use other Apps meanwhile as iFootpath will just sit in the background waiting.
C - Next go for your walk... just open that iFootpath App on the walk page when you arrive and you will see the walk directions and the cached map. Even if the Map has not fully cached you will see the Route and your location (blue dot) on a blank background - not perfect but you can see if you are off route and the direction you need to walk to get back on track.
If you have followed the procedure above you will have all the information on your device to follow and iFootpath walk, including map tiles. However, we do know that map tiles can sometimes reload as you change the view and some devices may also use an internet connection to enhance location services. You may also just want to prevent your device using any data full stop (perhaps if you are visiting from outside of the UK and do not have a data package for example). So here are a few tips.
1 - Use a device with an inactive sim card. You do not need to have a live sim card in your device. Your device will probably not work if you remove your sim card but if you have a device that you no longer use (an old phone that you have put in the draw following an upgrade) or a device with a sim card that is not connected (e.g. tablet) you can still use the device to follow the walk without using data. Just install the iFootopath App, login and download the walk whilst connected to WiFi. Remember GPS will still work - but make sure that you have Location Services on.
2 - Turn off all mobile data on your device. Both Apple and Android operating systems allow you to switch all data off. This is a good way to save data - but of course, it means that all data services are off - some forms of text, social media, etc.will not work. Remember to turn it back on again. This does not affect data when connected to WiFi.
For Apple/iOS devices - launch the Settings App, tap Mobile Data (Cellular Data if outside of the UK), then toggle Mobile (Cellular) Data off.
For Android devices - swipe down starting at the top of the screen, and then tap Settings, select Data Usage and toggle this switch off.
3 - You can also just turn mobile data off for specific Apps. This can be a better solution if you want to limit data rather than turn it off altogether.
For iOS/Apple devices - launch Settings, tap Mobile Data and then scroll down to find the App that you want to data off for.
For Android devices (not all Apps and devices allow this)- swipe down starting at the top of the screen, and then tap Settings. Scroll down to view Apps, tap to open and then tap App Settings.
We hope that provides some insight into how data is used by the iFootpath App and how best to reduce your data usage should you need to. You can find more help on this subject and other aspects of ifootpath by visiting our Help Centre.
Google Play 2018
Loving this app. Initially had a few glitches but these all went away after a bit of tweaking the settings. I have used the app for 6 walks so far and have discovered lovely local walks that I would have never known about. The walk descriptions and directions have been really accurate. The live map has been helpful in checking that I haven't gone off course.
Newsletter Feedback 2018
Just completed my first walk using the @ifootpathuk app on my phone. A nice walk and we didn't get lost (as I have no sense of direction whatsoever that is high praise!) #hiking #Snowdonia #walking #adventure
Twitter Feedback 2018
Google Play Review 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
Help Centre August 2018
Super fast help to sort out my problem. Well done and nice friendly reply as well.
iOS Appstore November 2017
Great App - never get lost! by The Parallax View Best couple of quid I’ve spent in a long time. Walks are well described & it’s easy to see if you’ve wandered off the mapped tracks via GPS. Degree of difficulty is useful too - can choose a 2 Welly, 5 mile walk with a pub at the end for a relaxing Sunday.
Email November 2017
Wow what a lovely experience it was using your app worked perfectly from the off for the first time found walks nearby we would have never found, brilliant work guys and gals.
This is a great app. Easy to use. Great selection of walks and very uncomplicated instructions, good simple maps. Other walking apps I have tried can be very confusing, this one is just right. Thank you
I used the app for the first time this afternoon. I lead regular ‘Walking for Health’. The app is terrific!
I do a lot of solo walking...so always worry about safety and getting lost.....not anymore I don't...!!!!! The guides are always spot on....and that's what I do.just follow the blue spot...!!! Thank you.... It's my favourite app...!!!!
My wife and I did your Petworth and Shimmings Valley walk yesterday. It was absolutely beautiful and enhanced by the wonderful weather. Your instructions were the clearest I have ever used for walking.
Without doubt the best app that I have ever downloaded! - NT
This App is brilliant. It enables you to track your walks and download them for future reference. The Library provides you with a variety of walks and are supported by clear instructions and photographs along the route. This makes them very easy to follow. I have used the App for about two years and have found it invaluable. Should you have any queries about any aspect of iFootpath the support you get is second to none.
Absolutely beautiful walk, and a wonderful app. Thank you so much :)
I want to congratulate you on your web site/app performance, quick, reliable and easy to use. I have similar walking apps with OS Maps and ViewRanger but yours is best.
This app has totally changed my life, i absolutely love it. I did this walk yesterday, what a beautiful walk it is, i thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again, in fact i met an older gentleman who was on his 100 and something time there!! My sister and daughter cant wait to come along. The noise mentioned about the motorway is negligible and for me did not detract from the overall walk at all, the view from the top was stunning!!
So far I have downloaded 5 walks and completed 3 of them, tomorrow will be No 4. I love your website The walk descriptions are the best I have used in the last six years of rambling since I retired. This is a website I would be more than happy to pay a subscription for, instead I'll donate a sum to my favourite charity. THANK YOU.
Have deleted Pokemon Go and downloaded @ifootpathuk which is much more 'me'
I love the illustrated descriptions of each walk section. Really helps to enjoy the walk and get to know something about what I'm seeing. So much better than apps that only provide GPS co-ordinates and no photos or description. Love it!
After trying out numerous other apps I came across this one: way ahead of any of the others in every way. Much more accurate and very easy to use with great features. Would highly recommend it as THE app to use for walking.
Just wonderful, with walks for everyone: the fit, the not-so-fit, short walks, long walks, through woods, up hills (and down).
I highly recommend it, as my mum and I use it to go for walks and finish by eating at a pub. Its detailed and sometimes humorous instructions lead us easily to our destination. Also, to top this, it has interesting facts about the area we're walking in
I don't review much but this app deserves it. Downloaded some really good walks and the combination of the good descriptions and the really useful map of the walk showing where you are make it a brilliant tool. Well done and keep up the good work.
Very enjoyable and well described route. Views over the river from the warren were stunning.
Fantastic walk and amazing views. Great directions though I followed the GPS map mainly
Great walk, instructions were very detailed, perfect!
This may be the best walk I've ever done. It was certainly the best directions.
Even on a cold windy day with it trying to snow this was still an excellent walk. We managed it with our 2 children of 5 yrs and one in a all terain pram (a defo no no with a normal pram). Will be doing this one again in the summer.
Used app while visiting (it was great!)--live in Texas. Thanks!
Your app and walks are a dream to use
Did this walk this morning with our three little girls and we all love it. Great day outdoor!