Archive for May 2009

Altitude on Windows Mobile devices

May 28, 2009

Some of you that are using the Windows Mobile version of SportyPal may have noticed that the altitude graph on the website always shows your altitude as having a value of zero.

This is a known issue with Windows Mobile’s GPS Intermediate Driver and there’s most likely nothing you can do about it. For most Windows Mobile devices, the altitude recorded is always zero. We’ve read about people working around this by manually configuring the GPS driver, but we’ve never had much success with it on our devices.

If you want to give it a go, go to Start -> Settings -> System -> External GPS. In the Access tab, uncheck the “Manage GPS automatically” option, then choose a port and baud rate in the other tabs.

Screen 1 Screen 2

Be sure to write in if this actually works for you.

Changing the unit system

May 28, 2009

Some of our users were wondering if there was a way to change the measurement unit system on the website (e.g. miles instead of kilometers), and it’s pretty easy.

While logged in, go to “My profile” (upper left corner, next to “Logout”, below “FAQ”). In the “Personal Info” tab (it should be the first tab to open), find “Unit system” (just above “Height”) and choose between metric or imperial. That’s it.

Some displays on the site won’t switch immediately, but they will when you reload the page. Note that there’s a bug on the community page where the units in the recent workouts list may not be in the unit system that you chose, but this will be corrected soon.

Unit system

Landscape screens

May 28, 2009

Landscape screen resolutions (resolutions where the screen’s width is greater than the screen’s height) are currently not supported by the Windows Mobile version of SportyPal. Attempting to run the application while your screen is in landscape orientation will result in a message telling you to set the screen to portrait orientation. If you can manually rotate your screen, this isn’t a problem. Owners of devices that have a landscape screen that can’t be rotated (such as the Motorola Q11) will be unable to run SportyPal.

Since we don’t plan on developing and releasing a landscape version of SportyPal anytime soon, we’ve put together a small utility to help you get around this.

Download the CAB here and install it. There should be a new item in Start -> Programs called “Rotate screen”. Clicking it should, obviously, rotate your screen. Try running SportyPal with the rotated screen. To restore the screen, just click on “Rotate screen” again.

We don’t have a landscape screen device here for testing, so let us know if it works on your device. We have an idea of what might go wrong if it doesn’t work and will post an update to the SportyPal CAB if needed.

HTC Touch Cruise stalls

May 27, 2009

One of our users had a problem with SportyPal on his HTC Touch Cruise, where several minutes into his workout they found that the clock had stopped counting and that none of the stats were updated. After that, the clock resumed as normal.

This seems like a pretty random occurence. The Touch Cruise is a pretty powerful device and it should have no problems running SportyPal. This could be a GPS-related issue, or an issue with other software running on the phone, so we can’t really think of anything helpful to say without testing the device itself.

However, if anyone reading this has had similar experiences, either with the Touch Cruise or with another device, please write in and tell us about the problem, especially if you’ve had success in solving it.

UPDATE: it is more than likely that this is due to the auto-sleep bug. Refer to that post for updates on what we’re doing to solve it.

Windows Mobile fixes 26.5.2009

May 26, 2009

We’ve uploaded a new CAB for the Windows Mobile version. You should download it, especially if you’ve been having problems uploading your workouts.

You may need to register the device with again. This doesn’t mean that you have to create a new user, just enter your e-mail and your existing password.

Get it here.

GPX export now online

May 26, 2009 users now have the option of exporting their workouts to GPX format. At the moment you can only export your own workouts. The option is still there if you’re viewing another user’s workout, but it will redirect you to the login page if you click it.

Right now it’s right under the calorie display in the Workout Details view, though this might change in the future.

The GPX export option

The GPX export option

Android version officially released

May 26, 2009

The Android version of SportyPal is now officially available on the App Market. This is the preferable way of downloading and installing the application.


HTC P3600 users

May 26, 2009

We received a bug report from a HTC p3600 user who says that, a few seconds into his workout, his display switches off, and when he turns it back on, none of the values on his screen are updated.

The display is supposed to switch off after a few seconds of inactivity in order to save power, but the only thing that’s switched of is the display – everything else is still running, so this should not be happening.

We decided to circumvent the standard Windows Mobile power savings functions on purpose, because when your device goes inactive that way, everything is suspended – including GPS. So, if your power-down interval is set pretty low (less than half a minute) and you are experiencing this sort of problem, you should try disabling the power savings options while using SportyPal (Start -> Settings -> System -> Power -> Advanced -> uncheck the “turn off device if not used for…” options).

Power Settings

We can’t seem to reproduce this bug right now, but we’re interested in hearing from other users that have had the same problem.

The thin red line

May 26, 2009

A user wrote in asking about the difference between the red and the blue line on the workout details map on the website, and we realized that we haven’t explained what the different line colors mean. So, here goes:

  • The blue part of the line just plain shows the path that you crossed during your workout.
  • The red part of the line highlights the best segment of your workout, or the part where your average speed was at its highest. The actual length of the segment depends on the length of the workout.
  • The green part of the line shows a part of the workout where SportyPal was paused.
  • The cyan part of the line should only appear when your mouse pointer is over the workout graph. It highlights the part of the workout that’s represented by the portion of the graph that the mouse is over.

That’s pretty much it. Note that this post pertains only to the website: the SportyPal device application uses a red line (or blue, in some of the newer updates to certain versions) to show the entire workout path.

UPDATE: Some of you have been asking about the map icons as well. Here they are:

This is the point where your workout ended.
This is the starting point of your workout.
This is the point where you reached your maximum speed.
This is the point where you reached your maximum altitude.

GPS data while standing still

May 26, 2009

One of our users wrote in to tell us that he saw some strange readings in SportyPal while standing still on the balcony. The application had recorded that he had crossed over 200 meters, all while standing in one place.

This is not a bug with SportyPal, this is an inherent and unavoidable flaw of most devices’ GPS. GPS works best if you keep moving. If you need to stop during your workout, you should use the pause button to avoid recording bad data.