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I had a little epiphany a few days ago when I stumbled upon the "WorkOutDoors" app. This runs on the iPhone and has a companion app that runs on the Apple Watch. In this case you have to say that the main app is the watch app. The iPhone app is more used to manage tracks and make settings. To show the advantages of this nice watch app, I have to go a little further ...
For a long time I have been looking for a suitable map app for hikes that shows me where I am on the Apple Watch and that can perhaps even display GPS tracks on this map. Theoretically one would think that one could use Apple's map app for this purpose, but this mainly shows roads and bike paths as well as public transport connections. For hikers, the small paths that run through meadows and forests are simply missing.
So far I have always been very satisfied with the Komoot app for the iPhone. It offers everything you could wish for on the iPhone and, if necessary, even says the places where you have to turn as a "hiking navigation app", but unfortunately the Komoot watch app is total nonsense.
Here you only see a kinked arrow and a rough estimate of how many meters you have to turn in a certain direction. However, there is no map view where you can see how the route is and whether you have already reached the right junction. However, since the display of the distance to the turn is very imprecise (sometimes several hundred meters away) and the display of the arrows sometimes has nothing to do with the real way (arrow goes to the right, but you have to go straight on), I quickly got it stopped using the Komoot Watch app.
Now that I've installed WorkOutDoors, hiking has become much more comfortable. The app allows various things that are extremely helpful when you hang around in nature. To give you a little insight into the advantages I personally get from this app, I have put together a few points here.
A feature that I use again and again is the pure map view without having to start any activities. The WorkOutDoors app shows a colored map on which not only roads but also hiking trails and even small paths in the forest. The map material has recently come from Mapbox, so that you have a reliable map base in vector format. With the pure map display, you can quickly get an orientation and, if necessary, discover new paths in the area.
Many hiking portals now offer hikes as GPS tracks. This can usually be downloaded as a gpx file and used in the GPS device or in the GPS app of your choice. If you have installed the WorkOutDoors app on your iPhone, you can directly say when downloading the files that they should be sent to WorkOutDoors. The iPhone app then collects these and the gpx data can then be transferred to the Apple Watch via the app. So you have a marked route on a map on the watch and can quickly look for the way in between without having to dig the iPhone out of your pocket.
If you are only jogging with your Apple Watch, you can also use WorksOutDoors. It offers various training courses from jogging to sailing to wheelchair use. I mainly use it for hiking, but mostly with the iPhone in my backpack - but: It only works with the watch. The LTE-Watch can of course download the map material while on the move, as long as the mobile phone reception allows it. Other watch models benefit from the next feature ...
In my opinion, a big plus is the possibility of using maps offline. To do this, mark the relevant map section in the app on the iPhone (see screenshots below) and this is then sent from the iPhone app to the Apple Watch. If you don't have an LTE Apple Watch, you can still use the map material on the go if the iPhone is at home. I saved the immediate surroundings on the watch, which took about a minute. I have not yet tried out how many square kilometers you can fit on your watch, but I am sure that I have already achieved a good 100 square kilometers.
I would like to leave it with these features for now. You can do a lot more with the app and set various things. But you can do everything on the developer's website read up. The compass function is certainly helpful for hiking, as it shows you the direct route to the starting point with information on the distance. So if you get lost in the neighboring forest, you will find your way back and be home early for coffee and cake. ;-)
You can find the WorkOutDoors iPhone app on iTunes here:
[appbox app store id1241909999]
You then install the watch app as usual via the "watch" app on the iPhone. If "WorkOutDoors" does not appear there immediately, restarting the watch and the iPhone is helpful. Then the app was on my list and I was able to install it on the watch.
I hope you enjoy the app as much as I do when you're outside. If you have any hints, tips or questions, please leave a comment here.
Jens has been running the blog since 2012. He appears as Sir Apfelot for his readers and helps them with problems of a technical nature. In his free time he drives electric unicycles, takes photos (preferably with his iPhone, of course), climbs around in the Hessian mountains or hikes with the family. His articles deal with Apple products, news from the world of drones or solutions for current bugs.