As much as I may hate it, I’m a pretty tech-dependent person. I’m more or less addicted to Facebook, ditto for Wikipedia, and let’s not start with Youtube, spending some 6-8 sad hours everyday staring at my phone like a zombie. There are moments when I feel like I’m mercilessly destroying my life, but then I find the latest Russian Fail video, and then I forget about it.
Moments spent away from the internet, laptops and phones are far better than orgasms for me now, but they are rare. If I’m going to reduce my existence on this planet to just mindless browsing through shit on my phone, I might as well make some use out of it. It’ll probably make me feel a teensy bit better about myself.
Last few months I’ve been trying out a bunch of different apps on my Note 2, to check if anything can make my riding days a little bit more fun. I think I must’ve gone through some 15 apps, oh the tears of agony my phone wept. After extensive usage, and a lot of fucking around, here are my suggestions for 5 kick ass apps that every biker should try.
1. Ulysse Speedometer
Simply brilliant. This has to be the most well-made, easy to use, informative app that you can get for free. Ulysse Speedometer is a GPS based app that tells you your speed, average speed, top speed, direction of movement, and a bunch of other shit. It’s such a beautiful app, that I won’t mind swapping my entire KTM instrument cluster with just a phone holder.
This video should have told you enough of just how much this app is capable of. I have used it to measure my 0-100 times, top speeds, speeds of Delhi Metro and Rajdhani, and the speed of an aircraft taking off. I’m thoroughly impressed with how cool this thing is, and if it had lean angle and lap timings, I don’t think you’ll ever need anything else ever.
2. Diablo Super Biker
What Ulysse can’t, Diablo can. Diablo Super Biker is an app by Pirelli that makes track days even more fun than what they already are. There’s a pretty simple display that lets you decide if you want to record your track or road performance. I don’t really know what major difference that makes, because the results you get are more or less the same.
In any case, this app is useful more for the track junkie than a tourer, simply because of one feature that no other stinking app seems to have – Lean Angle. Diablo Super Biker tells you how many degrees you were able to push your bike down, and how much more you need to go before you can challenge Marquez to a duel.
One more sexy feature of this app is the lap time. I’ve recently started track riding with Motovation Track Days, and the circuit where we ride is a small go-kart track. Needless to say, nobody is sitting there calculating your lap time. With this app, all you have to do is start tracking, keep the phone with you, and it’ll tell you your best time. Pretty neat stuff.
3. Google My Tracks
This is the perfect app for the explorers out there. I know a few people like Om Vaikul, who ride around unexplored places, taking trails that nobody else does. As fun as that is, things tend to get a little murky when you attempt to get back to civilization. Things tend to get even murkier when you try to explain to somebody where you were all day long.
Fear not! Google is here for the rescue. Think of Google My Tracks as the opposite of Google Maps. Maps tell you where to go, Tracks tells you where you’ve been. You can zoom in/out of the route you took, share it with others, and get interesting stats of your entire trip. Quite a fun app in the right set of hands, but otherwise an interesting piece of tech too.
I use Google Maps, a lot, but there are times when it sucks balls. Recently this lady with an Indian accent has taken over, and I don’t understand shit of what she says. On top of that, Google Maps is a battery banger, not to mention the fact that you need some sort of internet connection to keep things going.
Enter Sygic! A nice map application that needs no internet. You will need to download gigabytes of data before you can start the party, but in the long run it beats the data usage of Google Maps for sure. The best part is just how long the battery lasts while you are using this application.
Do keep in mind that Sygic isn’t as accurate as Google Maps, and sometimes it takes you to roads that don’t exist, or makes you feel like you are on the edge of GTA Vice City map even though you are in the middle of civilization. The navigation inside the app is quite funky, it took me a while to understand how to search for a destination and then get there. Once the route starts, things get better. There are plenty of sound clues that keep telling you if you made a mistake without looking at the screen. The directions sound is crisp and clear. Display is nice and uncluttered.
If you are in the city, I would still suggest Google Maps, because you get traffic info, and new routes get updated often. If you are going on a long ride, go with Sygic. New highways don’t spawn every day, so the data in there would be quite accurate. Just mount it up, start navigation, and it’ll keep telling you where to go for the next 8 hours or so. Check out the video below to see how it works, although don’t trust this video too much.
Really sexy app that not many people are aware of. Glympse is NOT a biker specific app, but it’s brilliantly useful for almost every situation in life. Glympse gives you a glimpse of someone else’s location, and that’s pretty kick ass. The biggest use for this application is for the friends and family of a biker, who are constantly scared about their son lying decapitated on the side of the road.
The way it works is this, you choose who all you want to share your location with using phone numbers. You choose for how long you want them to see you. And you are done! The person on the other end will be able to see you move, it’s quite cool to watch! Not only you get the location, you also get the speed.
Imagine your wife having a heart attack about your plan to do a K2K, all you have to do is take her in your arms, show her the app, give her a few kisses, and let her know she’ll be able to see you move even when you are 2000 kms away. What better way to get permission from the real boss eh?
Here’s a cheeky video that doesn’t tell you much, but it’s fun, which makes it awesome.
That’s all I the apps I have to recommend! If you have some ideas, or have used these apps before, comment.
P.S. ALL of these apps are FREE, and free stuff is the most beautiful thing on the face of this planet.