My Tracks (Android) review: Google makes a solid multipurpose GPS tracker

With the newest update to My Tracks, Google has given users the capability to pause and resume recording sessions. While this may seem like a minor addition, make no mistake, it's a big deal. Previously, times would get artificially inflated by unplanned breaks in travel. This, of course, would mean artificially low speed averages. For the more meticulous users, this was infuriating. Now, with the added capability to pause and resume at will, My Tracks has become a much more accurate timekeeper.

Once you're done recording, just hit the stop button at the bottom of the screen, and input a name for your trip, an activity type, and a short description. In addition to the information you input, each track will be marked with a time and date, and all of your records will be saved under My Tracks, so you can access them and share them at any time.

Once you're done, you can tap any of your saved Tracks to see your path on a map or read all of your statistics. Also, there's a chart you can pull up, which displays the elevation changes throughout your recorded trip. One of my favorite features is the satellite playback, which "flies" you along your path on a Google Earth satellite image. The share feature is also useful, as it can send friends all the statistics from your trip, plus a link to the Google Maps page with your route plotted out.

My Tracks can summon Google Earth's 3D flyover powers to playback your trip. Screenshot by Jaymar Cabebe/CNET

While My Tracks isn't exactly one of Google's more popular apps, I do think it's poised for some growth. It's incredibly useful, and since it's open source, I can imagine countless third-party developers incorporating its route-recording technology into their projects. If you like to meticulously track your runs, bike rides, drives, or other adventures, then definitely give it a shot. It may not have all of the athlete-specific features of some other apps, but it definitely works well as a multipurpose GPS tracker.

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    My Tracks (Android)

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    • Category Navigation and maps
    • Compatibility Android