Route Mate is designed to run on almost all versions of android, from 1.6 (Donut) to 4.2 (Jelly Bean). It requires GPS and a working data connection.
To install Route Mate on an Android phone:
- Ensure that “Unknown sources – Allow installation of non-Market apps” is checked.
For Android version 4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and above, look under Settings > Security > DEVICE ADMINISTRATION, for Android versions before version 4 look under Settings > Applications.You can change this setting back after installation.
- On the phone that you want to install Route Mate on, visit http://routemate.isrg.org.uk/getting-started/ (this page) and click the download button
- Once the download is complete, locate and select the downloaded file.
- Accept the request to install (or update) Route Mate.
Get the current version of Route Mate.
Select this link from your Android device to begin installation (see Installation above).
(Previous versions are available here).
The Route Mate app allows a route learner or their carer to define key locations between a start point and their chosen destination. As the learner approaches each location, an alert sounds and that location’s picture is displayed. The learner is then asked to identify the next location from three pictures presented to them. Optionally, an alarm can be set for each route.
The goal of the Route Mate is to assist in learning a route from a sequence of key locations; it does not provide route guidance. The learner can also send a text containing their current location to a designated number if they get lost or have a problem.
The Route Mate app is supported by an on-line tool (the Console) which allows route creation and editing via a PC browser.
Planning on a Device
When you Plan a route on your phone, you will need to add photos of the key points along your route. You might want to walk the route as you plan, so that you can take photos as you go. Alternatively, you can use photos already in your gallery.
When you create a new route, the app will guide you through creating the Start and End points of your route. You will need to decide what time to leave and estimate your arrival time. You can optionally choose which days you want to use the route on, and an alarm will be set on each of the days that you select.
You may either enter an address for your Start and End locations or choose “Pick on map”. If you type in an address, tap “Search” and the app will try and resolve it to a geographical location. A marker will be placed on the map there.
When a Start location is created or edited, you will be asked to set the time to leave and the days of the week to use the route on. When an End location is added or edited, you will be asked for the time you think you will arrive.
You will also be asked for a contact name, which is the person who will be sent any emergency SMS messages. If the contact is found in the phone’s address book, you will be presented with a map screen.
On the map screen, you can add, edit and delete points. You add a point by tapping a location on the screen, or searching from the menu. Each new point is added to the end of the list. You can re-order points from the menu if required. You can edit or delete a point by tapping a point icon.
Once you have finished creating or editing your route, choose “Done” from the menu.
You also have a number of extra options available from the menu while planning on the map:
- Map mode – swap your view between map and satellite, turn compass mode on/off.
- Find me – centres the map on your current GPS position
- Point order – allows you to change the order that the points are in.
- Search – the app will try and resolve your search to a geographical location and place a marker on the map there, as if you had tapped the screen at that location.
- Help – a brief summary of what you can do when planning a route
- Done – asks if you want to save your changes.
Using a Route
This first time that you Use a route, the app needs to record the journey. This recording is used warn the you if you go off route on subsequent journeys. This first journey is also used to check whether your estimted arrival time is appropriate, and if not, the app will suggest a revised time to leave. An unrecorded route has a question mark decoration.
Once recorded, a route is ready for practicing/training with. If alarm days are set, then the app will alert you when to leave. To start following a route, open it in “Use” mode, and go to the start location. The next location will be displayed in the bottom panel. This panel also indicates whether you are on course and on time or not. As you approach the next point, the phone will sound and vibrate. Tapping the screen will display the picture of the upcoming location. You will then be given a small test – to pick the next location from three pictures from your route. When you have chosen the correct image you will be congratulated, and you can carry on towards your next point. If you stray off course, Route Mate will alert you with a visual indication.
While following your route, the menu can be used to access some additional functions.
- Map mode – swap your view between map and satellite, turn compass mode on/off.
- Search – the app will try and resolve your search to a geographical location and move to map view there. The next GPS fix will return the view to your current location
- Help – this will send a text with your current location to the contact you chose when setting the route up.
- ? – a brief summary of what you can do when using a route
- Done – allows you to end the journey.
When you reach your destination, Route Mate will play a sound and vibrate, and give you a message saying that you have arrived.
Planning with the Console
Unfortunately, connection to the console from the route mate app is currently unavailable. If you want to be informed when this function has been restored, please use the “Keep me informed” page.
The Route Mate Console allows you to create and edit routes while at your PC. You can connect your phone to the PC and manage the route on your phone directly. The console also allows you to develop playful scenarios, making a variety of different icons available to use as map markers. The console can also be used to create, edit and save routes without you phone too. (Simply “Dismiss” the initial dialog box).
When you open the console, it may ask you if you want to share your location. If you agree, then the map will try to position its starting view in your locality.
To connect to the console, open the menu on Route Mate’s first screen and tap “Connect to PC”, then tap “Start Connection”. Once connected, a 5 character code will be displayed (made up of numbers and lower case letters). Now open the Console in a browser and enter the code in the box on screen. This will establish two way communication between your browser and your phone. The Console will now receive a list of the routes currently on your phone and display them on the left.
Each route has the following set of icons allowing you to inspect and manage it.
These icons have the following functions:
- Show this route’s path
- Edit this route
- Duplicate this route
- Save this route on your computer
- Transfer this route to your phone
- Delete this route from your phone
No changes are made to the routes on your phone until you select either the Transfer or Delete buttons from this menu. You will additionally be given a warning that you are about to modify or delete the route on your phone.
The route editing mode allows you to add, remove and reposition points along your route, You can also rename points and change the point’s icon to any of those discussed in Playful use of Route Mate. If any “playful” icons have been added to a route, the Route Mate start screen will offer a third “Challenge” option. These playful icons will be displayed on the map when the route is used via the “Challenge” button.
The left hand display has two other sections, “Create new route” and “Load route from file” which are self explanatory.