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Free iOS app guides you through the three UK stages of this year’s Tour de France AND all the previous UK Tour stages too

If you fancy riding the British stages of this year’s Tour de France before the pros do, Ordnance Survey has just launched a free iOS cycling app to help you, as long as you have an iPhone. There is no Android version.

With three months to go before Le Grand Départ in Yorkshire, the OS Ride app features the routes of the first three stages of the Tour de France – Leeds to Harrogate, York to Sheffield, and Cambridge to London – using Ordnance Survey’s detailed outdoor mapping.

As well as the routes of the 5-7 July stages, OS Ride contains route maps for UK stages of the Tour from 1974, 1994 and 2007. Each stage has been split into smaller segments suitable for all levels of road cyclists. Those of you with longer memories will remember that the 1974 stage was basically on a dual carriageway - sensibly the app takes you on quiet roads nearby instead.

The app also includes five other routes selected by Chris Boardman: Aviemore, Lyme Regis, Llandegla, the Peak District and the Lake District.

OS Ride comes bundled with a selection of mapping scales and height data to help you plan and ride the routes. The app lets you to track your progress, speed, distance and time as you go, and also to share your rides via social media.

“OS Ride allows keen cyclists to record, track and share their stage achievements for both the 2014 stages and historic stages from previous Tours,” said Chris Boardman.

“I especially like the option to ride smaller segments of the stages, making it accessible for a wide range of abilities and a great tool to support training programmes."

The free iOS app is available to download from the App Store.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

25 comments

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kie7077 [879 posts] 2 years ago
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Mobile OS market share:

Android 78.9%
iOS 15.5%
Microsoft 3.6%

Source

Ordnance Survey just p*ssed off four fifths of cyclists.

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dave atkinson [6246 posts] 2 years ago
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It's not quite that cut and dried, the demographic for road cycling and, specifically, wanting an app for tour stages, is not the same as the overall split for smartphones. but most people would expect an app developer to release an android version these days

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Brown dog [40 posts] 2 years ago
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Have to agree with the above comments ...... Developing apps is not as straight forward as developing a bit of code and pushing it out to a phone

The benefits in coding iOS is that the platform is very stable and fairly easy to produce quality apps quickly however this is not always the case for the android platform depending on what phone is used

OS had done a fantastic job with this app, detail on the maps is fantastic

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VeNT [53 posts] 2 years ago
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And yet only for 15% of the market.
IOS be damned. Its sheer lazyness.

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Bokonon [51 posts] 2 years ago
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The iOS platform has a consistent GPS the developer knows they can rely on, it has a tightly controlled and known set of parameters for processing power, storage and RAM making development of something which requires all these pits of hardware much easier for them - rather than the shot in the dark with Android.

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forzagaribaldi [11 posts] 2 years ago
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I agree there should be an Android app too and there probably will be but as others have said, iOS development is simpler still and hence tends to be done first.

The figures the first commenter posted are also global estimates which aren't reflected in UK market share figures. All these figures are always a bit up in the air but here's a recent report from a decent source: http://m.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2337089/iphones-uk-market-share-c...

Whatever the actual figures are, anyone who simply takes notice for a day of the phones they see in use can tell that ios commands way way more than 15% of the market.

Anyway, good to see OS putting its mapping to good use. They have improved a great deal in recent years in making this stuff available.

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Leviathan [2127 posts] 2 years ago
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Is Chris trying to go for the Gary Barlow beardy look, cause he looks more like Dave Gorman.

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Yennings [237 posts] 2 years ago
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Android omission does seem a bit silly. That said, I would hazard a guess that iPhones dominate amongst the moneyed MAMIL audience who would be particularly keen to retrace the Tour route. In fact I am even typing this message on an iPhone. Oh, God...

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timrichardson82 [13 posts] 2 years ago
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Just downloaded to my iphone. Nice app but can't help but think my battery will run out before I get even halfway round one of these stages!! Nice to look at though.

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Benslow [5 posts] 2 years ago
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"Whatever the actual figures are, anyone who simply takes notice for a day of the phones they see in use can tell that ios commands way way more than 15% of the market. "

Can't argue with scientific proof like that can we ...

 39

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md6 [181 posts] 2 years ago
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Benslow wrote:

"Whatever the actual figures are, anyone who simply takes notice for a day of the phones they see in use can tell that ios commands way way more than 15% of the market. "

Can't argue with scientific proof like that can we ...

 39

Why would it need to be scientific proof, this isn't a physics website. its a cycling website. I don't mean this to be a personal affront. but people have opinions, and its very dull for everytime someone states an opinion to be told to prove it or find a peer reviewed statistical study to confirm it.

I would say that i see a whole lot more iPhones in use on a day to day basis than any other phone. i would estimate it around 40%, now of course that leaves 60% non-iOs, in my wholely non-scentific observational study

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Bokonon [51 posts] 2 years ago
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The person above linked to a study of sorts - why are people getting arsey about finding their own:

iOS - 32%
Android - 54%
Windows - 10%
Blackberry - 3%

(rounded down to 0 decimal places - hence missing 1 %)

So it's only 2/3rds of total UK users that OS are ignoring at best.

In addition, as has been noted, cyclists are not identical to the wider market make up, they will have a different break down - which I don't have access to.

I think the main point to note is that the people saying "make it for Android (or Nokia 3210 or whatever) are basically saying  20 but what about me.

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The _Kaner [837 posts] 2 years ago
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ah...stats....lies and damned lies....statistics can be made to show whatever you want...especially inferential stats...
at least 60% of all lies are made up, 19% are slightly inaccurate and the remaining 42% are incorrect!
However many iOS devices vs Android devices exist out there...there will eventually be an Android app to follow.....will it be better, more stable...who knows...
aslong as David Bellamy...I mean Chris Boardman is happy, so am I...  41

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KiwiMike [1223 posts] 2 years ago
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Noting you have to cache the detailed 1:25k map tiles *before* the ride, or you'll be out of luck in no coverage / flat battery pretty fast.

The app really should prompt you to pre-cache the maps. A lot of people will get caught out by this.

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Veloacciaio [18 posts] 2 years ago
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It looks good, Might help find some other the quieter spots in the dales to watch. Particularly if you are getting to the course by MTB

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fatbastard [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Anything "free" from OS is a rarity. We (the taxpayers of Britain) have already paid for this data, but still they refuse to release Landranger and Explorer map data for free. Should really call it a Map Tax.
Anyway it's Friday so I'll stop moaning.  102

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fatbastard [24 posts] 2 years ago
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Just downloaded it onto my iPad. Typical bloody OS,...Pop Ups asking if you want to buy the Map.

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thepocpac [12 posts] 2 years ago
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Great all you need now is a bombproof smartphone mount for your handlebars. You can get the great value £9.99 Austrian Finn here. http://bit.ly/1eM7qLF

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jollygoodvelo [1466 posts] 2 years ago
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I've downloaded it but it won't load on my 4S for some reason.

Hmph.

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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thepocpac wrote:

Great all you need now is a bombproof smartphone mount for your handlebars. You can get the great value £9.99 Austrian Finn here. http://bit.ly/1eM7qLF

I use one of those iphone holders designed for wearing on the arm, and vecroed round the stem instead. I found a "Buy it Now" on Ebay at just 99p inc p&p.

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KiwiMike [1223 posts] 2 years ago
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fatbastard wrote:

Anything "free" from OS is a rarity. We (the taxpayers of Britain) have already paid for this data, but still they refuse to release Landranger and Explorer map data for free. Should really call it a Map Tax.
Anyway it's Friday so I'll stop moaning.  102

fatbastard wrote:

Just downloaded it onto my iPad. Typical bloody OS,...Pop Ups asking if you want to buy the Map.

NOTE: the 'buy map' is to buy the ***physical map*** which I very much doubt anyone will do. The app lets you cache the online map, so effectively you are getting that 25k-scale OS map for free.

Apps like Viewranger do require you to pay for OS maps, so in this case you the taxpayer are getting something for nowt.

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DAG on a bike [81 posts] 2 years ago
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iPhone only...Oh well. It'll not be long before someone comes out with an OSM map for Android and Windows Phone (and BlackBerry?).

The world does not revolve around iPhones/iPads.

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hurleyboy [20 posts] 2 years ago
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What about the free data they supply through OpenData (http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/innovate/innovate-with-open-data.html)? Or, if you want Landranger for free for your website, you can use their OS OpenSpace service (http://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/innovate/innovate-with-open-space.html).

From what I've found out about them, they are a Government Agency that does not receive Government funding. They make their money by selling their data and their costs have to come out of this (correct me if I am wrong). The Government does buys data from them, but I can not find any information that states that tax payers money funds OS or their products.

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Richard GR [3 posts] 2 years ago
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The Android apps platform is a flexible open source application development stage that offers a means for commerce to launch useful and new mobile applications. mobile apps development pakistan

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glynr36 [637 posts] 2 years ago
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DAG on a bike wrote:

iPhone only...Oh well. It'll not be long before someone comes out with an OSM map for Android and Windows Phone (and BlackBerry?).

The world does not revolve around iPhones/iPads.

But developing an app for iOS is easier.
You're dealing with a consistent predefined very narrow band of hardware.
Android has a huge range of hardware, OS's with a manufacturer's tweak to it, range of GPS sensors, screens, different resolutions, range of processing power in a phone and so on.

Android works for the home app maker, who wants to make something for their model of phone, and maybe share it on the app market.
iOS works for the bigger widespread use of apps, it's easier to deploy and know it'll work once tested on a small number of handsets.
Last time I had an android phone, the apps were so unreliable it was a joke.