Help / FAQ


When should I reset Routes once?

Whenever you feel that Routes does not behave the way you are used to, go to the preferences and select the last option in the list and restore Routes to factory defaults. There may be a preference that no longer matches after an update. You will notice this, for example if a route is not loaded correctly. If a reset does not resolve the problem, try uninstalling and reinstalling Routes from the Play Store. This should only happen once in very exceptional cases.


What does navigation mean at Routes?

Basically, Routes determines if you are on or near the loaded route. As soon as you leave the route, Routes alerts you and guides you to the nearest waypoint on the track. In addition to that Routes analyses the gpx / kml file you loaded and trys to find turns and relevant changes of direction to give you suitable hints during navigation. Read more about that here: Turning Instructions (Turn By Turn).
Routes does not give you voice instructions from custom added waypoints.


Why does background navigation stop in some cases?

Some cell phone providers (such as Huawei, Samsung, OnePlus, Xiaomi, etc.) are turning off ‘power intensive apps’. This is of course not suitable for navigation, so you can change this behavior in your phone settings. However, this is mobile-specific, so this setting is hidden in different menu items. For our app ‘Routes’ it is very important that ‘run in background is activated’ and battery optimization is switched off’. This must be done again each time the app is installed (especially if the app has been uninstalled and reinstalled). Please also visit, our special hints to Power Management and informations about Samsung Smart Manager.

IMPORTANT: Routes offers a setup at the first start of the app, additionally in its settings. However, it may be that not all manufacturer-specific settings are found during this check. Therefore you have to pay attention to the fact, that your mobile phone allows you to ‘run Routes in background’ and battery optimization is ‘switched off’ for Routes ! -> Watch Setup Video


How does Routes save or share recordings?

If you have navigated with Routes, or have finished recording a route, Routes saves these recorded route informations in gpx format. Routes then offers you in a ‘save’ or ‘share’ dialog the possibility to save this recording individually on your phone or to share it with other apps. The ‘save or share dialog’ is displayed when there is unsaved data and:

– You reach the destination of the route you are navigating
– You load a different GPX/KML file, geocache or a waypoint
– You finish the app by pressing the ‘back button’
– The app restarts 6 hours after a navigation pause

You will find the saved GPX file either in the folder you selected yourself via the ‘save’ dialog, or we will save it again in the app data directory ‘Android\data\ … routenavigation\files’ for safety reasons.
If the ‘share’ dialog does not show the app you expected, your app provider does not offer an interface to receive this data (mimeType=”application/gpx+xml”). In this case, please contact the respective app manufacturer. However, some app manufacturers also offer manual upload options. For example these here: Polar, Strava, Runtastic, etc.


Can I navigate without unlocking the phone (on lock screen)?

Yes, there is an android function called ‘screen pinning’ with which Routes is compatible. You can activate screen pinning on many android phones via your phone setting ‘security > screen pinning’. Via the ‘recents screen’ of your android phone (also referred to as the overview screen, recent task list, or recent apps) you can then attach routes using the ‘pin symbol’. Now Routes can also be used without unlocking the phone in the lock screen until you ‘unpin’ Routes from lock screen. To leave the lock screen you have to ‘long press the back button’ in the navigation bar on many android phones. However, this can also be implemented differently on some android phones. There are many youtube videos about this, search for ‘android screen pinning’.


Can I navigate and record at the same time?

Yes, when you navigate along a GPX/KML route, a recording of the coordinates you actually took will automatically run. Please note that Routes does not save this recording until the navigation is really finished. This mechanism ensures that you can “continue navigating” on the same route even after a longer break. Please also see: How does Routes save or share recordings?


Why do I sometimes hear no alarm sounds or notice signals in Routes?

This may be because the volume of your phone is not set sufficiently loud. In Android, the volume for the ringtone, media and alarms can be set separately. Since you can set both ringtones, as well as alarms and media in Routes as notification, Routes tries to set the volume appropriately when starting a navigation (about 70% of the maximum possible). In the following cases you have to adjust the volume settings yourself:

  • Your phone is muted
  • The volume settings were changed during navigation


Why are there any false alarms if I did not leave the route?

Loaded GPX / KML files are routes or tracks consisting of a series of waypoints. It may therefore be, that the maximum distance between two waypoints is greater than the GPS tolerance, set in Routes settings. In this case, you can increase the GPS tolerance manually, or set to the value ‘Auto‘. ‘Auto‘ calculates the optimal GPS tolerance based on the given waypoints.
Another reason may be that the battery optimization on your phone is not set correctly. See also Android Battery Optmization & Custom Power Management

NOTE: If the waypoints on this route are very far apart from eachother, Routes will not alarm you, until the route is actually left with this ‘Auto’-value.

PDF: Additional information about “how gpx-kml files work in routes.pdf
(Please open in external browser)


Why are there differences in route length and altitude?

Routes uses the given route information (which is essentially the latitude, longitude and altitude) to calculate the length of the route and the number of positive and negative height meter. In this case, Routes does not use statically specified information in the KML or GPX file. Background of the differences are:

  1. Quality and Quantity of measurement methods – The measurement methods of the devices or programs that generated your GPX / KML file are very different. There are essentially the following:
    1. Barometric measurement (exactly)
    2. NASA / SRTM3 data (inaccurate)
    3. GPS measurement (very inaccurate)
  2. Different calculation methods – Calculation methods of the programs that read your GPX / KML file.
    1. In principle, each platform, each program can use its own calculation algorithms, this affects the result.


Why does the behavior of Routes depend on the quality of the loaded GPX / KML routes?

Routes loads GPX / KML routes and tracks coming from foreign sources. If the quality of these files is poor, then it may be that

  • Routes can not read a file
  • Routes can not read route detail information
  • there are confusing navigation hints and false alarms

PDF: Additional information about “how gpx-kml files work in routes.pdf
(Please open in external browser)


Known issues:

  1. Routes may stop on some Huawei devices (known on P20) when photos are taken during a navigatoin or recording. This is a manufacturer-specific problem.
  2. On some mobile phones (known on Samsung Note 9), the alarm does not stop after the route has been left and re-entered. Please use the latest version of Routes and the default ‘Routes Default’ notification tone.