New GPS Power Save Features on new release for Apple iOS devices

Posted on 01/10/2012

In our latest Apple release (v3.3.0), we’ve introduced some great new power save settings that will really help you to conserve battery power, while still being able to get the most from our app when you are using features like track recording or sharing your location with BuddyBeacon.

Here’s what we’ve done

Battery protection in idle mode (Auto Disconnect)

In our last release (3.2.0) we added a new GPS setting that meant that unless the GPS was being actively used by ViewRanger then the GPS would “auto disconnect” to conserve battery after 1 minute. In the new release, we’ve refined this to allow you to control the time delay, but also to ensure the GPS automatically re-engages when ViewRanger is active on your screen.

Auto Disconnect means that ViewRanger

  • will show your GPS fixed location on the map whilst in the foreground
  • will not run your battery down, when in background

Battery Conservation in active mode (Power Save)

As you know, our app uses your device’s GPS to locate you on the map, but we also use it when you are: 

  1. recording a track
  2. sharing you location with BuddyBeacon.
  3. using active navigation to follow a route or to be guided to a POI

However, whilst track recording & location sharing the app does require your real-time location at certain points, it is not used continuously. So we have added a method to cycle the GPS usage (and hence battery use) over time intervals to reduce overall power consumption, but still deliver these two services. 

How it works

Default mode - as a default for V3.3.0 release, the GPS will work continuously whilst the app is open and on screen. Then when ViewRanger is in background or your screen is off, the GPS will “auto-disconnect” after 1minute. When you return to ViewRanger on screen, the GPS will automatically re-connect and get a location fix, before again timing out after 1 minute, when not in use. The exception to this rule being, if you are using one of the three location dependent features as described earlier. If you are using a location dependent service, then as before, the GPS will work continuously – no need to make any changes. If 1 minute is too short for you, you can now change to time-out period for auto disconnect using the GPS setting menu.

Activating “Power Save” with Track recording or Buddybeacon

If you are using track recording or sharing your location, the new power save mode will reduce GPS battery consumption. To turn on “power save” on press and hold the satellite fix icon in the top bar. (see image below).


This will give you a shortcut to the new GPS mode optional settings. (see screen grab).


By tapping on power save, you'll switch from “Continuous” (default) to “Power save” mode, and the GPS will change to low power mode on a 1 minute cycle before getting a high power accurate fix. 

When you’ve activated “Power save” – and go back to map screen, you’ll see a “battery” indicator in the top bar.


Our tests suggest that this will at least double the battery life whilst still using these services, but will reduce the detail of the track recorded. Finally, if you are using Active navigation this will override “Power save” as a continuous high power fix is needed for this service. 

Read more about the advanced power settings

To update to the latest version of ViewRanger please click here or visit the App Store on your iPhone.

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