iOS 8.4 Fixes Issue with Bluetooth GPS Devices

In the latest version of iOS (8.4), Apple fixed an issue that caused many external bluetooth GPS devices not to function properly with most apps on the iPhone and iPad.

This affected most bluetooth GPS devices from all brands, including Bad Elf, Garmin GLO, and Dual XGPS. To read more about this issue, check out the ‘cleared to upgrade‘ blog post from Bad Elf. If you rely on one of these devices, you might want to follow their new program, where they will test all new iOS releases on most devices and post if it is safe to upgrade.

Many of you have emailed us about this problem, and we are glad to say iOS 8.4 should fix it entirely.

To update to iOS 8.4, use the Settings app:

  • Open the Settings app on your device
  • Tap General
  • Tap Software Update
  • Tap Download and install

Picture above, a Bad Elf GPS. People use devices like the Bad Elf or Dual XGPS150, with iPads that don’t have an internal GPS. They are also used in aircraft where the iPhone/iPad GPS doesn’t work well, and for high-precision applications.


Drafting the App Store Preview Video for Gaia GPS

Apple recently started letting developers include 15-30 second “Preview” videos on the App Store.

Check out the latest drafts of our video for Gaia GPS. Email us at and let us know what you think! We’re polishing this a bit more, and also putting together an iPad variant.

You can also view an even earlier version of the video. We simplified this original concept, to fit nicely into the 15-30 second time requirement for App Store Previews.

For further reading, check out this well-done example we referenced from the Pedometter++ app, as well as the Apple documentation for how to make these videos. Our production takes advantage of a capability we built for internal testing and development, the ability to replay GPS tracks in the app.

Use Gaia GPS in Airplane Mode in iOS 8.3+

In the latest versions of iOS (8.3+), Apple will now allow GPS to function in Airplane Mode. This means you can save battery life in Gaia GPS, by turning on Airplane Mode on your iPhone, iPad, and iPod.

Note that Gaia GPS also provides an internal “Offline Mode,” which you may prefer. Offline Mode saves less battery, but lets you make phone calls and use the internet outside of Gaia GPS.

Airplane Mode vs. Offline Mode

Airplane Mode turns off all internet functions, phone calls, and texts. Prior to iOS 8.3, Airplane Mode also disabled the GPS in your iPhone/iPad, which crippled most of Gaia GPS. Now, with the latest iOS updates, you can use Airplane Mode, and Gaia GPS will be able to plot you on the map, and record your trip.

Alternatively, if you do prefer to get texts and phone calls, you can use Offline Mode within Gaia GPS. Offline Mode will narrowly prevent Gaia GPS from using the internet, and your device will otherwise function normally.

Both Modes extend battery life, stop the app from downloading maps and data and allow the use of GPS.

Enabling Airplane Mode

Swipe up from the bottom of your home screen, to open the menu to enable Airplane Mode.

Airplane Mode 2 Skitched

You can also toggle Airplane Mode in the main Settings app.

Airplane Mode Skitched and Cropped

Rescue your EveryTrail Tracks and Photos

You can now import your tracks and photos from EveryTrail using a feature that rckclmbr built. Rescue your trips, and remember your adventures, on

Years ago, was the best site to find trail data and photos of natural places. We used to have a popular feature in Gaia GPS to upload your tracks to EveryTrail too. These days though, it’s tumbleweeds over at EveryTrail – the site hasn’t been updated in years, and users tell us it’s getting slower and failing to work at all some days.

EveryTrail to Gaia GPS Importer

For further historical context, in 2011 EveryTrail was purchased by Trip Advisor, and Trip Advisor integrated EveryTrail user content into the main Trip Advisor product. The site and mobile apps have stagnated since then, and I expect will forever.

So, if you would like to rescue your data, you can now use the EveryTrail to Gaia GPS importer. I wrote a blog post last year about how EveryTrail still has good data, but the cobwebs seem to be getting thick, and now you have options.

Gaia GPS 10.0 – Apple Watch, Folders, and More

Each winter, as the high season dies down, we do our most ambitious work on Gaia GPS. There are less distractions for everyone at the company, less support to tend to, and it’s a time for creativity and building.

Folks, I’ve said it before, and it’s true again – this is our best release, and a huge leap forward. It’s a personal delight to announce Gaia GPS 10.0.

You can view the summary release notes here.

Apple Watch Support

Our last blog post detailed our work for Gaia GPS on the Apple Watch.

If you ordered an Apple Watch, Gaia GPS 10.0 will light it up with topo maps, and let you control recording without pulling out your phone at all.



We’ve talked about it for years, and now we’ve been working on it for many months. Gaia GPS 10.0 adds the ability to group your tracks, photos, other data into folders. This works on iOS,, and will soon work on Android too.

Folders make it easier to organize, share, import, and work with your data.

  • get organized – you can have folders like “Yosemite Maps” or “Winter Hikes” – group your data in whatever way you need, toggle visibility for collections, and share collections with others
  • easily access imports – when you do imports, Gaia automatically groups the data sets into folders
  • keep less data on your phone – delete folders from your devices, and restore them on when you want them again


Saved Data – Timeline, Search, and Thumbnails

In doing the Folders project, we took the opportunity to do everything we wanted to improve the Saved data screen. This includes several useful changes:

  • timeline – view all of your data on one screen, grouped by age. Many of you will find this to be the du jour way to access your trips and maps
  • search – search any of your data by typing or dictating text
  • thumbnails for tracks, waypoints and maps – all data types (not just tracks) display thumbnails in the Saved lists
  • grid/table – view any list of Saved Data as a grid now too, as well as the existing vertical table


Reduced Power Usage When Recording Tracks

Company founder Anna got on a kick about battery usage this winter too, and she did a big project to improve how Gaia GPS burns battery while recording.

We’re excited to see users report on results they actually get out on the field. Improvements will vary depending on which model and the age of the battery, but everyone should get a boost.

Lock Screen Notifications

Get voice announcements and notifications on your Home Screen when recording a trip with Gaia GPS now too. You can enable this via Settings in the app, and it’s likely we’ll start defaulting all the voice functionality to On in an upcoming release.

Feedback Welcome

Beyond that, there are many other improvements throughout the app, from icons and design, to how the GPS activates. We hope Gaia GPS 10.0 serves you well this summer, and please send us your thoughts at

Gaia GPS for Apple Watch – Topo Maps and More

If you ordered an Apple Watch last night, you’ll be happy to know that Gaia GPS will be ready for the launch. We just had our update that includes a watch extension approved by Apple, and we’re waiting on the hardware to ship.

This project was near and dear to Jesse’s heart because he does a lot of backcountry skiing with Gaia GPS. Having the map and stats on your wrist saves a lot of fumbling with your iPhone on ice and snow. And we think it will be similarly awesome out on the trail, for any hike or adventure.

Gaia GPS for Apple Watch does cool stuff:

  1. shows you topo maps
  2. displays trip stats and graphs
  3. lets you control recording, make waypoints, and more

If you want offline topo maps on your Apple Watch, look no further than Gaia GPS.


Trip Stats


Satellite Maps (MapQuest OpenAerial)


Basic Controls


Mark a Waypoint


Distance Notification


Be a Beta Tester at Gaia GPS

No one is better at testing an app than the people that use it, which is why we are continually looking to expand our beta testing teams for both iOS and Android.

Recently, Apple changed the TestFlight beta testing program so that apps could recruit up to 1,000 testers. They also made it easier to add people to our beta testing team by only requiring a user’s Apple ID, rather than a UDID.

A few months ago we also posted about how to be a beta tester for Gaia GPS Android, and are still looking to add new testers under that platform, as well.

If you are interested in beta testing Gaia GPS on your iOS device, please send an email to letting us know, and don’t forget to include your Apple ID email address.

Gaia GPS v9.2: Redesigned Track Recorder – Easier to Use

Today we’re proud to announce Gaia GPS v9.2, featuring a more intuitive track recording interface. Thanks to dedicated user participation on our Idea Forum, we had some good ideas on how to redesign the tool.

With your input in mind, we worked hard to come up with a user-friendly design. The new interface has a clear way to finish a track, and makes it easy to see whether you are recording. Take a look:


Gaia GPS v9.2 includes these additional fixes:

– Fixed intermittent map freezing on iPhone 6 and 6 Plus
– Fixed recording a new track occasionally resuming last track
– Fixed issue with GaiaPro subscription renewals
– Fixed freeze on exporting to email
– Fixed bugs that caused occasional app crashes.

We now support TileJSON files for adding new map sources, too.

Gaia GPS v9.2 is now available on our App Store page. If you enjoy Gaia GPS, please consider leaving us a positive review.

Check out the updates we made to the Knowledge Base, and as always, please feel free to email us at if you have any questions or feedback.

Several Big Improvements to Better Search, Easier to Use, Track Graphs Fixed, Map Layers

Our team recently completed some great changes to the website that we think you’ll really enjoy:

1. See All Your Travels On One Big Map: Now when you log in to your account and select the main map, you can toggle displaying all your personal Tracks and Waypoints in addition to public trips.

gaiagps personal map with layers1a
2. Your Last Used Base Map Now Remains Selected: 
Do you prefer to start with satellite imagery instead of a topo map? Now you don’t need to re-select it every time you log in.

3. Better Map Search: Results will now autocomplete suggestions as you type.

4. Improved Track Stats Speed/Altitude Graph: Distance over time is now displayed, and the graphs look much nicer. Track lines no longer spill past the right edge of the graph.

5. Publish Your Track or Waypoint With One Click: A new “Public” column has been added to the table listing all your Tracks, Waypoints, and Routes. Simply click Yes/No to toggle and make your file Public.

6. Change Map Layers Anywhere You See a Map: No longer will you need to go into the full-screen map just to change layers from topo to satellite. Now every map has a Layers button.

7. GaiaPro Map Layers Now Also On the Website: Users subscribing to our GaiaPro service are familiar with the Map Layers menu in the app which allows you to display several layers at once with adjustable transparency for each. This functionality has now been added to the website. Activate layers by dragging them to the top of the list.

gaiagps personal map with layers 2a

8. Your Custom Map Sources Now Available On the Website: For our users who use custom tile servers in the app, those should now be available on the website too.



Four Gaia Babies Last Year

In 2014, the Gaia GPS team changed quite a bit. More people joined the company last year than were previously on the team! Co-founders Anna and Andrew, and software engineer Jesse, welcomed an additional software engineer, Josh B., and a whole new support staff, Josh S., Dave, and me, Ruthie.

As exciting as it is that our staff and user-base are growing, we’re most excited to share that in addition to the employee increase, Gaia GPS experienced a population increase as well: Four Gaia Babies!

Anna and Andrew welcomed their second child, Calliope, in April. Then, for three months at the end of the year, we had a cascade of new babies. Jesse’s first child, Elkin, joined the world in September, Josh B. became a father for the second time to Elaine in October, and I had Hazel, my first baby, Calliope’s 10th cousin, in November.

In the order they were introduced, here are our Four Gaia Babies:

Gaia Babies

We hope they love the woods as much as we do!