Track Echo INFO



'trip': a journey you record with our app.
'plan': your trip descriptors (TAG, DEP, DEST etc).
'track': a set of GPS points (location, altitude, time) representing your trip.
'observer': person given access to a trip's data via email and server.
'device': your iPhone (or maybe iPad) with TrackEcho installed.
'app': TrackEcho.
'server': secure cloud storage and email relay, specifically for TrackEcho.
'email': obviously an email, but sent from server to observer.
'log': record of your past trips on device.
'device map': Apple hybrid map used in app.
'server map': on server web page, track overlay on Open Street Map.


Record a trip between press of START and STOP.
Store trip data on device, and server.
Describe a trip before starting.
Share specific trips with specific observer(s).
Notify key trip events to observers by email.
Inform observers sufficiently, so they could start search and rescue.
Show observers a server trip map, updated as you go.
Show track in app on device map, as you go.
Allow interaction with device map, for planning and progressing.
Keep log of previous trips, and their tracks.
Be simple, useful, non-intrusive.

Screen navigation

Nav bar at top [back link, title, next link].
Tab bar at bottom, usually [Track, Set, Info, Log, Map].
Buttons (rich yellow, rounded corners, action title).
Often for editing, a 'modal' screen will appear, with no tab bar.
Keypad can show automatically, or tap text box, or tap 'Edit'.
End editing by tap of keypad 'Done', or tap text box, or tap 'OK'.
If Apple Browser or Contacts view shown, small system back link at top.

Typical screen layout conventions

Title at top (center of nav bar).
Nearly every screen is a scrollable tabular (list) format.
Text rows are light yellow, full width.
Rows may have buttons such as 'Edit', 'Delete..', 'Cancel', 'OK'.
Button rows have dark backgrounds, and buttons have rounded corners.
Deletable items can have '-' in a red circle to tap (system standard).
Alert (Note) messages may pop up after certain important user actions.
Alerts usually have 'OK' (or 'Cancel') which you tap to dismiss.
Critical buttons (track recording only) have a red outline.
Critical buttons need special press ('dit-daah' - double tap and hold).
Help text areas cannot be tapped, and have light blue background.
Help text applies to current screen (and sometimes next screen).
Each tab function has a 'home screen' with a single 'go' button.
After visiting all screens of tab function, next is its 'home screen'.
MAP function is special - embedded Apple map has many interactions.
All screens can accomodate portrait or landscape device orientation.

First time use

Launch the app, and register your email with server.
Try it out once (TRACK tab, PREP,..) with default settings.
Learn the special 'dit-daah' press (double tap held) to START.
Take the device on a short walk around the local streets.
Press STOP (with 'dit-daah'), to finish first time trip.
Have a quick look at the LOG and MAP on device.
Check your email inbox (you will be the only observer).
Follow the email link to the server map view of your trip.
Zoom and scroll to fully examine your trip on server map.
Go to SET, to customise your settings and choices.
Take a few more 'play' trips.. experiment, enjoy!
Learn more by browsing the web links at bottom of page.


The WELCOME screen

You see 2 editable text boxes.
A keypad will show for the 1st box.
Now enter your main email in full.
Check it carefully, and tap 'Done' on the keypad.
A 'spinner' will show as it is sent to the server.
The server will have sent you an email.

Validating your email

The server email, contains a unique key.
You need to check your email inbox.
The 'ekey' is 6 random lower case letters, like 'qbmowp'.
Type your ekey into the 2nd box, tap 'Done'.
A 'spinner' will show again, then an alert will pop up.
Tap 'OK' and the full interface will show.
All done, you won't have to register again!


Check you have mobile data on.
Allow a little time for the mail to arrive.
Check your Spam or Promotions email folders, just in case.
Maybe you miss-typed email or ekey.
Note any warning messages.
If needed, tap QUIT, then retry.


First steps

Settings are your own default values for trip descriptors.
Tap SET tab, then CUSTOMISE, to see PURCHASE screen.
Tap BUY if your trip credit has dwindled to near zero.
Then 'Next' at top to advance to PRIMARY screen.
If needed, tap NAME or PHONE to show an edit screen.
Then tap text box, or Edit button, to show keypad.
When edited, tap text, or OK button (or 'Done' in keypad).
Then 'Next' at top to advance to OBSERVERS screen.

Defining observers

Potential observers should be entered in advance.
Tap 'Insert' button.
Apple shows your contacts, grey if no email.
(if desired contact not showing, go to Contacts app).
Tap a chosen contact, it is added immediately.
To remove an observer, tap the red '-' icon.
You cannot remove yourself from the observers list.
Then 'Next' to TAGS screen.

Defining trip TAGs

(Tags are short trip ids, eg VH-TTS or PICNIC).
Defaults are here, but they easy to enter at PREP time too.
Tap 'Insert' button.
Tap text box or 'Edit' (or 'Cancel').
To remove a tag, tap the red '-' icon.
Then 'Next' to LOCATIONS screen.

Defining trip DEP or DEST

You can add some frequent locations here.
The process is similar to previous TAG screen.
Then 'Next' to final settings screen (OPTIONS).

Defining trip OPTIONS

Here are 3 switches which affect app behaviour.
Amateur aviators will usually switch from the defaults.
SAR implies trip preparation needs extra data (eg timing).
SMS implies a single supplementary SMS to observers at start.
You can also choose preferred measurement units.


Normally ignore this screen.
(Data you can quote if you email our support).


Normally ignore this screen.
If you tap PURGE, and confirm, you will delete ALL your location data on the server!!

Track Recording


There are two stages: preparation and recording.
Prep lets you name the trip and its expected timing, and assign observers.
You begin by tapping TRACK tab, then tap PREP.
(if trip credit exhausted, you will then be thrown to PURCHASE screen).
Preparation has 3 screens: PREP, OBSERVERS, READY.
Recording has 2 screens: RECORD, FINAL.
GPS active tracking starts when START pressed in READY screen.
GPS active tracking stops when STOP pressed in RECORD screen.
When recording, the only other visible tab is MAP.
Buttons in READY, RECORD screens have red outlines, and need special press.
Please, please remember to press STOP when your trip finishes.
Between START and STOP, you can lock the screen and pocket the phone.
Other apps can be used while tripping, but do NOT force quit TrackEcho.

PREP screen

This screen is a list of trip descriptors, each with a selected value.
You change any values by tapping a row, to get a select/edit screen.
There are 5 rows (default), or 10 rows if SAR option is on (see SET tab).
The basic rows are TAG, DEP, DEST (needed) and VIA, NOTE (maybe empty).
TAG helps identify this trip (eg vehicle rego, 'WALK', 'PICNIC').
TAG is upper case, 12 letters max, no spaces (hyphen allowed).
DEP, DEST are start/end locations (eg HOME, SHOPS, CBR, YSCB, CANBERRA, ULURU).
VIA is optional intermediate location.
Locations (DEP, DEST, VIA) are upper case 64 letters max, no spaces.
NOTE is optional free text (240 letters maximum).
See below for SAR option related rows.
EET, END, SAR are time intervals, edited using a picker 'carousel' (hh:mm).
EET must be less than END, and END must be less than SAR.
EET: Estimated Elapsed Time after START (probable trip duration).
END: Endurance (fuel range, or maximum worst case duration).
SAR: Search And Rescue (very serious if STOP not pressed before expiry!).
POB: Persons On Board (size of your trip group, edit via +/-).
ELT: Emergency Locator Transmitter ('Y' if you carry an EPIRB, PLB etc).


Your registered email is in the observers list (and can't be removed).
Other emails, that you previously added in the SET function, will be listed.
Tap on an email to select or deselect for this trip.
A red tick is shown for selected emails to be observers.
You must select at least one observer (eg yourself).
Observers get emails when you later press STOP, START, UPDATE, PAUSE, PANIC.
These emails have a link to a server map page (with special wkey).

READY screen

This screen shows, when you correctly finish entering the trip plan.
The GPS will be 'warmed up'.
Press the START button when the trip actually begins, to record.
A 'dit-daah' (double tap and hold) press needed on START.
A standard confirmation alert pops up, tap 'OK'.

RECORD screen

RECORD screen persists for the whole trip.
The screen has 4 buttons (STOP, UPDATE, PAUSE/RESUME, PANIC/RELAX).
Trip time and distance is also shown, updated at intervals.
If a button is greyed out, it temporarily cannot be pressed.
Buttons have the red outline hinting they need the 'dit-daah' press.
No other screen navigation is possible (except via MAP tab).
When pressed, a confirmation alert will pop up (usually tap 'OK').
You really must press STOP when your trip is done!
(you may see local notifications if ETA is significantly exceeded).
UPDATE causes server email to observer (with a note that you enter here).
PAUSE temporarily stops GPS (observers will be emailed of GPS stop).
RESUME then shown on button - press to restart GPS tracking (with email).
PANIC is not a cause for panic, it sends a 'trip alarm!' via server email.
PANIC also causes location update frequency to increase.
RELAX then shown on button - press to return to normal (with email).
Unless you need to press a button, best to keep screen off .

FINAL screen

This appears after you press STOP.
It is a handy list of trip measurments.
Most of these are also included in the trip log.
tap 'OK' to finish (normal tap now, not 'dit-daah').


Viewing a trip LOG

Tap LOG tab, then 'VIEW LOG'.
You see a long list, one line per completed trip.
'OK' to return, 'Delete' to delete 1 or more trips.
Trips are in date order, showing TAG and part of DEST.
Tap an entry to see summary of a trip.

Trip LOG detail

TAG, DEP, DEST define the selected trip.
TO gives an email (one row per trip observer).
WKEY is a 'secret' trip key you shared with observer.
WKEY is blue - tap to view server web map of trip.
Trip map shown in Safari browser, zoom and explore.
Return from browser by tap at top left, or app switcher.
LOG also has trip attributes like duration and distance.
Tap OK to get back to list, then OK again, and/or tap a tab bar icon.



Tap MAP tab, then 'VIEW MAP'.
The device map can be viewed at any time.
If using the map on a trip, best to preview it before start.
If tripping (or after a trip) you can see your track in yellow.
Map can be zoomed, panned (and rotated with 2 finger twist gesture).
You can overlay a previous track on map (as dotted orange track).
The arrow symbol at bottom of map changes the view type.
Tap the arrow to change between 'north up', 'centered', 'track up'.
'Track up' good for navigation (map swivels - top is device heading).
Note the scale legend at top, and compass icon sometimes at top.
You can add and interact with map pins, and your location pin.
Tap the top bar back navigation (or a tab) to exit map view.

Interacting with map pins

Tap location icon (blue pulsing dot) to see a small panel popout.
Tap the 'i' (info) icon on left of small panel to see an alert.
Alert shows elevation, time, distance (if tripping) etc.
To add your own map pin, zoom in to a selected spot, and long press.
A confirmation alert will warn that you are about to add a pin.
Added yellow pin will initially have name of '?'.
Tap this pin, now or later, to see a small panel popout.
Tap '+' icon on right of small panel to see an edit menu.
Tap top text box to add or change the pin name.
You can (unusually) tap middle text box to modify latlon.
('x' is a shortcut way to enter your current GPS location).
You tap bottom text box to 'mark' pin with current time.
Later you can tap the pin, then tap 'i' on small panel.
You will see an information alert, relevant to this pin.
Bearing and distance from your location displayed prominently.
Name, location, altitude, last marked time are also shown.

Adding and removing tracks

Tap the pencil icon on top right of screen.
You see a list similar to the log of trips.
You can permanently delete some tracks if you wish.
(Deleting a trip's track will not delete trip's log entry).
Listed names start with age (hours or days), then TAG, DEST.
Tap a trip name to add its track (orange dotted line).
Only one added track at a time, clear to remove it.

External tracks

You can import from a GPX file link in a web page or email.
Long press on GPX link in device system browser or email app.
Tap download option.
Tap down arrow to view downloads.
Tap file name you downloaded.
Tap share icon (up arrow).
Tap 'TrackEcho' in set of potential sharing apps.
Go to app MAP function and show list of tracks (pencil icon).
See latest map (eg named 'H00 IMPORT-xxxxx'), tap to overlay.