The bbTracker is an easy to use application for recording positions on your iOS device (all iPhones and iPads). Recording is started by simply pressing the record button, and the recorded positions will be stored in a track. Multiple tracks can be recorded and shown on the same map, and various functionality may be performed on them including labeling, hiding, deleting and displaying details like speed/altitude curves and statistics.

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Note: bbTracker uses the internal GPS to get positions, and stores the data on the device. The app will fail to run if it is unable to access the location service or fails to store the locations (e.g. due to lack of space). Also without internet access it will not be able to download maps. (It is possible to record tracks without maps, but they will not be shown until maps can be loaded.)

Note 2: bbTracker uses notifications to alert the user when it is running in the background. It is therefore highly recommended to enable notifications for bbTracker as running it unintentionally will drain the battery. (Notifications are not used for anything else like advertisements or other unnecessary information.)

The app has a multitude of usages, for example

Maps and satellite images provided by Apple map services.


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The app will use the network position if GPS is not available, but this position will be inaccurate.


At startup the app will connect to the internet, download the map for the current location and zoom in to it. All previously recorded tracks will be loaded and displayed on the map. It is possible to set a "hide" flag on individual tracks to avoid them being displayed.

Main window

The main window shows a map containing all previously recorded tracks , the current user position and the current track as it is being recorded .

Standard map functionality for zooming and panning is available by dragging, pinching etc. Focus map on current user location by pressing the icon in the top-right of the window.

The current location will at any time be marked. By default the bbTracker logo is used, but this can be changed in the app settings (see below).

Recording a track

To start recording a track, press the recording button in the top-left corner . When the recording starts, the button will change to .

To stop the recording and end the track, press again. Note that tracks with less than 2 points will not be stored.

As soon as the recording starts, a new track icon will appear at current location, and a track will start building up. Positions are recorded as often as specified by the "Position Interval" setting (see below). The track icon / will always be placed at the first position on the track.

Continue recording after app is closed
If positions are being recorded ( is on), the recording will continue to run even if the app is closed (for example if Home button pressed). This allows the user to use the iOS device for other tasks even if bbTracker is working.

Note that the operating system on the iPhone/iPad may decide to (temporarily or permanently) stop the background recording task if the device is under heavy load, for example while running games. It is therefore recommended not to use the device for very heavy tasks while recording is running.

Notifications when app is running in the background
A notification will be put into the notification list when bbTracker enters the background, and the bbTracker icon will display a badge number indicating the application is running in the background.

bbTracker will also publish a new notification approximately every 5 minutes displaying the progress of recording (showing duration and number of positions in current track)

Stopping the recording will remove the notification and allow the app to terminate if it is closed.

Note that the track recording will continue until it is canceled by the user! If left running it may fill the storage and drain the battery.

It is therefore highly recommended to enable notifications for bbTracker to make it possible to detect if the app is running unintentionally in the background and therefore avoid unnecessary battery drain!

Tapping the track icon in the main view will bring up a popup view showing the track name and date, and buttons to show more details and delete the track.

Display track details and statistics

There are two ways to display track details and statistics:

Switch between metric and US units in the settings view to display values in meters/km/h or ft/mph.

The details view shows the following information and statistics about the specified track:

Just tap anywhere on the details view to close it.

Change name of track

It may be useful to give a track a name. By default the track will be labeled with just the time and date of creation with <unnamed> listed as name.

Changing a track name can be done in several ways:

Performing any of the tasks above will bring up a dialog where a new name can be specified.

App settings

The app settings window is opened by tapping "Settings" in the main window.

The following settings can be adjusted:

Tap on the Done button to go back to the map.

Track list window

Tap "Tracks" in the main bbTracker window will bring up the Track list window. This window displays a scrollable list of all tracks currently stored in bbTracker. The window provides the following functionality:

Each row shows one track, including its name, time of recording, color of track and number of positions on the track. The row is grayed and "Hidden" is shown across the row if the track is hidden (and "Show hidden tracks" is selected). An info button (i) is shown at the end of the row allowing display of more details on the track.

Quick zoom to specific track
Keep your finger pressed ons a track row for a minimum of 2 seconds, and the app will close the track list and zoom to the selected track on the map. Note: This will also set the follow user setting to off.

Tap on the row (outside the track name) to select and perform tasks on selected tracks.

The two buttons at top left allows selection and deselection of all tracks in the list.

Tap on the track name to open a dialog and type in a new name. <unnamed> will be shown if the track has not yet been given a name.

At the bottom of the window is a toolbar with functionality to perform on the tracks in the list.

Tap on the Close butto at the top of the window to go back to the map.

Battery consumption

The app implements several tricks to reduce battery consumption and memory/disk usage. On iOS 9.0+ the system navigation hardware/software must be continuously running also when the app is in the background. This leads to higher than normal battery consumption when bbTracker is active, but recording can continue in the background for several hours without draining the battery on a normal device.

It is however recommended to connect the device to a charger if used with high storage rate (short time between positions) for example when recording in a car and/or the app in the foreground. Keeping the app in the foreground with map displayed consumes a lot of battery.

Altitude and speed accuracy

GPS height accuracy is normally pretty poor, so the numbers for altitude and total ascent/descent will normally be inaccurate. bbTracker applies a filter to the altitude measurements to remove noise and make the graph smoother, but the values may still be a bit off.

Speed calculation is based on location positions and the distance between them. Due to the way iOS delays delivery of positions when the device is stationary until the device "has moved significantly" the first positions after a stop may appear to be a long leap. This causes a spike in speed after a stop which is very visible for example when recording positions in a car driving through a city doing lots of starts/stops at road crossings etc. bbTracker runs an adaptive filter to reduce the effect, but it is still there to some degree.

Fault finding and error recovery

Recording tracks will write data to the device storage, which may eventually fill it up. The amount of storage varies a lot from device to device, but it may become necessary to delete some tracks if it runs full.

Slow, unresponsive or crashing app

If the app becomes slow or start crashing due to lack of resources, you can try the following:

As a preventive measure, if you know your device is not very fast or has little storage space available, you can try the following:


We are always trying to improve our products. For feedback on bbTracker (bug reports, requests for improvements and new functionality, complaints and praise) please send an email to