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10.2. Apple Watch

In version 7.2 of ViewRanger we introduced a new Apple Watch app.  It lets you follow specially selected routes.  Here is the full list of features.

The app shows you the list of the route's waypoints. It tells you as you arrive at a waypoint, showing its instructions.  If you go too far off route, you'll be warned.  There is a progress indicator telling you how far you have gone, climbed and how far is left.  There is a very basic map showing progress.

With zoomable maps and supports the full range of routes.

The ViewRanger GPS app works with Apple Watch iOS2 and above.  Please see this external page for help installing the ViewRanger app with the Apple watch.


Version 7.3 Updates

In March 2017 version 7.3 of the ViewRanger app was released, which added these features to the Watch app: 


Following a Route From the Phone

From version 7.3 onwards, you can follow a route on the phone, and see the route, waypoints and notifications on the watch.

All you need do is start following the route on the phone - so select the route on the map, choose Follow from the top bar; or select the route in the phone's list and choose Follow Route.

The watch will show the list of waypoints (those with names or descriptions) and draw the route on the map.  As you reach waypoints, the watch will tap to let you know you have arrived and move forward to show that waypoint.

If you enable the Off Route alarm (on the phone in menu tab, 3 dots top right, Settings, Navigation) you'll also be warned when you are off route.


Following a route from the phone in version 7.3.0 has 2 limitations, which will be fixed in v7.3.1 shortly.

  1. The waypoints only tap when you get quite close to them.  This is being expanded in v7.3.1.
  2. There is no way to silence the off route alarm from the watch. This is being added in v7.3.1.


Selecting a route

You can also add a route to the watch, then follow it from the watch.

The ViewRanger Watch app works with routes that are indicated by a grey watch icon.  There are also 9000 optimised routes, indicated with a gold watch icon but they are mainly in the UK and the USA. 

To find a watch route, use the ViewRanger app on your iPhone and go to the Discovery tab, green bar (sign post icon).  Watch routes have a watch icon, to the right side of their photo.  Download the routes you would like to follow by tapping and using the 'download route' button.

Route discover tab Route add

Once you have a route on your iPhone, send it to the watch using the blue ADD button.  If you have premium maps, to cover the entire route, they will be used but if not the online ViewRanger Landscape map will be downloaded and copied to the watch.

A tick appears in the route watch icon once transferred.

You can have up to 3 routes loaded on the watch at one time and if you send a fourth route, you will be asked which of the 3 existing routes you would like to replace.  The list also shows any routes near your current location, that are on the phone.

You can also add your own routes to the watch using the Profile tab (in green bar), Routes.


Using the Watch App to Follow a Route

Start the Watch app by pressing the digital crown and tapping the ViewRanger icon.

You will see a menu containing Routes, Track recorder, Map.

Tap Routes and you will see a list of the routes you have added to the watch, plus any on the phone near your current location.

Tap on the route you would like to follow.  Start following it by pressing "Start".

Watch Route List Watch Start

If you are too far away from the start of the route, you are give 2 options: Either you can switch to the maps app to get directions, to the start of the route, or you can choose to start from where you are.

Too far 

If there are no routes on the watch, you'll be told to add some from the iPhone.  See the section above for details of this.

Watch no routes

  Watch Direction  Route waypoint list 2 Watch picture

If you swipe left or right, you can see some other screens.

One screen shows the pause and stop buttons, and an indication of progress.

Another screen shows a map.  The waypoints are marked, as is your location.  Zoom with the crown.  Your location is shown with a red cross, and if the phone is recording a track, that is shown with a green line.

And the third gives the statistics of how long you have been hiking, how far and your altitude gain.

 Watch Stats  Watch stats   

When you finish, whether you reach the final point or press stop, you see a short animation.  Scroll down to see some more stats and have the option to start again or follow a new route.

Watch Hooray

Record tracks

Select the Track Recorder option when you open the Watch app, then hit Record Track. All your movements will be tracked and recorded by the app.  

As you swipe through the Watch screens you can view your GPS location on the same zoomable map that’s open on your iPhone. The track will be shown on the watch's map with a green line. And, view live stats including GPS position, altitude, elevation gain, distance travelled and trip time.


How to navigate in map-only mode

Select the Map option when you open the Watch app, in order to view the same map that’s open on your iPhone. This mode will display your position on the map, and you can zoom in and out using the digital crown.


To close the app; press and hold the side button until you see the power off / SOS screen. Leave that on screen. Press and hold the crown until you see the app close and the watch clock screen appear.


If the watch app does not appear on the watch;  have you got the watch paired with the phone by Bluetooth?  Open the Apple Watch app on your iPhone and tap the My Watch tab.  Scroll down, tap the ViewRanger app, then turn off Show App on Apple Watch.  Wait a moment, then turn on Show App on Apple Watch again.

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