Malverns Walks 

How to use the app

Malverns Walks app for Android phones & tablets plus all iPhones and iPads, hosts a range of walks, originally centred around Great Malvern town and the Malvern Hills, but now extending throughout Herefordshire, Worcestershire and into Shropshire.

You select your walk(s) from a list or map of their locations. The map for the walk and all associated information is downloaded to your device. The walk can then be used without the need for any network connection.

As you walk GPS will show your location on the walks map and update information to match your progress along the walk.

Each walk has a number of ‘points of interest‘ shown as numbered dark blue rectangles. Touch these and you jump to the relevant information. This information is also activated as you walk into the zone of one of the these locations, along with an optional audio alert and the device vibrating.

Point of interest on map
Information for point of interest

The 3 orange dots (above right) indicate there are 3 screens of information relating to this particular point of interest.
The feet buttons  at the bottom of the screen allow you to move through these screens.

List of walks screen

Menu control

The top left menu button will open the screen shown opposite. This provides another way to select any of the ‘points of interest’ along the walk.

 

Select another walk

This screen also provides access back to the list or map of walks so you may jump into one of the other walks.

 

Options

Opens the screen where you can select one of a number of options and see the latitude and longitude of your current location, together with the current Ordnance Survey grid reference (if in the UK) and your altitude in metres above sea level.

 

Close

Closes this screen and returns you back to where you were.

 

 

You can switch back and forth between the current information screen and the map screen with the highlighted control.

 

Navigation forwards and back between screens is via the feet buttons. You may also navigate the screens by swiping right or left over this region. This screen also displays your current location as an Ordnance Survey grid reference (outside the UK the display will read ‘Outside OS Grid’).  Additional hints about the next point along the walk may also be displayed here.

Forward and back controls
Earlier version navigation

 

In versions of the app before 2.6.0 (October 2022) navigation arrows would be displayed over the photos when a ‘point of interest’  had multiple entries (as shown by the orange dots).

The feet navigation buttons then jumped between the ‘points of interest’ only, with any intermediate screens accessed via the arrows on the photos.

From version 2.6.0 this has been simplified to all navigation via the feet buttons.

This change has been made as the arrows could obscure and confuse the navigation displayed in the photo. Another problem occured when they were accidently triggered by a user swiping an image in the zoomed state.

 

Options which can be accessed from the screen which opens when you touch the top left corner menu button

Options - GPS triggers

 

GPS tiggers information – on by default

With GPS triggers on the app will display the ‘point of interest’ which matches with your current location. If you then manually move to another ‘point of interest’ the app will hold that content for a time, then roll back to the content based on your location. If that behaviour is not to your taste, then switch off GPS triggers.

GPS triggers will be disabled if the app has not been granted the use of your Location.

 

Audio alerts

 

Audio alerts – on by default

This produces a sound as you walk into a zone close to a ‘point of interest’.  Make sure you have the volume set suitably on your device to hear the alert.  Your device will also produce a vibration when the trigger occurs.

You also have a choice for the sound of the audio alert. The default option ‘voice’ states ‘place of interest’. Try them out by touching each option.

 

Note that audio alerts can only occur if GPS triggers is on.

 

Record route on map

 

Record my route on maps – off by default

If on a series of white dots will be drawn as an overlay on the current map as you walk.

This can be very helpful when trying to follow a route in places where the intended path is not very clear, for example over a ploughed field. The white dots will show when your actual path is deviating from the intended route. The feature is also very useful when testing the accuracy of the map for a new walk in development.

Beware that when you switch to another walk, or switch off your device, the record of your route will be wiped. If you wish to keep a record of it, take a screenshot.

Battery saving by changing GPS rate

Increase battery saving – Walking by default

GPS is one of the larger drains on your device’s battery. The drain can be reduced by lowering the rate at which the GPS updates your information. It follows this could be lowered if you are walking slowly or  taking a break.

Running/cycling updates once a second.

Walking updates once every 5 seconds.

Slower updates once every 10 seconds.

 

Report a path problem

Report a path problem

Note this option will only show when you are located within the region of one of the walks, plus your device has an email account active. (If you send and receive emails on your device you have an email account setup).

Select the most relevant issue you have encountered and your email app will open, where you can send the message. Optionally, you could add more information if you wish and maybe send a photo.

The email will contain the walk you are on, the problem you have selected, the location and date. The email is forwarded to the relevant person dealing with maintenance of the path.  No information is stored in any database and apart from your email address no other personal information is sent.

If you have no network connection at the time you send the report your device will send it as soon as a network connection is available.

 

Reporting a path problem

Giving Malverns Walks permission to use your Location

To enable the app to show your location on the walk maps, along with updating content to match your location, you need to have granted permission for the app to use Location. The request for Location permission occurs after you download the app, normally when you first open one of the maps.

The request on an Android device normally looks something like the image below.

 

Request for Location Permission

 

If you select While using the app
then you have granted Malverns Walks permission to use Location.
This will remain in place for every time you use the app.

 

If you select Only this time
Then you will need to grant the permission again next time you open the app.

 

Select Deny
the app will work but you will have no location information available in the app.

 

If you wish to change your permission setting later, go to the Settings on your device. In Settings select Apps. Scroll down to MalvernsWalks and select it. Then select Permissions and finally Location.

Granting Location permission on an iPhone or iPad

Location permission on an iPhone

 

Select Allow Once
and you will need to grant permission each time you open the app.

 

Select Allow While Using the App
grants Malverns Walks to use Location all the time.

 

Keep Precise On to give accurate location, switching this off will not give the accuracy the app needs to show your position on your walk.

 

Select Don’t Allow
and the app will work but you will have no location driven information working.

 

If you wish to change your permission setting later, open Settings on your device. Select Privacy. In Privacy select Location Services (note Location Services can be switched off here for all apps). In Location Services scroll down to find MalvernsWalks, where you can select Never, Ask Next Time Or When I Share, or While Using the App. Plus switch on and off Precise location.

Location and iPads – beware!

If are using an iPad for the walks you need to aware that not all iPad models have a GPS receiver (the component that gives the precise location). The iPads that do come with full GPS support WiFi and celluar network connection. The WiFi only models can be fitted with an external GPS reciever to get around this issue. If you work through the Help screen in the app Options, you will be informed whether your device has a GPS receiver or not.