I was wondering if there was an iPhone application that would continuously read the GPS location and save it for later analysis. For example, I would like to be able to tell where I was at certain point of time, or how long did it take me to travel from one place to another.

Is there such an app?

  • Is some applications from listed above can record track in background (or with locked screen) using power save mode? It means that software must switch off GPS between the fixes. I need an application for a days-long trips, so it is not necessary to pick a point every minute, 10-15 min interval would be enough for 200-300 km track :)
    – user79000
    Commented May 25, 2014 at 18:12

8 Answers 8


mshamma I know this is an old thread, but I wanted to respond...

I too actually wanted an app to continuously track myself (on iPhone) in the background, each day, and without draining my battery too much... I used Google Latitude for a while which I found great, but they sadly discontinued it... the only downside of that was that I had to give my location data to a big tech company (not the end of the world, but I'd prefer not to)... in the end I took the long route and actually decided to build an app myself to do exactly what I (and I think you) wanted...

  • It continuously tracks iPhone user's location all day each day
  • Lets you search by date (or area) to see your movements
  • Battery drain typically only 2%-4% for entire day
  • All location data stays local on the device (so only accessible by the user)

It's called 'Location Log', and I've made it it free to download (for now at least) https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/location-log/id1543208785

It's my first ever app, so now doing the rounds and trying to respond to any forum requests for such an app

  • This looks pretty neat. You say continuous tracking so I assume that means you don’t have to hit any sort of button like “start” like you would in various fitness apps?
    – MKF
    Commented Feb 20, 2021 at 17:24
  • 1
    Hi MKF - Yes, that's correct. The idea of the app is that, once installed, it automatically runs, and keeps a record of the user's movements/location. You can turn this off of course via a toggle switch in the 'settings'. There's no 'start' button like that, but simply a toggle switch if you do ever want to turn it off.
    – Quinnium
    Commented Feb 21, 2021 at 18:06
  • Awesome, this was exactly what I was looking for! I'm on a month long road trip now, and didn't want to have to start tracking every day. This seems perfect so far! Commented Oct 27, 2021 at 22:57
  • @KristofferR glad it seems to suit so far... if you hit any problems/issues, there's an email address in the 'feedback' section of the app to contact me on if you need. G'luck on the road trip! :-)
    – Quinnium
    Commented Oct 29, 2021 at 8:29
  • Nice app! Works fine, after i set GPS to “allow always” of course. iOS did not provide this option at first, resulting in gaps. If the app can check for this being set by user, it can warn/help users in finding whats wrong. Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 12:00

My personal favourite is Kinect GPS (iTunes Link).

It's described as a swiss army knife for GPS tracking and I tend to agree. I had originally bought it to track backwoods bike rides but quickly found myself using it for all kinds of tracking: walks, runs, even car drives.

They have a modular approach to configuring the application. You can slice and view the data in all kinds of ways thanks to the pluggable interface. Analyze it over time for peaks, overlay it on a map. Very cool stuff.

And important to me: you can export your data in one of three common formats.

  • Great recommendation. I'm going to try the free version even though I'm really happy with runmeter.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 21:22
  • This app (and website) no longer exist. Commented Jun 28, 2023 at 11:48

There are a ton of 'em; Cyclemeter, Strava, MotionX, and many, many, others to name a few.

Most have an export option that'll spew out a gpx file (or one of a different format) that you can then do whatever you want with.

(I personally use Cyclemeter for recording and sharing bike rides -- there are many others that are more customized to other kinds of activity)

  • I like @bbum's choices as some of the best on the store and there are a ton out there. I like MotionX for the map overlays looking like topographical maps. I find cyclemeter /runmeter /walkmeter to get cleaner track data - especially if you choose the specific activity or tune the constants in the app.
    – bmike
    Commented Jul 8, 2011 at 21:28

runkeeper has this functionality. i don't believe that you can access the raw gps data though.


I would recommend Runmeter as the best tool for getting raw tracking data. (it's the same as walkmeter / cyclemeter - so pick the color and icon you prefer)

It comes pre-loaded with at least 16 activity types and you can control all sorts of activities (motorcycle / kayak / cross country ski / downhill ski). You can add or delete these as you wish, so it's very user friendly and customizable.

The developer responds quickly to support questions and it seems designed to give you your data and not force you into using one web service or locking you in to a corporate database. (ahem - yes I'm thinking of you, Nike+)

Here is a chart I've found to be fair and accurate comparison of what the app can do compared to other running GPS apps that I have actually used. (but do note it's made by the company that made Runmeter - hone in on the things you need and ignore the rest - like if you don't really care about twitter integration)

It also is easy to use on it's own with mapping, graphs as well as integrating with a large handful of popular social sharing services if that is your preference. Lastly, it has no subscription and you don't need to make any in-app purchases if you don't want more than one voice (and even that isn't needed to get the data out of the app.)

After each activity, you can configure it to email you a link to a kml file for additional processing as well as transfer the files through iTunes and USB.

Here's one shot of the detail you can have over the GPS tracking if you wish.

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Xtrail will track your location in the background and plot your route on a map, although it is exercise-focused.

Currently on sale for $5, iPhone and iPad: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/xtrail/id382807586?mt=8


ViewRanger will track you as you walk, it can use several types of map including OpenStreetMap and also several premium paid for maps, all of which are better than Apple or Google for walking in that they show more footpaths

Many other do this you want apps that export gpx files


Both Google Maps and the stock Maps application for iOS do this. Google's is a little better but Apple's is built into the OS. The only problem with the Apple solution is that it will only show you places that you "frequent".

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