Follow Mode in Google Maps | webOS Nation

Follow Mode in Google Maps 9

by Adam Marks Wed, 10 Oct 2012 5:10 pm EDT

Google Maps follow modeThe Google Maps homebrew app, as we recently tipped, is a significant enhancement to the mapping experience on webOS as compared to either the original Google Maps app or the current Bing maps. Homebrew developer Jan Herman (72ka) is actively working on app and is constantly adding in new features. We previously reported in the ability to change the views or layers of the maps, and now we bring you details on how to activate the "Follow" mode in the app. Normally, the map location is static to where you have navigated to, but it you tap on the Follow Mode Button icon in the top-right, the map will position itself on your current location and the icon will be highlighted blue. While this itself is nothing new, how the app functions when in "follow mode" is what makes it special.

As long as you do not manually scroll around the map, the app will keep you centered on the screen at all times, as opposed to keeping the map in the same place. You will also get a directional arrow to indicate what direction you are currently travelling in. This works on older devices, too, like the Pre2 that doesn't have a compass by using the GPS location changes (note that this feature is available even when you are not in Follow mode). Your movements can also calculate the current speed you are travelling, with is shown on the top header bar on the app. Unfortunately, it only shows as kph for now, but the developer is planning on supporting miles per hour in the future. Finally, activating Follow mode will override any screen timeout settings that you have set in the "Screen & Lock" settings app so the screen remains on indefinitely. This is definitely a great feature if you are using Google Maps in your car and don’t want constantly turn the power back on. 

Normally, the app will also show the typical map with North facing towards the top of the screen. However, there is a experimental feature that you can activate in the Preference screen of the app that will actually cause the screen to rotate when in follow mode so the current direction that you are travelling always points to the top of the screen instead. As this is experimental, it is potentially unstable and may cause the app to crash. However, it has worked just fine in our experience.

Google Maps is available in the webOS Nation homebrew feed in Preware and is compatible with all webOS devices running webOS 1.4.5 or higher

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This will work just fine with PreGo GPS awith my PrePlus and Touchpad along with my dash mount for the Touchpad. Big Screen GPS!

Definitely a great enhancement from other map apps on webOS! Great work 72ka! Donations should follow each one of us that can help this community continue to grow. That's a habit we have to work on. We don't need half a million apps! we need the best and most used apps out there. For example, amoralico is working his... "self"... off maintaining and improving the MojoWhatsUp (client for the most require chat app on webOS). So lets help them continue. Another app I would suggest, is a good LinkedIn app (both Pre and Touchpad). I should creat a thread (if it's not already) and make a donation when a developers dispose himself to do it. i think in that way we will see more and better apps than the catalog itself. The examples have been placed by developers like 72ka and amoralico.
Best regards,

This is actually one of the best examples of a developer constantly improving his work. And is one of the few apps that actually gets updates. I load preware every day hoping to see an update of something and in an otherwise dry landscape this app and its development feel like a patch of rain. Thanks 72ka for your hard work and great improvements on this app. And also great points ajguns, i totally agree with you, we all have to chip in and help the developers. Especially people like me that have no idea of programming and cannot contribute in any other way. And if you really think about it donations of 1-2 dollars won't even show in your annual budget, but can pile up pretty fast for a developer if we all come together.

So after another functionality added in this app i think i will be donating to the developer, i suggest people using this app do the same.

thanks to the author for this article again. I can only add that the option for metric/imperial units and celsius/fahrenheit is now done in my development version and will be released soon.
Anyway, I really appreciate the webOS nation comunity support, I have never received so much positive feedback as here. Sometimes is very hard to meet the objectives (support for all webOS versions/devices, simple and clean UI, frequently updates, responding in forum)....
But thanks to this app, I gained a lot of new skills, trust me or not, it is my first Javascript app at all :) My previous experience was only C and linux arm kernel programming for Palm Zire 72 linux port (it was the age of Windows Mobile and PalmOS), where I fall in love with mobile devices with linux. Now I´m excited about openwebOS and I´m gaming with idea to port the openwebOS to my Chinese Allwinner A10 CPU tablet.

I wholeheartedly agree with kkalogia above, 72ka's Google Maps app is one of the few apps that gets regular AND useful updates. Plus feedback is always listened to, no matter how small. I'll definitely be donating again.

Ok just donated, 2$, i know it's not a lot, but the idea here is to work as a community. Small contributions from those of us that can afford it can go a long way to showing our appreciation to the people that contribute in the more essential way.

Keep up the good work guys and Jan porting the openwebos to a chinese tablet sounds like a real great idea, i hope you go ahead with it.

Thank you, I really appreciate every (your) support, every donation, because I´m always glad to know, that there is someone who likes the app and decided to make a contribution. It says me, that the app lives and make me sense to continue in development.

I don't know if this is just me, but I was never able to get the Bing Maps *out* of follow mode. It constantly moved and rescaled the map whatever I did. Infuriating. Is there even a way?

Anyway, makes me appreciate this app more and more...

This is a great app! Thank you for helping to keep the WebOS dream alive! I'll definitely make a donation as I appreciate all you do!

Also, I was wondering if there were any plans to add Google Latitude to the app. I used that quite a bit before HP removed Google from our phones. Would love to see it back!

Thanks again!