As promised to some of our members I've reached out to Sygic to try and see if we can work out a fix for recent connectivity issues with Sygic and MRA mobile.
We’re happy to announce a major feature release as we work towards Roadmap milestone 1.2. For those unfamiliar with that term: the Roadmap outlines all of our development efforts relating to MRA Routeplanner, encompassing 10 clearly defined milestones.
Today we celebrate the full release of our new Roundtour Generator and a reworked routelab.
This is a historic moment, because the new Roundtour Generator was designed from the ground up with input from our community. Not only did over sixty-eight thousand people help us in deciding that the Roundtour Generator was to be a priority, over twenty-four thousand people provided input in a questionnaire to aid in designing the roundtour generator. By involving the community we created a democratic and representative basis for decisionmaking. In that same spirit, the core functionality of the new Roundtour Generator is also available for all MRA Routeplanner Basic members.
Some features of the Roundtour Generator will follow at a later date, though before the finalization of 1.5. These include route themes (plan a roundtour around a coastline or through a valley of castles) and further avoidance filters. The reason for this is that these features require more design and development and tie into our ambitions for revisiting the general routeplanning area as well.
In addition to the new Roundtour Generator we’re launching the re-envisioned Routelab. A no-nonsense starting point where the goal is to get you back to your favorite parts of MRA Routeplanner designed to be both recognizable for existing members whilst ensuing a modern, premium look-and-feel.
Special thanks go out to the RouteXperts and MRA Ambassadors, who have provided insight and input in fine-tuning this polished release.
As always with new software, there might be a nasty little bug or two that escaped our squashing efforts. Please let us know if you encounter anything that shouldn’t happen.
May great adventures lie ahead of you,
Your Community Manager,
Dear members of the MRA Community,
For those of you who have been around for some time, you'll know me as the Community Manager. Our original members might even remember that in 2013 I started at this company in the role of UI/UX designer/creative lead.
Since late 2020 I've been in talks with our management regarding my future in the MyRoute-app team. I strongly believe that transparency, openness and a constructive attitude towards all problems that a small company might deal with are keys to success. Over the past two years I've grown to become a driver for the further organizational maturity of our company (on which I even wrote a blog back in 2019), day-to-day coordination of activities and point of contact for our wide variety of partners.
These are among the reasons that it was time for a formal change of role, as my responsibilities and mandate have grown far beyond the limitative definition of community management. That's why since the first of june 2021 I have been apointed as the first Chief Operating Officer (COO) of MyRouteApp B.V.. With this new formal mandate I will continue our quest for company growth, team fullfillment and community satisfaction. As our team is still relatively small, I'll retain some of the responsibilities I had as the community manager for the time being while we reevaluate how we want to fulfull this role in the future. Other responsibilities have been documented and transferred. As such, I will remain active on the forum, to engage with each and every user for as long as possible as I strongly believe this place to be the true driver of success for MyRoute-app.
Hoping to provide you with ever improving services for many years to come,
Chief Operating Officer
Hi Greenham, you're clearly upset. That said I also find it rather hard to follow your entire train of thought throughout your argument, but I'll try to distill some of your comments, complaints and thoughts in a respectable and coherent response. If you decide to answer, I expect the same in return.
Your main point seems to be that MRA Navigation hasn't received enough attention. While that might have been true for a long time, that's no longer the case. Yes, the iOS version of the app suffers from occasional stutters but over the past few weeks we've deployed a major overhaul for the app that significantly improves stability and performance. The entire core of the app that handles Navigation was rewritten. In addition, shaping points, via points and POI's are being implemented as we speak. If you don't believe me: there's a closed beta testing group that's currently testing this version. If you want I could sign you up for it, but note that this will override your main MRA Navigation (stable) version. That's also the reason why our testing group isn't public.
As for MRA Video, we've said it several times and rehearsed it here as well: especially because people have massively turned out to tell us MRA Navigation and MRA Routeplanner should be our focus, we've shifted the main focus there. We remain committed to further expanding on the social features of MRA Video in the future though. MRA Routeplanner and MRA Navigation are our focus; I believe that this aligns with what you expect us to do.
Regarding your comment on shaping and via points not being available: perhaps you've not found them yet. You can now turn waypoints into either a shaping or via point that's compatible both with Garmin. As I said, an update for MRA Navigation is in the works.
Finally a very big accusation is that we're making one million dollars a year for every 100 users. That would be true if they were all members with an annual subscription. I'd like to point out that such accusations are very damaging for our reputation and would only be fair if they'd be based on facts. Note that this is not the case. Over 95% of MRA Routeplanner users is using the free of charge basic membership. In addition: a large portion of the GOLD members are lifetime members like yourself: this means a one-time payment. In addition, the growth we're so happy with is usually seasonal: that's the period where people start riding their bikes or cars. We share this with the community because we find it relevant to let you know that there is growth in the community.
Overall I'd invite you to share your thoughts with me on what could be communicated better and perhaps some thoughts of your own, as to what you thing is missing right now. We've got an entire Roadmap planned out full of features that were literally voted on by the community.
On request of you, the user, I have delved a bit deeper into the ongoing issue of waypoints not receiving the appropriate adress while using MyRoute-app.
As you all know MyRoute-app is a small company. As a result of this, many of our suppliers see this as an opportunity to request huge sums for previously cheap or even free licences. It is a continuous struggle to get fair deals. In recent negotiations Google requested that we would start paying an unacceptably high price for the feature that automatically puts the adress on a waypoint. In light of transperancy on this issue I am informing you that as a result of this we have decided to simply refuse the contract and explore alternatives. This means that all your waypoints will be named "waypoint" upon placement.
As a small company we are sometimes forced to innovate in areas we thought we had covered. At present, it is disappointing to scrap a feature because of that, but, over time, this makes us stronger and more resilient to change. MyRoute-app will never change its position on the availability of free features for our BASIC users and a fair price for paying members.
We, motorists and motorcyclists, have something special here at MyRoute-app. We listen, we do our best and we are transparent even when it would be easier not to be. We do this because you deserve to hold us accountable for our performance. We are not guided by shareholders or sheer profits, we are guided by your trust.
When we started 8 years ago, I was hired as the general purpose graphics designer. No experience, and no schooling. Truly, the original argument really was "I like the doodles you scratched into the school desk". 8 years ago, MRA was nothing more than a nice idea.
Back then, the feedback was that we were one of the best looking systems out there. That's easy, compared to classic Tyre and Basecamp. But times have moved on, and so has the competition. My school-desk-scratching skills aren't always up for the task anymore and there's no shame in admitting that.
Even before people started complaining (which honestly is a pretty recent thing happening, especially with the icons), we were already trying to create more room to hire the right kind of talent to once again blow the competition away with a visual design that matches the awesome functionality.
These days I try to stick to Functional Design and User Experience Design, whilst leaving the visual heavy lifting to others. It's a transitional period, but I'm certain you'll like the end results when they start being slapped over the old.
As for those who are satisfied: it is exactly why I keep control over the FD and UXD processes; our community has specific wishes that need to be taken into account regarding functionality. And while I will concede that the visual design could be better, I strongly believe that we have great functionality.
Since 2017 we've been at work to not only provide the best routeplanner out there, but also to give real travel enthusiasts the experience of a fully fledged navigation system on their smartphone. This dream is MRA Navigation, and from the very beginning it has been a rocky road for some users.
After years of tackling our app woes on our own, splitting development attention between MRA Routeplanner and MRA Navigation we decided in the second half of 2020 to have our internal development team move their focus fully to MRA Routeplanner. Through a closed procurement procedure we contracted a long-term development partner for MRA Navigation, App-vise B.V. in the Netherlands.
Now, after almost a year of work we're ready to announce that the major Navigation revamp has been completed. On both iOS and Android we experience a 96.8% crashless performance, wih crashfree performance in navigation apps of <90% signalling that MRA Navigation remains a top tier navigation app. Not only that, we have added new waypoint features and POI visibility.
In the very near future we plan to finally release Apple Carplay, as well as nearby routes and a brand new roundtour generator (although experienced users will have figured out by now that using both the MRA Routeplanner mobile app and MRA Navigation provides seamless roundtour generator performance.
To celebrate this major milestone we've created a brand new landing page for you to explore. Check it out here!
Some time ago I wrote about the continuous path of growth that small companies walk. In the past few months we’ve seen the single biggest increase in members at MyRoute-app as well as the biggest organisational changes since the inception in 2013. Finally, we’ve all had a well-deserved holiday break to catch some breath before shifting back and slamming the throttle again. In this blog I’ll tell you all about what we’ve been up to in the past weeks.
Since October, 35.000 new members have joined MyRoute-app. On average, 101 new members join MyRoute-app every single day. In addition, partnerships with both for-profit and non-profit organisations have skyrocketed. We’ve closed contracts with our primary suppliers that incentivize symbiotic growth and we’ve outsourced many non-vital processes to optimize company performance.
For starters, we’ve decided to outsource knowledge that comes secondary to our own programmers. Instead of focussing on many things at once, our core development team will prioritize on the development of MyRoute-app WEB and MRA Video. Specialized expertise such as server maintenance and DevOps is now in the hands of a contractor. Additionally, the development and maintenance work for our apps is in the process of being transferred to a second contractor. Going for outsourcing has created much more capacity on building out MyRoute-app WEB, MRA Video and MRA Navigation. Separating these tasks allows us to work in parallel on features, maintenance and bug fixing.
Directly related to this is how we’re now drastically reducing the number of bugs in MyRoute-app. There’s a big backlog of problems that need fixing, but we’re pushing through them at previously unknown speeds. To immediately reflect on our own performance on where we can improve: we’re not communicating enough about which problems have been resolved. This too will change in the very near future. The support team now uses smart tagging to mark support tickets that demonstrate the behaviour of certain bugs, so that the development team can easily access all the available information regarding a certain bug. In addition, two-weekly sprints are held to review and assign bugs with the team.
As for MRA Video we’re now in the last stages of the closed beta. Having built a stable concept that’s been thoroughly tested we’re almost ready to move forward into a second stage beta for early contributors. Currently the main blockers for this move are not with the core tech of MRA Video, but making sure that opening the second stage will go far smoother than the original MyRoute-app WEB beta and the release of MRA Navigation. We’re trying to learn from our mistakes after all. As for the practical terms of the second stage beta: it’ll become available for MyRoute-app All-in-one members as well as people that pre-order MRA Video. At the end of the second stage beta a survey will go out to gather features for a MRA Video specific roadmap.
Shortly after opening the second stage of MRA Video we will finally release the RoadMap for MyRoute-app WEB. This long awaited plan has crept in scope, which explains the longer wait. Why have we let the scope creep? Because we decided that if we’re making a RoadMap then everything should be on it. In light of continued transparency we will showcase everything on our RoadMap that the team could possibly be working on. This includes things that might be of less interest to individual members, but are important to the continued prosperity of our platform. Contrary to many companies we’re not hiding the commercial parts of MyRoute-app. Having a great route-planner is important, but so is having a high-conversion shop to buy products from. With this we continue the trend of full transparency and high member-satisfaction.
In conclusion we’re at the metaphorical night before the party. There’s plenty of reason for excitement and we’re glad to share it with you.
As always, feel free to discuss and comment.
Your community manager,
Our users generate most of the feature ideas that drive MyRoute-app forwards. In this specific thread, we'll summarize suggestions put forward on the forum. A suggestion might have multiple interpretations, as such, all relevant interpretations will be linked here. Participants are encouraged to discuss suggestions within their respective threads. This thread should be used only for the discussion of the list itself, its' structure and possibly its' level of accuracy.
Last updated on the 11th of march, 2020.
By your request we've chased down the opportunity to develop products for next-generation vehicles outfitted with Apple Carplay. On behalf of the team I'm very happy to announce that MyRoute-app has finally been granted access to Apple Carplay development. This means that we will be able to make our apps available on Apple Carplay in the future.
We've been petitioning both Google and Apple to grant us access to their respective systems since 2018. Every single time we've been ignored. At the same time, many members in this community who use Carplay kept asking us when they could expect Navigation to become available for those systems. As a final act of defiance we reached out to the European Commission's Anti-Trust Agency. After gathering knowledge about our rights, we made a final plea to both Google and Apple to grant us access.
Slightly later than requested, we gained word from Apple that they had failed to pick up our previous requests. They immediately granted us access to the Apple Development area (for which we are very grateful). We look forward to working with apple to bringing MyRoute-app to Carplay compatible devices. Since we are now finally in contact with Apple and have received an explanation for the events as well as a workable solution, we will not pursue an Anti-Trust investigation. Sadly, since Google hasn't reacted, we will have to come up with a different strategy.
In light of continued full transperency, see the attached communications between Apple and MyRoute-app below. We've omitted all private and project information for reasons of privacy and partnership.
(Blue text by MRA, Black text by Apple)
Your community manager,
In my personal experience the IOS and Android version worked very similarly and did not show much difference to one another than other competing apps on the same platforms. One thing I did notice was that the 'navigation arrow' tends to be more centered in Android than in iOS. I personally prefer the Navigation arrow to be lower in the screen so that more parts of the route/map are visible.
Skipping waypoints also worked somewhat differently on a UI basis, but I didn't particularly prefer one version over the other. Since the IOS version got a bit more love (and iOS is a much more stable and dev-friendly platform than Android) it was a bit more stable. I had one hard crash on Android, but that picked back up exactly where I left off after restarting the app. Of note here though: Other (native) apps crashed as well, like the photo album. So I believe it's more of a platform/device issue than something related to MRA Navigation.
After 'riding in' the new BMW during a short break I'm now back at the office. It has been quite an adventure, particularly because the car was delivered with summer tires right before we've had the (hopefully last major) snowwy weekend in north-western Europe. Driving down an 1100m high mountain on an unsalted road with no guard rail in a brand new RWD -sedan on summer tires is something I don't wish on anyone. Did make for some top-gear esque moments though (because I literally could not brake).
Vehicle survived. So did I. Some permanent sweat-stains in the steering wheel though, but that's now part of this car's story. What's also part of this car's story is that this will be the vehicle in which the brand new MRA Mobile app was first tested for a very, very long time both on Android and iOS. Aside some minor UI/UX issues, the app worked flawlessly and with a better battery-performance than the current app. This is particularly noteworthy as I also took the opportunity to test the latest build of the Navigation app (again, both on iOS and Android) thoroughly. The app worked amazingly well and held up great throughout the ride; especially since BMW decided to remove the route-import feature on their native navigation system. Even in a modern state-of-the-art vehicle MRA Navigation continues to be an asset to the distinguished traveler.
Now that I'm back, I'll be brought back up to speed in the coming days. I'll also compile my experiences and test results in video's and posts here and on our Social Media account!
See you around!
Roadmap update 1.3. live
After a winter of hard work, here is now the biggest adjustment of MRA Routeplanner since 2014. As you can see, we have completely adapted the route lab so that you can now create, find and share routes even easier. Get to know the brand new route maker or press read more below.
• Single Sign-on. You can now log in with well-known social media platforms
• Nearby routes. Search the area for beautiful routes
• Route maker. Create beautiful routes with up to one click, both round trips and scenic routes.
• Photos in routes. We are now getting photos from our public track library to spice up your routes.
Matt, I meant what I said. I’m not telling you to shut up. I said that I’m sad that you’re still unhappy because I was under the impression that we fixed your performance AND refunded you for a bad experience. Moving forward from that impression, you can imagine my surprise at hearing about an “extremely unsatisfied customer” on the forums that “absolutely required an elaborate reaction” by me, only to find out it’s you . Sorry if that wasn’t clear to begin with.
Out of thousands of satisfied users using MRA Navigation there is a small percentage that’s experiencing issues. The vast overwhelming majority is able to use MRA Navigation exactly as marketed: as a replacement and/or back-up Navigation app. Look around, there are plenty of people who are essentially saying “I’m having a good experience with MRA Navigation”. Of course that’s less than the amount of voices on a forum going “This is crap”, because that’s what people on forums tend to do. The difference between us and other companies is that we don’t sterilize our communication channels from dissenting voices. For some this makes us look bad, because we don’t remove criticism or force it to go elsewhere where it’s less likely to be seen.
Now I want, and I know you want this too, to have a good conversation about this subject with the people that are least happy in our community. I don’t have a magic wand, but based on your previous dealings with us I hope you at least have the confidence that I take what’s being said seriously and do what I can to give a clearer view of the future of MRA Navigation. To tip that off: in the coming weeks we’ll publish a clear roadmap for MRA Navigation in the same way we have for MRA Routeplanner. Our support team is also going to use your examples to review their answers and the way issues are presented to the management.
MRA is a company nowhere near in size to TomTom, OSM or even Sygic. The fact that we’re being compared with those companies is a compliment in itself, since it’s what we aspire to, but again, we’re nowhere near their capacity at this time.
For those unsatisfied with MRA Navigation or having unresolvable issues at this time our policy remains equitable and clear: we will refund you and hope to welcome you back at a later time.
Anyone with remaining questions or remarks can send them to me or the support team directly. (I usually answer in a few days). For now, the discussion has devolved far from the original topic so I'm locking this thread.
MRA Navigation doesn't currently work with Android Auto, that is because we had a lot of difficulty getting access to the development environment. Secondly, after this years' improvements to stability and bugs we're currently reevaluating the way forward for our Navigation app in all possible aspects. That means branding, User Interface, connectivity to the core MRA Routeplanner service and the positioning of the not-to-be-forgotten MRA Mobile app.
@Matt-Flaming I'm sad to see that you remain extremely unhappy with the app, especially, since if my memory serves me right, the performance on your end was improved some time ago and we also refunded you for the entire experience.
"My tickets have gone MONTHS without any updates, or confirmation that they have even READ the tickets. All I can do is assume they don't care about NAV at all." I'm forwarding this to the support team, this should not happen. If you don't get an answer from them you can send me a personal message. It might take days for me to respond, as I sadly don't spend as much time on the forum as I used to, but I'll escalate it further.
MRA Navigation is currently the secondary product of MyRoute-app, by far. That's true. It's userbase and resources are a fraction of the planner and from a commercial point of view I understand your belief that we would prioritize the planner over the navigation app. On a day to day basis, that's true. Most of our resources go into MRA Routeplanner, but as I've outlined above, we strongly believe that mobile applications are the future of our positioning as a company in the smart mobility revolution. It is a goal of MyRoute-app to cater to a much larger audience using the Navigation app then we currently do.
Blog by Michel van Hagen
In this blog post I tell you how you can easily and quickly load routes in your Garmin Zumo XT. Of course I use MRA Routeplanner Gold to create and export routes. From the route planner you can choose from 2 different files, namely gpx 1.1 and gpx 1.2. Both files are discussed in this blog with their own specific advantages and disadvantages.
Blog by Michel van Hagen
In this blog post I give tips on how to best use our premium navigation app (MRA Navigation). It is important to know with what vision in mind the app was developed. We've tried to make the app as easy and user-friendly as possible, but there's no getting around the fact that you need to know certain things for a good user experience. Do you already have a subscription to MRA Navigation, or are you in doubt about a subscription to the navigation app? Then this is a good blog for you. At the bottom of this blog I also briefly talk about our future plans and dreams regarding the navigation app. So feel free to read on!
Blog by Michel van Hagen
In this blog post I tell you about a new interesting, but probably also temporary gadget from MyRoute-app. With the holidays approaching, we thought it would be a great idea to offer a physical product in addition to our online subscriptions. After all, you can pack a physical product and put it under the tree. Nice to receive, but also nice to give, you can even win one...
Below you can find a transcript of the last blog email that's being sent to all subscribers. Rather read this in your own language? Sign up for the newsletter in your MRA account.
This blog by our CEO, Michel van Hagen, zooms in on the RouteXpert library. A beautiful part of the MRA platform that recently received an important update.
Have fun reading!
The very best gpx routes free for everyone.. !
In this blog post I will tell you more about the background of the MRA RouteXpert Library. How did it come about, who are the RouteXperts and what criteria are used for publishing routes.
Finally something new, how would you like it if all routes are also available offline? Read on quick...
By popular demand we are working on club subscriptions, especially for groups and clubs.
This short survey is about a club subscription that is yet to be developed;
Especially for club members and organizers of activities in MRA
The survey takes about 5 minutes