WristRoute Help

WristRoute is a standalone Apple Watch GPS application for hiking, biking, and  other offline adventures. Neither the iPhone or Internet is needed for operation.


WristRoute displays your GPS position as a crosshair cursor in the center of a topographic map.

Map screen

You can zoom the map by turning the digital crown.

Scroll the map by dragging the screen with your finger. The scrolled map will return to the GPS position the next time the screen turns on, such as when you raise your wrist ("wrist up").

Map images are downloaded from the internet as they are needed. Maps are stored in a persistent cache for later offline use.

The map displayed is US Topo, the latest topographic map from USGS. Outside of the continental United States a map based on OpenStreetMap is used instead.

GPS reception quality is displayed as zero to four small squares at the upper left of the screen. If GPS reception is good (3 dots or more, horizontal accuracy 32 meters or better), WristRoute adds a yellow dot to the map at your position. A new dot is added every 100 feet of motion.


Once your direction of motion is established a direction arrow is displayed under the cursor. Note that since the Apple Watch does not have a compass, it uses successive GPS positions to determine your heading. Consequently, the arrow is most accurate when you are moving in a straight line.


When first run, WristRoute will prompt to enable access to your location (i.e. use the GPS). Prompts appear on both the Apple Watch and the iPhone. The permission must be granted on the iPhone.




The iPhone side of WristRoute is used to transfer GPX (Global Positioning eXchange) files between your iCloud drive and the watch.

iPhone Menu

GPX files contain waypoints, routes, and tracks. You can find GPX files for many popular routes on the internet. Download the GPX file to your iCloud drive, then transfer it to the watch. You can also create GPX files with programs such as Eastridge Technology's Route3D.


Pressing the menu symbol at the upper right of the watch screen displays the main menu.


Scroll down with the Apple Watch digital crown to see all of the menu.

Menu 2

Each of these menu entries will be described in turn.


Trip shows elevation, including gain and loss, distance traveled, elapsed time, speed over the last 100 feet, and average speed since the trip began.


Elevation is as reported by the GPS and does not include built structures such as stairs.

Scroll down to reveal the Reset button. Reset zeroes all trip data.


The Route/Track menu is used to save the current trip data in a track, or to activate a route or track from the GPX file. Routes and tracks are treated the same, and both are referred to as track below.


Selecting a track from the scrolling list (or on the map) brings up a track title page. If the track has a description it appears below the button area.


Map draws the track as a white line on the map, with a the name of the track in yellow marking the start.

Map Overlay

Cache returns to the map screen and animates the route, which caches all the map images at the current zoom level for later offline use. The display may pause as images are downloaded.

Rename brings up a screen which allows the track to be renamed. Note that dictation only works if the iPhone is in communication with the watch.


deletes the route.


Profile displays an elevation profile of the current track. The white line cursor shows your position along the track


The profile can be expanded and contracted by turning the digital crown. You can drag the cursor to check elevations and to scroll the screen.

If the profile is flat then the track may not contain elevation data. Route3D can add elevation to a track if needed.


The Waypoint menu is used select a waypoint from the GPX file. New... saves the current position as a new waypoint.


The list is sorted by distance from your current position. To sort by name, firmly press on screen and select Sort by Name.

Selecting a waypoint from the scrolling list (or on the map) brings up a waypoint title page. If the waypoint has a description it appears below the button area, along with latitude, longitude, and, if recorded, elevation.


Map shows the waypoint on the map screen.

Rename renames the waypoint.

deletes the waypoint.

shows a screen with heading and distance to the waypoint from the current GPS position, as well as the current elevation.


The heading arrow is relative to the direction of motion. Apple Watch does not have a compass, so heading is determined by successive GPS locations. This works best when moving in a straight line.

To measure the distance from a map location other than the current GPS position, move the map cursor to the point to measure from and then call up the Heading screen. "Elev" at the top of the screen is replaced with "Measuring" and the arrow turns blue, showing an absolute compass bearing to the waypoint. The distance displayed is from the scrolled map position to the waypoint.



GPS Power

GPS power has three settings: Off, Battery Saver, and On.

When GPS is off, no position updates occur. This is useful when scrolling the map to avoid automatic redisplay of current position whenever you raise your wrist, or to save battery when in an area with no GPS coverage, such as a cave, deep canyon, or densely forested north slope.

With Battery Saver the GPS is powered on from wrist up until shortly after a stable GPS reading is received. While this saves battery power, the GPS needs several seconds to stabilize after being turned on, so the initial GPS readings may be jumpy.

When Gps is on, GPS power remains on for 60 minutes after the last wrist up. Since the GPS remains on it can continue tracking position and course in the background.


The Map switch enables map display. If the map is not essential to your activity then turning it off saves battery and makes the display more readable in bright sunlight.


The Overlay switch enables display of waypoints and tracks. Sometimes it is desirable to study the map without the overlays.

Clear Cache

WristRoute downloads maps from the internet as they are needed and stores them permanently in an internal cache. The Clear Cache button clears contents of the cache.

GPS Status

This screen lists the unfiltered status of the GPS.

GPS Status


WristRoute 1.0

Copyright 2018 Eastridge Technology

Email info@e-t.com for support

US Topo maps courtesy of USGS.

Esri World Street Mao Sources: Esri, HERE, Garmin, USGS, Intermap, INCREMENT P, NRCan, Esri Japan, METI, Esri China (Hong Kong), Esri Korea, Esri (Thailand), NGCC, © OpenStreetMap contributors, and the GIS User Community.

Thank you for using WristRoute.