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,
This has been a recurring suggestion, for now (as others have pointed out) there's no way we can implement this as our online routeplanner is a web-app.
We're aware of this issue though. As our US userbase grows (I'm making the quick assumption that you're an American, as this seems to be a very prevalent question among our US users) we're looking into solutions.
Hi guys, just dropping in here with my personal solution to the TomTom question: I just let it get 'messed up' after transfering to TomTom and then start working from there. Expanding waypoints is also a good way to go (and increases the effectivity of the compare feature)
We have made another major adjustment to our routeplanner. With segments you can split the route into different parts, and give each part a different setting. For example, you drive the first part of the route on the highway, and you drive the second part through beautiful nature and avoid highways!
Do you think a Gold subscription is still too exciting? We have a new subscription that allows you to make cheaper routes, but still work like a pro. This is the MRA Routeplanner Silver subscription. We've made a couple of landing pages where you can compare the features.
In addition, a community challenge is now live! The Season Challenge was designed to get you back in the saddle!