Using Minimal Mobile Data on Bird
As you wander around the city tracking down bird scooters, you will be glued to your phone, counting down the number of blocks/buildings you have left until you run into that next $8 dead scooter. This, however, is a flawed technique for several reasons.
- The Bird App will reload the google maps API every time you restart the App. Using Data
- You get no turn-by-turn audio
- The Bird map does not have satellite view and hides building outlines at certain zoom levels.
- You can’t download the map to use offline
- It is slow!
To limit how much data your phone will use you have to minimize how often you are inside the Bird App. This is made easier by the App which allows you to open the navigation application of your choice. Inside of Google Maps, you can download an entire region of your choosing and allow you to navigate around while using almost no data. For those of us without an unlimited data plan on our phones, this tip can be the equivalent of finding 1-3 extra birds per month.
Now that we have an offline map inside of Google, we can use the turn by turn directions that come with it. Switch your directions to walking instead of driving; you can also use the bike directions if you want to find dead scooters while riding on a Bird.
I like to have one headphone in so I can hear my surroundings but also how many feet to my destination. This has an extra benefit of saving your battery, as you do not need to turn the screen on as often to know you are headed in the right direction. The best benefit of using turn by turn directions instead of looking at your screen… YOU CAN LOOK FOR BIRDS! Your gaze is no longer at your feet but instead of looking at your surroundings. You will quickly learn, just because that Red $20 dot says it is on the corner, means nothing, and you may have passed that bird a house ago while looking down.
Satellite and 3D view are essential when deciding if you want to find the bird in question, and help tremendously when looking for the scooter. Here is how you can use google street view without needing Google Earth.
There you have it, quicker navigation using Google, less data, voice directions, less battery usage, and most importantly, more found Bird Scooters.