LookTel Breadcrumbs Documentation

LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS 1.0 Release

Documentation Version


What is LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS?

LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS is a location-orientation app designed for the specific orientation needs of persons with visual impairments, or who are blind. It runs on IOS devices with a GPS receiver, and a data channel capability. The app requires IOS 5.X or greater.

While no vision is required to use LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, those who have residual vision may find it useful for orientation and navigation as well as those persons who have no vision. Good orientation and mobility skills are recommended, as LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS is an orientation and location aid--not a wayfinding aid.

What does LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS do?

LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS is designed to be a simple outdoor GPS app that does a few things well. That being said, it does have a measure of complexity with all that it can do. Breadcrumbs is a location- orientation app that facilitates navigation for persons who are blind. What makes it unique, and hopefully useful to you is that you can set a "breadcrumb" anywhere you like, at any time, and be able to tell where that is, and where you are in location to that breadcrumb. You can set multiple breadcrumbs along a route, and as in the folk tale, find your way along the route successfully, by monitoring any of them that seem to help you orient to the route, and navigate along it.

When you use LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, you set breadcrumbs along a route of your choosing, at intervals chosen by you. These key points of Interest are now marked by breadcrumbs dropped by you! The breadcrumbs, or BC, as they are termed by LookTel, are much like those of the Hansel and Gretel story, only they are visible to you through your IPhone, and not by any witch following you!

When you next navigate your route, you can use the LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS app to find your way from point to point, as the app will indicate the direction and distance to any breadcrumb or BC, from your current location. You can verify your location, and obtain regular address updates.

You can set as many breadcrumbs on a route as you choose, and at whatever intervals make sense to you. You can name the breadcrumbs, or have them named automatically in sequence. The breadcrumbs can be copied into routes of your choice. You can share a breadcrumb among multiple routes, and you can backup, export or import routes. This capability also means that you can trade routes with other people you know, edit those routes to customize them for yourself, or edit a route for anyone else using LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS.

How are Breadcrumbs or BC added?

There are 6 simple ways to add a breadcrumb to your routes: 1. Use the 'Drop Breadcrumb' button on your iPhone screen within the Breadcrumbs app.

2. Shake the phone, which drops a breadcrumb at that location--figuratively speaking. This 'shake' option is off by default, so you will need to turn it on in Settings if you'd like to drop breadcrumbs in this way.

3. You may also Drop a breadcrumb for any address in your contacts list on your iPhone. This is done through the edit screen, and is called "New Breadcrumb".

4. The same New Breadcrumb button permits you to type in any address to assign a breadcrumb to that new address, without having to add the new address to your contacts. If Google Maps knows the address, a breadcrumb will be assigned at the location Google has for the address.

5. The New Breadcrumb button will also permit you to drop a breadcrumb by typing in the GPS coordinates for the breadcrumb. You can specify any point on the planet in this manner

6. The import feature in the Route Editor permits acquiring routes with breadcrumbs from other people. This feature adds a new route with its breadcrumbs into your routes. You can then copy the breadcrumbs into your own routes, or copy breadcrumbs from your routes to the new route, as you choose. The import feature gives you one more way to add breadcrumbs into LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, without having to be at the location where the breadcrumb is located.

Of course, nothing is actually dropped at all. The iPhone simply remembers the Adjusted GPS coordinates for that breadcrumb, and will use the Adjusted GPS to determine your relationship to those coordinates later. You will not have to worry about birds stealing your breadcrumbs [grin], or having them washed away in the rain, or blown away with the winds. If you wish a breadcrumb to be removed, you must do it yourself, using the Delete Breadcrumb (BC) button in the Breadcrumb editor, which also permits you to manage your breadcrumbs and routes.

How does LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS work?

When you start LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, it will need to use your current location as a means of orienting. The app uses the standard iPhone AGPS, which is Adjusted GPS. This utilizes cellphone towers and local WiFi to establish your location with less processing, and more accurately than traditional GPS might be able to do. It is essential to turn on location services in the Settings menu of your iPhone, have WiFi on, and have a working cellular data channel.

When LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS establishes your current location, it will know your approximate address, within the limits of the system. Currently, Google Maps are used for looking up addresses, and determining map information. Google Maps are used because they are available for locations worldwide, and through a standardized interface, which permits Breadcrumbs to work in many countries around the world. Sometimes, it may seem to be inaccurate. GPS accuracy is only as accurate as the information mapped for your location.

Will Breadcrumbs work on trails, beaches, in parks and forests?

LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS is absolute coordinate based, rather than map based, and what that means for you, is that it will work off road-- along trails, in parks, and even in large parking lots. Please be advised that even Adjusted GPS can be terribly wrong under many conditions, and that you should never put yourself in a situation where you are dependent on only this technology to get you out. Plan always to use your normal skills with low vision, a cane or guide dog, your own abilities to orient and navigate, with LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS being a way to make those tasks more efficient, more fun, or to help you improve your own performance. No technology can substitute for good orientation and mobility skills. Technology can only exaggerate whatever level of skill you have. If those skills are good, then the technology may help them to be better. If those skills are poor, then it is likely that it will make the situation far worse if you are depending too heavily on the technology.

What are some limitations to Breadcrumbs?

A word about the accuracy number.It is a number generated by the iPhone, that attempts to reflect the distance (in your chosen measurement) of how far a Breadcrumb may be from it's actual location. This can depend on how many GPS satellites can be read. In general, the lower the number--16 feet (5 meters) for example, the more satellites are being read. A high number may reflect that a building, trees, or other obstructions are blocking satellite signals.

Unfortunately, this number can be erroneous, in that it does not tell you the quality of the signals received, which can be terrible, making your readings ridiculous to impossible. This is why Breadcrumbs is to supplement your existing skills with low vision, your cane, or a guide dog.

GPS signals are microwaves--similar in frequency to the ones you use to cook in your microwave oven at home. Like those microwaves, they are absorbed by water, and are dissipated by water. When humidities are high, the GPS signals you get can become more erratic, and attenuated. This can result in unusual readings.

Metal reflects microwaves. In your microwave oven, this is very helpful, as it keeps the microwaves in, cooking your food, and does not permit them to escape to cook you, or your family members. For GPS, this causes problems, as reflected microwaves can scramble a signal, causing erroneous readings.

There are differences in iPhones. The iPhone 4s has the most accurate GPS, as it uses both the American and Russian satellite systems. It will be able to use the European Galileo system when it is operational. The iPhone 3Gs is the least accurate, as it has more limited GPS reception. We have found that it does work in areas where the humidity is not excessive--generally over 70%. With humidities of 90%, even the iPhone 4S encounters errors.


The LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS app for IOS has 3 primary screens. These are:

* The Navigational screen, or main screen
* The Settings screen
* The Edit screen

This documentation describes the screens, and the basic functions performed on each screen. It summarizes the basic capabilities of the app.

Conventions used in this Documentation

Through this documentation breadcrumbs will often be referred to as BC. This is a LookTel designation for the breadcrumbs you drop while using the app. When BC is in parentheses, it is to indicate that a button visually has BC to indicate that it stands for breadcrumb or breadcrumbs. The VoicOver label will always have Breadcrumb as a tag, so if you cannot see the buttons, you might never know the difference. For persons using vision, the button will indicate BC for Breadcrumb.

We document this for you, so that if you are getting help with LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, you will know when a button is marked BC, even though it says "breadcrumb" when you use VoiceOver. The reason for the difference is that some names will be too long to fit on the iPhone screen if spelled out entirely.

The Navigational Screen

The main screen or Navigational screen is the first screen visible when the Breadcrumbs app opens. It is the screen from which all other screens and functions are accessed, and it is this screen that each person will use the most. This is the "action screen", as the information that Breadcrumbs provides is through this Navigational screen when using the app for orientation and mobility.

The Navigational screen has two buttons on the top row, just below the status bar items on the iPhone.

*The Settings button is on the top left.
*The Location button is on the top right.

The Settings Button

The Settings button is used to enter the Settings menu, and make settings changes to Breadcrumbs. This is discussed in its own section in detail. We suggest you explore this screen, and become familiar with it before you read this section. The Settings screen also has a useful Help Button, which accesses this documentation.

The Location Button

The Location button is used to determine the current location of you and your iPhone. When this is activated, Breadcrumbs will use Google Maps, and attempt to extract a nearest possible address, and display it on the screen. Note: It is essential to have Location Services turned to On in your iPhone Settings for Breadcrumbs to function, and this location button to work.

The Edit Button

The edit button opens to the edit screen. This is discussed in its own section later in this documentation. It permits you to edit routes and manage your breadcrumbs. It also permits you to backup, export, and import your data.

Closest Breadcrumb (BC)

The final button of the second row is the Closest breadcrumb (BC) button. The Closest breadcrumb button is useful for switching the app over to locating the nearest breadcrumb, if you have been monitoring one that is further away.

If you are headed through a park, you may wish to monitor a breadcrumb set to the east entrance of the park. This keeps you headed in the right direction, as you follow winding sidewalks that lead to the picnic area. When you get close to what you believe to be the picnic area, you can easily switch to the closest breadcrumb, which is the one you set for the picnic area.

There are other ways to solve the same problem with Breadcrumbs. LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS is about giving you many options, so that you can make choices for each situation. One might set breadcrumbs along the path to the picnic area, if the park is sufficiently open. But, if it is a park with many trees, that solution may not work at all. Trees block GPS. You may need to resort to this technique to solve such a mobility problem.

The Breadcrumb Info Window/Button

The Breadcrumb Info window/button not only displays important information you will need, but is also a button, which can be double tapped like any other button. The Breadcrumb Info button is extremely important. It may be the most important within the app. It is the Breadcrumb INFO button that displays the name of the currently chosen BC, current distance to the BC, and heading to that chosen breadcrumb.

A split or double tap on this button causes the screen to change. The new screen displays the nearest address to that breadcrumb, or if that is not available, it will show the name of the street.

This is followed by the accuracy of the breadcrumb when it was set. This will be useful if you are having a problem with a breadcrumb, and cannot understand why. It may be that the accuracy when set was too low, so the breadcrumb is unstable. You may want to reset this breadcrumb on a better day, or at a slightly different, but still useful location.

The last information given is the relative altitude of that breadcrumb to where your iPhone is currently located. An example might be:

The nearest address--
Smith House Info on 2343 Main Street, SW
in Wherever, in California

The Smith House was set at an accuracy of 33 feet, and is lower than you by 32 feet. There is a Close button to leave this screen, and following that a button labeled Show Map. The Show Map button displays a Google Map of the area where the BC is located.

Turn-By-Turn Navigation

Breadcrumbs supports integration with external turn-by-turn GPS apps. What this means for you is that if you have a GPS app on your phone which provides spoken turn-by-turn directions to a destination, Breadcrumbs may be able to work with that app. Currently, LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS supports two of the most popular GPS apps; Navigon Mobile Navigator and MotionX GPS Drive.

When you bring up the Nearest Address information for your selected breadcrumb, and you have at least one of the two GPS apps mentioned above, installed on your iPhone, you will be presented with an extra button which is labeled with the title of the app you have installed. If you have both apps installed, you will see two extra buttons in this window, each with the name of one of the installed GPS apps. When you double or split tap one of these buttons, you will first be alerted that you are about to move to another app, and that this will cause Breadcrumbs to move to the background. Answering 'Yes' in this dialogue will then bring up the GPS app you have selected and it will be ready for you to navigate toward your chosen breadcrumb.

From this point, you need only activate the button in your chosen GPS app to start its turn-by-turn navigation (please consult the manual for your particular GPS app) the app will begin guiding you to your destination.

NOTE: It is very important to remember that Breadcrumbs is not a map-based GPS app. So it is possible that the coordinates you send to Navigon Mobile Navigator or MotionX GPS Drive may not easily be translated by that app. What this means is that these apps may only get you close to your breadcrumb and not right to it.

These two third party solutions are both based on a mapping system so that they can give you turn-by-turn instructions along your route. If your breadcrumb is not on a map that either of these apps understand, then they may get you close to your breadcrumb, whereas the Breadcrumbs app may be able to guide you closer to your destination.

Split or double tap the close button to return to the Navigation screen.

Direction and Orientation

The next window is located below the breadcrumb Info Button, and provides you a compass direction. The compass direction is always referenced to the top of the iPhone--the top of the iPhone is where the power on/off switch is located. The direction in which this is pointed determines the compass reading. It can be helpful to know the compass direction towards a breadcrumb, or away from it. This orientation may assist you in determining your location even if other readings are not familiar to you.

When in Hands Free mode, and in Pocket Mode, this compass direction changes to be the direction of travel as you walk. This avoids a false reading because you have the iPhone in a pocket that is to one side, and the phone nose down in your pocket. The new orientation is meaningful, because it is oriented to the direction in which you are walking or riding.


The next window below the compass direction is the accuracy window. The accuracy reflects the number of satellites from which GPS signals are received. The higher this number, the worse the reception. If it states 16 feet or 5 meters, accuracy, then it is likely that your location is as good as it can be with GPS. If this number is less than 33 feet, or 10 meters, it is best to use the information as helpful, but not accurate enough to base your well being on the readings. Accuracies of 98 feet or 30 meters, or more can still be used in the way that a compass or north star might be used. Those accuracies provide little specific information, as your distance could be 100 feet or 30 meters, from where you think you should be.

On older iPhones, such as the 3Gs, the accuracy is less than on the newer iPhones. The new 4s has the best accuracy, as it is using the Russian and European satellite systems to augment the GPS of American satellites. This doubles the number of satellites in view at one time, and increases accuracy.

It is good to check this window before setting a new breadcrumb, or resetting an old one that seems to be unstable. If you are getting good readings of 16 feet (5 meters) most of the time, it may be a good idea to set a breadcrumb from your current location. If those numbers are wildly off--328 feet or 100 meters, it may not be worth dropping a breadcrumb at that location at that time. It is likely to be nearly useless later.

The accuracy jumps around far more than the display can show you. The number you see is already as much as 2 seconds behind, in part, because VoiceOver has to announce the window to you. If you are curious about how the accuracy fluctuates, and want to understand this better, we provided a means for you to do so. Go to Settings, and turn on the tones for accuracy. This will let Breadcrumbs play tones for you that reflect the changing readings with the pitch of each tone in proportion to the accuracy--the lower the tone, the less the accuracy.

You will want to turn this option off most of the time. It is there for diagnostic and educational purposes. It can help you to understand that when you set a breadcrumb, that the accuracy might have changed for the iPhone, even though the display failed to update fast enough for you to see it. This is a GPS and hardware limitation that we would like you to understand.

Remember, you can have a very good accuracy number, and still have an unstable or unsatisfactory breadcrumb. Accuracy simply means that enough satellites are having signals received by your iPhone to register as making it possible to have a good reading. The signal quality is not reflected by the number of satellites reporting as being present by your iPhone. Currently, there is no method for determining the signal quality from within the iPhone itself. This is a limitation of technology, and not the iPhone or LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS.

We advise being aware of the weather in your area as a method of estimating the confidence you should place in your readings. If the humidity is relatively low--below 70%, there is a greater probability of having good readings in that area. If the humidity is over 90%, please be skeptical of any GPS technology.

Remember that larger buildings can block satellites, or even reflect signals, especially if they contain significant amounts of metal. Soft and hard iron can change your compass readings, and cause your readings for the heading and direction of your breadcrumb to be erratic, or outright impossible.

In areas with few cell towers, or no WiFi, it may be far better to use a magnetic compass, as the AGPS true north compass will be less likely to be accurate. If the AGPS is inaccurate, your GPS readings may be unstable.

Tip: How will you know if there are cell towers and WiFi around you? Many times you may not, but it is a good bet that in parks, on recreational trails, large parking lots, beaches, open fields, forests, and low-density neighborhoods, that there will be an absence of these. You could always check to see which WiFi points are around, or check the display on your iPhone for cell reception, if it matters.

Hands Free Switch

Below the accuracy window is the Hands Free On/Off switch. This toggle turns the Hands Free Mode On or Off.

The Hands Free mode when On has 2 operating modes. When held in your hand and approximately level--no more than a nose-down 45 degrees of tilt. In this mode, LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS will still alert you with a vibration when the phone is directed towards the breadcrumb, if vibration is set to On. It will announce the heading, and automatically index your BC when walking a route. It requires only one hand to do anything you desire, as far as Breadcrumbs operations are concerned. If you have Shake to Drop Breadcrumb, set, then it is possible to set a breadcrumb with the use of that one hand. This is useful if you are using a cane or guide dog, and wish to carry your phone in one hand, possibly wearing gloves, and navigate successfully in a semi-familiar or unfamiliar environment.

Pocket Mode is activated when you tilt the top of the iPhone down by more than 45 degrees, and insert the phone into a pocket. Breadcrumbs will continue working, but several important things happen:

1. The Drop Breadcrumb (BC), is locked, and is no longer visible on the screen. This is to prevent Breadcrumbs from adding BC unintentionally, while placing or removing the phone from a pocket.

2. The picker is locked, and is no longer visible on the screen. So you cannot change breadcrumbs or routes. This is to prevent an unintentional change of breadcrumbs when inserting the phone into your pocket, or when removing it.

3. The direction to your selected breadcrumb is now determined from your direction of motion, and not from the orientation of the phone. This means that when the announcement of direction to the breadcrumb is given, that it is with respect to your direction of walking, and not the orientation of the phone, which may be different from your direction of travel.

4. The announcements occur with respect to time, as you cannot easily touch the screen to obtain the information you desire, or aim it in the direction of the BC. This is done by setting the time interval in Settings for the announcements. You may only wish to have an announcement every 30 seconds, or even every minute.

5. When you come near to a breadcrumb in your current route, the app will automatically switch focus to the next breadcrumb in that route, and will also state that it has done this, as well as play a short tone to alert you. You will be given an announcement to let you know what the next breadcrumb is and where it is in relation to you. When you are about to reach the end of your chosen route, the app will advise you that the final breadcrumb for that route has been reached.

When you extract the phone from your pocket, and tilt it back towards a position that is level, it will go out of Pocket Mode automatically. Breadcrumbs plays a tone and announces "Pocket Mode Active" when entering Pocket Mode, and plays a second tone as it announces "Pocket Mode Off", when leaving Pocket Mode.

The Hands Free Mode is one of the most exciting features of LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. Not only is it desirable in climates with weather that complicates travel for much of the year, but it is also useful even when the weather is fine, and you are walking in familiar areas. Your Breadcrumbs app will quietly advise you of addresses you pass (if you have set those announcements to On), and give you the location and direction of the next BC on your route--again, at the time interval you choose to hear the announcement.

Tip: We found that Air Drives open-air type headphones permit you to hear ambient sounds while using LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. This is an option in higher ambient noise environments, or if you wish to maintain a lower audible profile. Bone conduction headphones will also accomplish this, though they do require more power.

Below the Hands Free switch is a group of 4 buttons, shown in the sequence you will hear if you flick through them:

* Reverse Route
* Reset breadcrumb (BC)
* Showing Route or breadcrumbs (BC)
* Drop Breadcrumb (BC)

Their functions are described below:

Reverse Route

If you reach your destination, and later want to return along that route, the Reverse Route switch is for you! When you activate it, it will then index the picker along the route in the reverse direction, so your breadcrumbs are all indexed properly for your trip back to your starting point. This will work for any route you choose. This avoids having to create a separate route, or copy the breadcrumbs in reverse order into a route, so you can return along the same path that you used to arrive at your destination.

Reset Breadcrumb (BC)

The Reset Breadcrumb (BC) button does what it says. This will reset a breadcrumb for you, keeping the same name, but assigning a new breadcrumb at that location. This may be necessary because a given breadcrumb is not working properly when you try the route. It may have seemingly wandered off the route, and not index any more. This can happen if the GPS did not work well the first time when you set that breadcrumb. Rather than delete the breadcrumb from the route, losing the name, then having to drop a new breadcrumb, and enter in the name again, Breadcrumbs provides a Reset breadcrumb button to save many steps in creating a new breadcrumb at that location.

Showing Route or breadcrumbs (BC)

The Showing Route or breadcrumbs button changes when it is activated. When you hear the "button, showing breadcrumbs" you are displaying the breadcrumbs of the currently chosen route in the picker just below this button. If you activate the button, the picker will change to show you all of your created routes, and the designation of this button will change to Showing Routes.

You can then go to the picker, and select a new route. Once you do this, you can return to this button, and activate it again with a double or split tap. The label will change to Showing breadcrumbs (BC), and the picker will now show you the breadcrumbs on that route. It will start with the first breadcrumb. You can then use the picker to move through the breadcrumbs on the selected route, should you choose to do so.

Tip: This permits you to start Breadcrumbs mid way on a route. For example, suppose you were walking with a sighted friend, and were not using your LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. You were talking to your friend as you walked, then your friend leaves you at half way along the route. You can turn on Breadcrumbs, advance the picker to display a breadcrumb next on your route, and continue along the route, as though Breadcrumbs had been already running for your entire trip.

Drop Breadcrumb (BC)

The Drop Breadcrumb (BC) button is a simple button that does only one thing--the obvious--of setting a breadcrumb at the current location, or as we say, dropping a breadcrumb. When the BC is set, you will hear a tone, and be told that a breadcrumb is added. It is advisable to check the accuracy window first, before setting a breadcrumb, as a poor accuracy number will make your breadcrumb unstable, or hard to find later.

The new breadcrumb is displayed just before the breadcrumb shown on the Picker above the Home button. This permits you to insert breadcrumbs into a route as you walk it, as you may find that you need additional breadcrumbs once you start using that route.

NOTE: Your Showing Routes/breadcrumbs button must be set to show breadcrumbs in order to drop a breadcrumb! If it is set to route, then the Drop Breadcrumb (BC), button is shown as "dim", and will not permit you to drop a breadcrumb. First, you must choose the proper route, or create a new route, then set your new breadcrumbs.

In your settings for Breadcrumbs, you can make a choice to name the breadcrumb at the time it is dropped, or of having Breadcrumbs name it for you, as BC 1, BC 2, etc. If you name it at the time it is set, you will get a dialog box when you use the Drop a breadcrumb button, asking you to name that breadcrumb. You will be shown the familiar on- screen text input keyboard used in your IOS device in order for you to provide a new name for the breadcrumb. If you choose not to add a name, Breadcrumbs will assign a default name with a number to your BC and you can name it later.

You may wish to edit the breadcrumb name later. People have various preferences. You can always edit the breadcrumb name through the editor which will be discussed in a later section.

Tip: When to name a breadcrumb is an individual choice. Many people feel that they will forget where they left their breadcrumbs if they wait to name them later. It is always possible to locate the address of any breadcrumb with the breadcrumb Info button. This may help you to name your breadcrumb later, if you were rushed, the weather was too cold, or you were simply having too much fun to stop and name it then. We certainly hope that people forget to name their breadcrumbs for the last reason!

You may drop breadcrumbs via the Shake method. A tone will sound as a breadcrumb is set. This feature must be selected as "On" in the settings for Breadcrumbs. Once set, it permits you to shake your iPhone, and have a breadcrumb dropped. To do this, you must vigorously shake the iPhone more than once. By either method, you will either get a dialog box and a request to name your new breadcrumb, or not, depending on your selected preference in Settings.

Note: Please read the prior sections on the Drop Breadcrumb button, to understand the other features of setting breadcrumbs that you will want to know.

Remember, there are other ways to set breadcrumbs through the Edit breadcrumbs features on the edit screen. Those are discussed in the edit screen section of this documentation.

Breadcrumbs does tell you when a BC is dropped, even if you do not choose to name it at the time of adding it. It is important to add your breadcrumb to the proper route if you are using multiple routes. You will want to create a new route before adding a breadcrumb, unless you intended to add it to the current route being displayed. This may be different from the route you are traveling! You will want to be sure that you are adding the breadcrumb to the route that you intended.

Tip: If you do not yet know how you will use that breadcrumb in the future, you can create a route you might call Explore, or Discover. Place breadcrumbs in this route as you explore, or discover new places, or just add them in on this route until you decide where they belong.

Tip: A helpful hint when naming breadcrumbs is to give them location names. As an example, if you walk a route, and set BC at each intersection, you might name them Main and Bay, Main and Park, Main and University, Main and Mountain. When you walk the route, you will be able to hear the name of each crossing street as you reach it. Think of how useful such a route will be when you share it with others, who may be unfamiliar with this route!

The Route and Breadcrumb Picker

The Route and Breadcrumb picker is at the bottom of the iPhone screen above the Home button, when you are on either the main Breadcrumbs navigational screen, or the edit screens. The picker displays all of your routes or the breadcrumbs on a chosen route. You select the route first, by use of the Showing Route button. Once you select any given route, its breadcrumbs will be displayed for you through the picker. If you want to choose another route, and examine its breadcrumbs, you may do so by using the Showing Breadcrumbs or Routes button, and having the picker display your routes for you. Use the picker to choose another route.

This completes the description of the Navigation screen.

The Settings Screen

On opening the Settings screen one finds the Breadcrumbs Back button on the upper left--in the conventional place. The VO scrub gesture may also be used to exit the Settings screen.

To the right of the Back button, at the top right, is the Help button--that gives the version of Breadcrumbs that is running, and access to this documentation, the general LookTel Privacy link, as well as the Breadcrumbs privacy Opt-In statement, that is included in the documentation.

Below these buttons are the settings one can manage for Breadcrumbs. Tip: It is easiest to flick through the settings, rather than move through them via touching the screen, though either method may be used.


The first setting is the compass. There are settings for true north, and magnetic north. Please try both, and find out which works better for you in your area. Travel to other cities may cause you to change this setting, as magnetic sources can interfere with the magnetic compass. The true north is derived from the direction of cellphone towers and WiFi. If the area where you are traveling has this poorly mapped, has few cellphone towers, or few WiFi networks available, then magnetic north may work best.

Distance Unit

The next setting is for the distance units to be used. The choices are Imperial or the English system, and metric. For most of the United States, and the United Kingdom, the Imperial system will work best. For Europe, Asia, and other locations, metric may be the distance unit of choice.


Vibrate when BC Is Ahead

When on, the iPhone will vibrate when the breadcrumb is at 12:00, or directly ahead of the "nose" of the iPhone--even if the breadcrumb is hundreds of miles away, this remains true. If you want to know if you are north of a latitude to a distant city, you can monitor a breadcrumb in that city, assuming you have previously set a breadcrumb there. Then when in a different location, you can check the compass and heading to the distant breadcrumb, and determine that the city is apparently southwest of you. You will know that you are north of the latitude of that city you chose.

You can add a breadcrumb from your contacts list, for the address of a person or organization in another city. This will then let you see the direction and distance to that breadcrumb. You may wish to be sure that you have created a new route for such experiments, or otherwise, these breadcrumbs will get added to your current route.

Tip: This is a highly useful way of learning your own city better. Create a discovery route. Add breadcrumbs to this route that are at points around your city, that you want to understand in relation to your current position, or at other places when you are out. Then, look at where those points are with the Breadcrumb Info window. Are they where you thought they might be? It can help you to understand the winding of a river, or a trail, or that a point in your city is due east, and not southeast as you may have thought.

You need not go to those places. You can copy breadcrumbs in from other useful routes you have created, or you can add them as follows:

1. from your contacts list,

2. from a route you obtained from a friend,

3. from an address you enter,

4. from GPS coordinates you enter.

Shake to Drop Breadcrumbs

Shake to Drop Breadcrumbs is an On/Off function. Turning it On permits dropping breadcrumbs by shaking the iPhone. More than one vigorous shake is necessary to do this, so that breadcrumbs are not set accidentally.

Proximity Alert Vibration

Proximity Alert is an On/Off switch. One can turnoff the sounds, and navigate by vibration only, if silence is more important. This might be true when walking with friends. One may wish to know where BC are, but not be disturbed by auditory signals. Conversely, one may wish to monitor nearby breadcrumbs without a vibration when carrying the iPhone in a pocket, and using open air headphones, or bone conduction headphones.

Name Breadcrumbs (BC) and Routes When Created

Name Breadcrumbs (BC) and Routes when created: On/Off This is a toggle that sets the prompt to name a breadcrumb or route at the time you add it. Turning this off will turn off the prompt to do so, and the breadcrumb or route will have to be named later. This option is off by default, which causes the app to name dropped breadcrumbs consecutively as, BC1, BC2, BC3, etc. Routes will be named as Route 1, Route 2, etc.

Tip: You can always obtain the address nearest the BC from the Breadcrumb Info Window. This may jog your memory as to where you set that BC, if you have forgotten. Viewing the direction and distance to the breadcrumb relative to others may help.

On-Route Announcements

The On-Route Announcements option is an On/Off switch. Turning this to "On", provides an announcement of the nearest street address to your current location while walking. This only happens every 45 seconds, and only then if the information is available from Google Maps. If long periods of time go by with no announcement, it is because incomplete or no information was received for that location.

Note: If an address that Breadcrumbs receives is incomplete, Breadcrumbs will not announce it to you. In other words, when you have Breadcrumbs set to announce your nearest address as you travel on a route, as you walk, if the only information Breadcrumbs can retrieve for your nearest address is a number without a street name or vice versa, no announcement will be given. Breadcrumbs will only provide an announcement to you when it has both a street name and an address number to announce.

Enable Start-Up Sound

The Enable Start-Up Sound is another On/Off switch, that does what you might expect--silences the LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS start-up sound when turned "Off". When it is turned "On", you will hear the Breadcrumbs start-up sound when the app starts.

Note: If you place the app in the background and return to it, you will not hear the start-up sound. The start-up sound only plays when the app is started. This is useful as a diagnostic. If you suspect that Breadcrumbs is quitting when it should not, you can enable this option, and return to Breadcrumbs. If there is no start-up sound, Breadcrumbs was only in the background, and not restarted.

Tip: It is better to not leave Breadcrumbs in the background too long. When running in the background, GPS services still drain energy from your battery. Use the App Switcher to quit Breadcrumbs entirely, if you do not expect to keep using it for a while, as when riding on a train or buss to work, having lunch, or participating in a meeting.

Proximity Alert Tone

The Proximity Alert Tone is turned On/Off by this switch. When "Off", there will be no tone. This may be useful if you want to monitor your proximity to a nearby breadcrumb by vibration only, as when walking with a sighted friend. You may desire the tone at other times, as when using Breadcrumbs in Pocket Mode, where you might not feel the vibration easily.

Proximity Radius

The Proximity Radius permits the setting of the radius through a picker, from which the proximity alert will activate. This range is as follows: Off, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 100, 300, or 500 feet. (Off, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 30, 90, and 150 meters).

This sets the proximity radius for the breadcrumb nearby alert. If set to a short distance, 10 feet or 3 meters, you must come very close to the breadcrumb before the alert is activated. This can mean that a BC is missed under some circumstances.

Tip: If you set the proximity alert to 40 feet 12 meters, then it is possible to be walking across the street from where a BC is set, and still get the alert when it is nearby. This is helpful if you desire to find a T intersection. If you previously had a breadcrumb set on the leg of the T intersection at one corner where the T is formed, then later walk the top of the T, LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS can tell you when you reach that point directly across from the corner where you dropped your breadcrumb! Example: If you named it for that intersection--4th and Columbo, you will know precisely where you are on that block. Unless the street is very wide, Breadcrumbs will alert you when the street is across from a current position when the breadcrumb nearby alert sounds. If it is an especially wide street, you can always set the proximity radius to a greater distance, or set additional BC in the area.

Distances of up to 500 feet or 150 meters, can be chosen. This may be helpful when walking in a park, on beaches, or on a field, where there are no sidewalks, or in an open area that is quite large. One need not desire the accuracy of city work when enjoying a beach, park, or national forest.

The settings menu is in 2 pages. This completes page one. If one is flicking, Breadcrumbs continues smoothly to the second page of settings.

Display Direction to Breadcrumbs as: Off, Clock, or Degrees

Flick to the option of your choice, then split or double tap to activate that choice. If you wish to turnoff the heading to the BC, you can do so here, and use the iPhone to determine your direction to the BC by aiming your iPhone in the direction of the Breadcrumb, and obtaining a distance announcement when doing so.

You can set the clock orientation to the breadcrumb, or have it specified in degrees. Clock orientation is often easier for many people, as it requires less processing while wayfinding. This is why the military has used it for a century of flying and more than that for sea navigation.

Announce GPS Accuracy as: Off, Tone, or Speech

This setting gives you options by flicking to the one of your choice, and split or double tapping it to select it. Accuracy monitoring is useful for understanding how the GPS is varying at your location. It may help to understand why a BC is not being set with enough accuracy to be useful, or why a well-set BC is not behaving as expected.

Breadcrumbs can be set to tone, and used to diagnose a problem. If a BC even when reset, continues to be unstable, try using this option to find out what is happening to GPS. It may be that the chosen place is simply not compatible with a good GPS reading, and one needs to try BC in nearby locations that are more stable. Trees, tall buildings, billboards, or metal structures that are microwave reflective, can all cause a location to be unstable with GPS.

Mostly, this setting should be left off. It is useful for determining the extent to which accuracy varies in your area, or under various weather conditions. It has little practical value for mobility, unless conditions are unusual.

We suggest you try Breadcrumbs with tones sometime, to see how radically accuracy can vary. This will let Breadcrumbs play tones for you that reflect the changing readings with the pitch of each tone in proportion to the accuracy--the lower the tone, the less the accuracy. It is important to have a good accuracy when setting BC. The less the accuracy when setting a BC, the less well that BC can be used later for orientation.

Hands Free Announcements

This sets the time interval for Hands Free announcements. It uses a picker to select: 10 seconds, 20 seconds, 30 seconds, 40 seconds, 50 seconds, 1 minute, or 2 minutes.

When walking with the Hands Free mode On, and placing the iPhone in a pocket, the announcements are made according to this setting. If set too frequently, the babble may be annoying. Setting it for too long an interval may seem too little on a less familiar route. This should be changed according to individual circumstances.

Enable the Reporting of Anonymous Analytic Data: On/Off

This is an Opt-In switch that permits Breadcrumbs to report data defined in the Privacy section of this documentation, to LookTel in order to add new features to Breadcrumbs, and improve its performance. No location or personally identifiable information, PII, is collected by your selecting to provide us additional data.

This completes the description of the Settings Screen.

The Edit Screen

The Edit button on the Navigation screen provides for powerful editing of routes and breadcrumbs, from within the app

The Edit button is at the left end of the second row of buttons at the top of the Navigation screen. It is most easily accessed by flicking right. To enter the edit screen, simply split or double tap the screen when you have found the Edit button.

Another button you will want to remember is the Showing Routes or Breadcrumbs button. Remember, this button changes its name depending on whether the app is displaying routes in the picker, or breadcrumbs. If you are showing routes, the Picker at the bottom of the screen will show all of the routes you have in Breadcrumbs.

If you split or double tap the Showing Routes button when the Picker is displaying routes, it will then switch to displaying the breadcrumbs for your chosen route and the label for that button will now say "Showing Breadcrumbs".

This is important to understand, as it will permit you to choose which route, or which BC you are editing. If you have the routes displayed in the picker, you can move through the routes, and choose one for editing. At first, you may only have one route, but you will want to create others, or obtain others from friends. This will help you to manage your routes.

The Showing Routes/Breadcrumbs button is important enough that it appears on both the Navigation Screen, and the Edit Screen.

Note: The buttons and their pickers are independent of one another! The setting of the button on the edit screen decides which route you are editing, and which BC. The one of the Navigation is to tell you which route you are navigating, and permit you to choose which breadcrumb you are monitoring.

When you enter the Edit screen with Showing Routes set, VoiceOver says, "Editing Routes, Breadcrumbs. Back Button."

This confirms that Breadcrumbs now has the edit screen as the active screen, and is displaying route information for editing. The default position is the back button, so one can easily return to the Navigation screen with a split or double tap, or by using the VO scrub gesture.

By flicking right, you will find the next label as stating that you are editing routes, followed by Rename Route.


Rename Route

Rename Route gives you a chance to rename the route you chose in the Picker of the main screen. If this is not the route you wish to rename, you can go to the same picker at the bottom of the edit screen, and change to a different route, which you can then rename using this function.

Delete Route

Delete Route permits you to delete the route chosen in the Picker. Breadcrumbs will prompt you to confirm the delete before removing your route and all of the breadcrumbs within it. It is like deleting a mail folder--all contents are lost, unless you took precautions to create a backup of your routes.

Edit Route

The Edit Route function permits you to work with the breadcrumbs within your route. You can reorder them easily with this function.

Each breadcrumb on the chosen route will appear in order. Flicking right will advance you through the BC. You have each BC listed, with the next option being to "Reorder (BC Name) - draggable".

This lets you double tap and hold on the line where this option appears, and then drag, or slide your finger up or down the screen. Each time you pass another breadcrumb, it is announced, and you have an opportunity to place your chosen item as indicated by VoiceOver.

In this way, you can easily reorder the BC on a route. This is likely to be necessary if you have dropped new BC, copied in BC, or duplicated a BC, and want to place it on your route twice. You might do this if the route is a loop, and has the same end point as the starting point.

An example might be:

First Street
Second Street
Corner Store
Elk and River Drive

New Route

The New Route button permits you to create a new route and name it. You may wish to do this before starting to add BC, or you may wish to copy breadcrumbs into a new route, or import BC into one.

Load Backup

The Load Backup button permits you to load a saved backup file from your iPhone. Backup files are stored in the iPhone memory, and are automatically created for you. You can save one, and should, when you have done major route manipulation, or have created new route, imported them, or set and modified BC in your routes.

Save Backup

The Save Backup button is how you save a copy of all routes you have within your iPhone. You may never need to load them back into your program, but it could happen if you had to uninstall and reinstall LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS for any reason. The saved routes are accessible through iTunes, so they can be saved on your computer as an extra precaution.

Load Route

The Load Route button permits you to load a single route into LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS from your iPhone's memory so you can use the route to navigate, edit it, or copy BC from it to another route.

This option also permits you to import a route from another person, or from a route you may have saved, and wish to recover. To import a route, open the email with the attached route on your iPhone. When you open the attachment, the route is loaded into the iPhone memory. Exit Mail, and go to your Breadcrumbs app, open it, and enter the edit screen. Select Showing Routes, and you will see the Load Route button. When you select the Load Route, you will be able to view all the routes in your iPhone memory. Select the one you wish Breadcrumbs to add to your available routes. When this is done, you will then see the route in your picker as an available route. This route will be like all your other routes. You will be able to edit it, copy breadcrumbs to it, and from it. You will be able to organize the breadcrumbs on the route, and use the route while traveling.

Save Route

The save Route button permits you to save an individual route on your iPhone. A confirmation dialog comes up, telling you the name of the route being saved, and confirming that the route has been successfully saved. This route is accessible through iTunes, and may be kept on your computer as a precaution.

Another use for this option is to save routes you have that are for places you seldom go. Suppose you vacation at Disneyland, and you have prepared some great routes for Disneyland. Possibly you shared these with friends, who added to them, and now, the collection is especially valuable. You do not get to go to Disneyland often, but you will surely want those routes when you do go. You may wish to leave them off of your iPhone during daily travel, but retrieve them next year or the year after, when you have saved enough money to visit Disneyland once more.

Showing Routes

The Showing Routes button lets you show your routes, or your breadcrumbs. Split or double tapping it will show your BC on the selected route.

This button changes its label according to which it is displaying. It is identical in function to the Show Routes or Breadcrumbs button on the Navigation screen.

When you first enter the Edit screen, the default for this button is whatever you selected on the navigation screen. Once you are within the editor, the button functions independently of the identical one on the navigation screen. You can edit many routes and breadcrumbs in the edit screen, and expect to return to your navigation screen, with it still set as you left it. This could be important if you were navigating a route, and stopped to add a new route, or edit BC on your next route.

Share Route

The Share Route button permits you to share a route via email. This button causes a dialog box to appear, and permits you to email your selected route to a person in your Contacts or to an address that you enter into the edit box. The route you selected with the picker above the Home button, will be emailed to that address.

This is also another method for a safe back up. You can email your important routes to yourself--maybe that Disneyland route. It is good to do this regularly, so that you can save the routes on your computer, or tablet, so that you will have a backup copy in the event that your iPhone is replaced, or is upgraded, stops functioning, or otherwise needs replacement.

While we hope that no one ever damages an iPhone beyond repair, or loses one, statistically this does happen all the time. A recent study states that 50% of all phones lost never get returned to the owner. This may be considerably lower, now that IOS 5.X has options for finding your IOS device.

Damage or destruction of your IOS device cannot return your data to you. It is desirable to have this function to maintain a backup of your Breadcrumbs data. This data took you time to create and maintain. It is well worth preserving.

Note: We are now ready to examine the editing of breadcrumbs. To do this double tap the showing routes button to show the breadcrumbs in your chosen route.

Showing Breadcrumbs (BC)

When you switch to Showing breadcrumbs, you have many options in the editor for editing them. As you flick down the edit screen, you will find the label: Display breadcrumbs in: Route 1, unless the route has been named with a name significant to you.

This is helpful, in that it informs you of which route you have chosen to edit. You can change the route by first split or double tapping the Showing Breadcrumbs button to obtain the Showing Routes display. You then may use the picker at the bottom of the edit screen to change to the route of your choice.

Once you have chosen your route, you may switch back to Showing Breadcrumbs, and then use the picker to choose which breadcrumb, you wish to edit. The same edit features are available for the breadcrumbs as for routes.

Breadcrumb Info

There is a duplicate of the Breadcrumb Info button on the edit screen to the one on the navigation screen. When you double or split tap this button, it will give the nearest street address for your selected breadcrumb, and the accuracy of that BC when set, as well as the relative difference in altitude between you and the BC.

This button is provided to save multiple steps should you want more Breadcrumb Info while editing your selected breadcrumb. You can obtain that information without having to leave the edit screen to get it.

Rename Breadcrumb (BC)

The Rename Breadcrumb button does precisely what it sounds like it should do--permits you to rename your chosen breadcrumb. This is especially useful if you did not name the breadcrumb at the time of setting it, and wish now to change the name BC 1 to something more descriptive, such as Home.

This is one function where you are most likely to want more breadcrumb Info. Use the Breadcrumb Info button to see where you set BC 5, in case you no longer remember where it was set. The extra information can be very helpful, and is easily obtained before you activate the rename function.

This function is also useful for when you copy breadcrumbs from one route to another, and want it named differently on the new route. This may also be true of a route you have obtained from another person. You may wish a name to be assigned that means more to you, or is more easily identified.

The person sharing the route may have named it Walmart, which is not helpful to you. You may wish to call it Market and Main, which is where the Walmart is located, or call it Walmart East Entrance, if it is at the entrance of the store most accessible to public transportation.

Delete Breadcrumb (BC)

The Delete Breadcrumb button does what it indicates. It will delete the breadcrumb from your route. You should save the route later, so that you have the latest modified route saved.

If the BC was not named at the time of creation, you may wish to use the Breadcrumb Info button to be sure you know where this BC is located before you delete it. The default name may not be descriptive, if it is BC 6. Once you delete the breadcrumb, it is removed entirely from this route. Unless you saved the route in advance, or emailed it to yourself, you may no longer have that breadcrumb.

Copy Breadcrumbs to Existing Route

The Copy Breadcrumbs to Existing Route button permits you to copy your selected breadcrumbs to an existing route of your choice. A dialog will prompt you to choose the route. Once you have, you will want to edit that route to place the breadcrumbs in the proper order within the route.

Copy Breadcrumbs (BC) to New Route

The Copy Breadcrumbs to New Route button permits the copying of a selected BC to a new route. This prompts you to name the new route at the time of creation. If you choose to not do so, it will proceed with a designation such as Route 1, or whatever lowest number is available. You can rename that route later. When the BC is copied to the route, it will appear as the first BC in the route. You may then later edit the route to move it where it is supposed to be, after you have added or copied in more breadcrumbs.

Tip: If you want to copy multiple breadcrumbs into a new route, you may wish to start with the last, and copy them in reverse order, so that as each is added before the last, they will come out in the order you had them in your original route. This can save some time and effort in editing the route later.

Showing Breadcrumbs (BC)

The Showing Breadcrumbs button has already been discussed. Split or double tapping changes it to Showing Routes, and the picker at the bottom of the screen will display routes.

New Breadcrumb

The New Breadcrumb button permits you to set or drop a breadcrumb as follows: 1. From any address you type into the edit field, that Google can recognize.

2. From GPS coordinates, which will work for any location.

3. Or from the address of any entry in your contacts list that Google Maps can recognize.

When you double or split tap the New Breadcrumb button you will be presented with 4 buttons:


You may make your choice, and either close, or enter the information necessary after making your alternate selection.

Double or split tapping the Contacts button will present you with a dialogue which resembles the Contacts app on your phone. You can then locate a name or business by scrolling down the list or using the table index on the right side of the screen to select the first letter of the entry you would like to locate. Once you locate your desired entry, you may double or split tap it to bring up the information associated with it. Here you will see any address information associated with this contact. Either double tap or split tap the address you would like to use to locate the new breadcrumb and you will then receive a confirmation dialogue when the BC has been set. In the event that the breadcrumb cannot be set for whatever reason, you will be alerted.

This may occur because there is not enough information in your chosen address or your connection to the internet might not be adequate to connect to Google so that proper results can be obtained to set a breadcrumb.

If you choose to enter GPS coordinates to add a new breadcrumb, you will be able to create that breadcrumb, even without an internet connection. Google Maps and connectivity are not necessary to create a breadcrumb if one already knows the GPS coordinates.

If you choose to drop a new breadcrumb from entering an address, you will find that the process is similar to choosing an address from contacts. The same limitations apply, as when entering an address from contacts.

The GPS coordinates which are used to create a BC are obtained from Google Maps, and while useful, may not be ideal as a breadcrumb for you. The coordinates chosen are not likely to be at the entrance that you choose to use, or even at the sidewalk you will use. Even so, it will help get you to the address well enough to use your many other skills to find an entrance.

This completes the description of the Edit screens.

Using LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS

Using Breadcrumbs is easy and fun. Because it is meant to be used in addition to your normal ways of traveling, it is very easy to set up to help you navigate on your familiar routes. Just name the route as you prepare to leave your starting point, then walk the route and add Breadcrumbs along the way. You may either stop and name the breadcrumbs then, or you may wish to edit the names later.

By doing this with all of your familiar routes, you will develop a good comfort level and familiarity with LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, and find ways of improving your routes. You have a route and breadcrumb editor to help you edit your early efforts, so you can bring all of your routes up to the standards you choose to maintain.

There are some additional tips and tricks we can suggest for using LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. GPS uses more power than some other phone features. You may wish to turnoff functions like Bluetooth to save power, and if you do not need the display, you may wish to turn on your screen curtain. This will extend your battery life. In our tests, we were able to obtain over 4 hours of operation with LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS on a fully charged iPhone. With an extra battery pack, we obtained more hours of operation.

Using Breadcrumbs intermittently will help to extend your battery life. Removing it from the App Switcher stops it from using GPS while in the background, and conserves the iPhone battery. GPS is a significant power drain for your battery.

We make an effort to share our favorite tips throughout this documentation. We hope that you will find them useful. There are a couple that we add here that did not fit easily into other sections of the documentation.

Additional Tips and Tricks

We recognize that people with severe visual impairments and blindness have adaptive travel strategies. When in familiar areas, we all travel differently than when we are in semi-familiar areas, and those differ still more from our strategies in unfamiliar areas. Breadcrumbs is designed to be adaptive. It permits you to use it differently, change your strategy, according to the conditions in which you find yourself.

Some tips are to remember when you find yourself in a more challenging environment, to review the tools built into LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, and see if there are items useful to your situation.

If you find yourself traveling in an unfamiliar area, you may wish to minimize some of the sounds and messages from Breadcrumbs--ones you normally may desire to hear. This permits you to focus on your environment, and on your mobility. You can always obtain an announcement when you want to have it, by flicking, or touching an area of the screen.

By using Breadcrumbs in the simplest mode, of adding breadcrumbs to your route as you travel it, you can be reasonably sure of retracing your steps. This may occur if you were traveling a more familiar route, when you encountered construction, or a stretch of road closed to you. Suddenly, you must detour, and possibly into unfamiliar areas, where you may not know the way through to the more familiar areas to which you were walking.

If you have breadcrumbs set on points further along the route, you can now deviate, and add breadcrumbs at each corner. You can check your location regularly with the Location button on the top right of the Navigation screen. You can use a BC beyond the construction area as a goal, and wind your way around whatever number of blocks are necessary to get you beyond the construction, and allow you to return to your route.

In a semi-familiar area, you may want to use Breadcrumbs as a hand- held method of staying oriented to a known breadcrumb as you travel. You may need no announcements--only orientation towards a more familiar area. If you are having to parallel a known route--perhaps on the other side of a street, you may wish to increase the proximity alert to a breadcrumb nearby to 100 feet, 30 meters, and pick up breadcrumbs you set along the opposite side of the street, that can help you stay on your intended route.

LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS can often address the two major problems of travel when blind, or with low vision:

1. Disorientation--not knowing in which direction you should travel, as your internal compass points and landmarks are not making sense.

2. Thinking that you are in one place, and not realizing that you are blocks away, in possibly another situation that is similar, but so confusingly so, that you cannot make sense out of what you find around you.

This can happen quite as readily with persons traveling with low vision as for people who are blind--especially under low lighting areas and conditions, or in stormy conditions. Breadcrumbs can generally address either situation.

You can obtain your compass and bearing at any time with Breadcrumbs, even if you had the misfortune of being dropped in completely the wrong area by transportation. Many of us have had that experience, and wished for LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS.

If you are confused about your current location, you need not move too far to be able to pick up some kind of an address, or at least a street name. By finding a cross street, walking down it a short way, then checking your location, you can determine your intersection, and your block numbers. That may be more than you need to get yourself oriented and back on your route.

Breadcrumbs is not map-based. As stated in the introduction, this is helpful to you, in that you can add breadcrumbs at locations where a map-based app might not permit you to have them. If you have a favorite hiking area, possibly in a wooded area, you can set breadcrumbs at entrance and exit points to a large park, and walk in that area, knowing that you can remain oriented to the exits, and return to where you entered, or possibly another exit when you are ready to leave.

Exploring with Breadcrumbs

If you like to explore new areas, LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS may be able to assist you. If you create a new route first, call it Discover, or Explore maybe, and start by placing your first breadcrumb in that route, you might benefit from the following tips:

1. See if there are addresses in your contacts that are nearby that area. Place a BC from one or two of those in your new Discover route.

2. Look at your nearby routes, and copy any BC that are adjacent to your route, or possibly may help to orient you to that new area. Copy them into Discover.

3. Turn on On-Route Announcements, so you have an idea as to which street and address you may be located.

4. Make sure you have a full battery charge before you start!

As you progress along your first steps on Discover, set breadcrumbs wherever there is a decision point, and at intersecting streets. Watch your accuracy. If the area is shady, with trees around, or likely to have buildings blocking GPS, turn on your accuracy monitor, so you are aware of the possible consequences to GPS. This may give you clues about the reliability of your GPS readings.

As you progress, use the Closest Breadcrumb button to lock on to any nearby BC from other routes, or from breadcrumbs you set from your contacts.

If this is an area you previously explored, and for which you may have many breadcrumbs, use the Closest Breadcrumbs button to find them as you explore.

The safest way to explore a new area is to find its boundaries first. Map out a perimeter route around the area you wish to understand and explore. Walk that perimeter, setting BC as mentioned. This is the "island method". Imagine you are on an island, and wish to explore it. If you walk around it first, then you will know what lies along each shore. When you return to that point later, you will have an idea as to where you are, relative to other points on the shore.

This method helps you to build a safe route for return when you later explore the inner portions of your imaginary island. This technique works well even without Breadcrumbs, and with it, you will have a powerful tool for ensuring your orientation.

Help at the Mall?

If you have always wanted to use a location-orientation app indoors, in a mall perhaps, and found it frustrating, then LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS may have something to offer you. No, GPS is not reliable indoors at all, and normally may prove to be useless except for one thing!

If you use Breadcrumbs, and add BC at each entrance/exit of the mall, you may find that within the mall, the directions to the BC are available. Even if the accuracy is 328 feet, or 100 meters, what you mostly care about is the direction to the north entrance, as opposed to having an exact measure of the distance. Breadcrumbs can often do this from within a facility, even if the accuracy is very low.

If you place breadcrumbs at multiple entrances/exits, you can approximate your position from within the mall. Look at the direction to each exit, and you will have a general idea as to where you are. That may be all you need to find your way more easily through the mall to the exit you desire.

It is also helpful to impress a friend, by helping to find her car. Set a breadcrumb near the car as you leave it. If the car is in an open parking lot, the chances are very good that LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS can find that car very nicely. In covered parking lots, all bets are off--but it may get you to the right end of the parking structure.

Siri and Breadcrumbs

If you have an iPhone 4S and are familiar with Siri, you may also use Siri with Breadcrumbs. When you wish to name a breadcrumb or route, rather than using the standard on-screen keyboard offered by the iPhone, you may double or split tap the 'Dictate' key to the left of the space bar and dictate your desired name for the BC or route to Siri. When you are finished speaking, double tap the screen with two fingers and Siri will input your spoken name as text in the text field. In this way, you can have your BC and routes have custom names without the need to take the time to type them out. This can be handy in environments where you would like to save BC and routes with your preferred names but also enjoy the time creating your route. Remember, for this tip to work, you will need an active internet connection so that Siri can retrieve your speech as text for you.

Note: Siri does well with common phrases, but may not do so well with proper names. It may be helpful to use words Siri is likely to understand.

Remember to use helpful names for your breadcrumbs. Using intersecting street names like Lincoln and Washington is far more helpful than Park Entrance, or Washington 5.

Breadcrumbs and Recognizer

For those LookTel customers who purchased Recognizer, there are additional benefits. If you use Recognizer at the mall to capture images of store signs--not the entrances, but the sign often located above the entrance or exit, then with Breadcrumbs to get you to the general area, you may find that Recognizer can find or confirm a store or exit.

This same technique works for confirming a destination. If you used your LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS to reach a medical facility where you only go twice a year. Perhaps this is your dentist's office, where you only go for getting your teeth cleaned. You are semi-familiar with the area, but do not go any more often than you must, so it is always one of those trips that increases anxiety about finding the entrance. Recognizer may be an ideal companion to Breadcrumbs for this purpose. In this type of situation, Breadcrumbs can get you to the entrance area, and Recognizer may well be able to help you orient to the specific entrance you must use.

As you use LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS, you may well find adaptive strategies that you feel are helpful, and may also be helpful for others. We at LookTel want to know about these strategies. Please consider posting them on the LookTel blog, or send us an email describing what you have learned. We always appreciate hearing from our customers.  You may email us  at: BreadcrumbsHelp@LookTel.com.


Your Privacy

LookTel values your privacy. We thank you for purchasing and using LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS.  All anonymized information collected is aggregated and used in its aggregate form.  Anonymized information does have a city-level resolution.  Used in aggregate, this information eliminates the city-level location information.  No other personal identifiable information, PII, is collected by your purchase and/or use of this app.

In the Breadcrumbs Settings is a button that permits you to Opt-In, or volunteer to assist with the further development of LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. This button is located at the end of the Settings options.

Please select "Yes" to Opt-In if you wish to participate in improving LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS. Selecting "Yes" permits LookTel to collect additional anonymous data, used in aggregate form, to better determine future upgrades, analyze and understand bug reports, and meet customer requests for new features.

When you select "Yes" to Opt-In the data obtained from LookTel Breadcrumbs GPS includes:

The length of time the app is run, the status of the app when closing, the time the app was in the foreground/background, battery levels (energy use), IOS version, and IOS device, are aggregated and provided to LookTel, as essential data for the further maintenance and development of the app.

Additional data includes:

Category: General Usage

How long is the app on the main screen, in Settings, or in editing?

Resetting breadcrumbs - Have BC been reset?

Naming/renaming Breadcrumbs or keeping current name

Activation of the Breadcrumb Info button followed by the display of breadcrumb info

Activation of the location button followed by the display of the location

Activation of the closest Breadcrumb button

Activation of the Save full backup button

Activation of the share route button

Activation of the New Breadcrumb button

Activation of Hands-Free mode

Activation of background for the app to initiate turn -by-turn navigation

Category: Breadcrumbs Performance

Switching breadcrumbs (auto switching in Hands-Free mode)

Activation of pocket mode

Explanation of Opt-In Anonymous Data

The following explanations of the Opt-In data are provided so that no one need have any concern as to specifically what is collected. This list is the entire list collected from choosing to share the Opt-In data. If you have any questions, and wish a further explanation, you may email BreadcrumbsHelp@LookTel.com with your request.

The first items are self-explanatory:

The length of time the app is run,

the status of the app when closing,

the time the app was in the foreground/background,

battery levels (energy use),

iOS version, and iOS device, are aggregated and provided to LookTel, as essential data for the further maintenance and development of the app.

How long is the app on the main screen, in Settings, or in editing?
This is a report of the length of time spent on a specific screen--navigation, settings, or editing. Breadcrumbs is for navigation and orientation. The app should be designed to maximize the time spent on navigation. The other screens should be organized and simplified to support navigation and orientation activities. This data measures how well we are doing.

Resetting Breadcrumbs - Have breadcrumbs been reset?
This reports how many times the reset is being activated. It provides an indication of how our customers are managing at setting effective BC. The number is a count, and contains no other information.

Naming/Renaming Breadcrumbs or keeping current name
These are counts that indicate that BC are being named, or renamed, permitting us to develop more options for the setting and naming of breadcrumbs.

Activation of the Breadcrumb Info button followed by the display of Breadcrumb info
This is possibly the most important button in Breadcrumbs. The relative number of times it is accessed with respect to other functions and buttons is a helpful measure of Breadcrumbs efficiency. The data consists of a count--no additional information is gathered.

Activation of the location button followed by the display of the location
This reports the number of times a request for location is made--no data other than a count of activations is reported. The placement of buttons on the navigations screen and their access frequency determines screen layout and efficiency. It helps us to understand customer use of Breadcrumbs, as the proportion of location requests over Breadcrumb Info requests may represent a need for additional features in Breadcrumbs.

Activation of the closest Breadcrumb button
This assists us in developing alternate functions within Breadcrumbs, and measuring our screen efficiency. Are people only monitoring the closest breadcrumb, or are they monitoring BC further away, and activating the closest breadcrumb as they near a location? The relative numbers of closest breadcrumb requests, Location requests, and breadcrumb info requests, are all helpful at understanding customer strategies when using Breadcrumbs.

Activation of the save full backup button
Are customers making a full back-up of Breadcrumbs routes? What might our designs do to facilitate this process? This is a count of back-up attempts.

Activation of the share route button
How often do customers share routes? This data assists us in evaluating other options for sharing routes.

Activation of the New Breadcrumb button
Other methods are proposed for setting breadcrumbs. This is the first feature that does so. Data on its frequency of use will support expansion of the general capability.

Activation of Hands-Free mode
The relative use of Hands Free mode is not yet known. It is a new feature. Before making significant modifications to the Hands Free option, we require a baseline use with customers. That also determines the relative priority of modifications and expansions to the capability.

Activation of background for the app to initiate turn -by-turn navigation
Interviews determined that Navigon and MotionX Drive are the most popular GPS apps used by persons having GPS apps who are blind. The data collected will inform us as to the relative demand for this capability within Breadcrumbs, and justify an expansion of such data sharing.

Category: Breadcrumbs Performance

Switching Breadcrumbs (auto switching in Hands-Free mode
This is a count for the number of times the auto switching in Hands Free Mode is indexing breadcrumbs. It is a method to monitor the automatic switching, and inform us of performance issues.

Activation of pocket mode
This is a count of Pocket Mode activation. When compared to hands Free activation, it informs us of potential performance issues. Once we have a baseline of use, this measure will permit us to attempt modifications that improve performance and the stability of Pocket Mode.


The LookTel Team wishes to acknowledge all the alpha and beta participants that have contributed their time, effort, and such excellent ideas to Breadcrumbs and its development. Without you, Breadcrumbs would not be the app that it is. Your generosity, enthusiasm, and dedication took a good idea, and refined it into a promising app for a far wider population than any of us will get to know personally. Thank you!

We want to express our appreciation of one special LookTel Team member. Breadcrumbs is the creation of Cara Quinn. It is the first app that had its origination outside of LookTel, and it has been Cara who not only originated the idea, but brought to LookTel, the first code that proved what her ideas could do when mature. It has been Cara's flexibility, imagination, and ability to broaden her dream so that it might be shared by many, that has permitted Breadcrumbs to grow into a creation worthy of the LookTel brand.

While all of the LookTel Team contributed to Breadcrumbs, it has been Cara as lead programmer, whose ability to develop the basic idea of this app, work with the Team, and creatively implement suggestion after suggestion, month after month, that made it a joy to be a part of the Team. Unfortunately, we can only convey the product to the public, and not the excitement, energy, and delight in its creation. We can hope that each of you find a measure of those intangibles in your personal use of the app. When you do, please do thank Cara, too!