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Unfortunately the update that was made to speed up the rendering has lead to an opposite result on iPhone 4, iPod 4 and earlier devices. A technique of caching drawing into pre rendered images normally works much faster than drawing vector and text on each screen update, but as it turns out on the affected devices it does work much slower instead. The urgent bug fix is in the works now and will be released as soon as possible.
Until the update arrives, please, use the temporary workaround – double tap on the main screen for the quick switching menu and turn off maps and camera. The maps and camera are primary CPU and battery power consumers – turn them off and it should do the thing for now. You still can use maps for anything except the main screen without the performance loss – to add, edit and to show waypoints.
In case the lag stays with maps and camera off it means the system runs low on free memory. The system tells the app to free memory and thus it flushes all the image cache and then rebuilds at least a part of it again immediately – what may be CPU consuming. To overcome this and to free system memory you can perform a cold iOS reboot – tap and hold POWER and HOME buttons simultaneously until a white apple appears, then release both buttons.
An update on the user interface slowdown issue on iPhone 4, iPad 1 and iPod 4.
First of all I would like to apologize for this taking so long.
Next I would like to thank you for your patience and support, and for contacting me directly instead of just writing these a very demotivating one star reviews on the iTunes.
This is one of the toughest updates in terms of hard working day and night long trying to solve the issue.
The simple rollback to the old version rendering code did not solve it and showed that the old version was also suffering from performance issues on single core CPUs – it has become clear that I need to go on with the long ago planned optimizations that were delayed in sacrifice of bringing new features.
The straight approach to use more of game level OpenGL rendering did not work either. Well, it worked as expected only in plain compass mode without camera or maps on. But with any of these primary features that lead to a complete, much worse than the current issue, freeze of the app due to OpenGL synchronization issues related with the map and camera own rendering.
So, that was the beginning of a long journey into the deepest debug and testing.
I implemented five new rendering engines for the app main screen which, taking into account different options and approaches, resulted into over a dozen of rendering modes.
Each of the solutions was carefully and thoroughly debugged, tested, profiled and tweaked to optimize CPU and GPU utilization, memory usage, energy efficiency and to get rid of time consuming bottlenecks in the rendering code.
It even started to seem to be impossible to get it working more or less fine (at least acceptably) on older devices, but I continued to dig it step by step, implementing and testing one approach after another.
Eventually I found the one giving the best results.
The resulting update beyond new rendering type adds more levels of caching and rendering optimizations resulting in at least 30-35% less CPU usage, including the devices affected by the current issue – what means a benefit for all devices, including newest ones, not just in performance, but also in terms of energy and memory usage.
The UI and HUD have become responsive and stable at up to 45-60 FPS, which on single core CPUs I had to artificially limit to 30 FPS to allow some CPU resources for the used maps SDKs to render the map on the main screen.
So, with the new update it’s fast enough, even (much) better than the prior to the issue version.
The update has been sent to Apple for a review yesterday and, hopefully, is to be approved and released with about a week or may be earlier.
Wanted to drop you a mail with status update yesterday as well, but after 15+ hours of work each of these days even eye drops didn’t help me, so, at last, I went to sleep.
So, once again, thanks a million for your kind patience, understanding and support on bringing my attention to it and solving this quite tough to fight issue.
Enjoy the app again when the update goes live.
And don’t forget to send me your feedback, so I can work on further improvements :)