Over the course of the past week and a half, I have been running with my iPhone – not for the music, but for the GPS/runner apps that I have been trying out. I wanted to see which one I liked the best.
3 iPhone Apps for Runners
I liked the big start button in the middle of the screen, the voice feedback, but thought that the time should have been the larger numbers instead of the mileage. I did like that single button to stop your workout versus having to do a slider, after running and being out of breath, it is a lot easier to stop the timer. The webpage that goes along with the app is solid and does what you need to track your workouts. Posting to Twitter is easy.
Good app for running, but it isn’t what I am looking for.
I used this as my primary app for walking since last summer. It loads in about 11 seconds, which is much better than it was initially – upwards of 30 seconds, so they have made significant improvements here.
I like the start and the positioning of the time, but the size of the timer is small if you are running along or making a quick glance at it to see how you are doing. I really don’t see a need for MPH unless you are using it for biking too, which I don’t. Maybe redesigning this screen could be an option to make it better for a runner.
I do like that Runtastic goes directly into map mode when you hit start. This is especially good if you are in an area that you don’t know very well. However, I hate having a slider to stop the workout. When you are all sweaty it and out of breath, sometimes it is hard to do get the slider to work without messing with it. Everything else is really good and integration with their website, Twitter and Facebook are all good too.
I tried this because of some good reviews I read online. It had the quickest start-up time of all the ones that I have tried – just over 4 seconds. But had several screens to go through to get to the timer section. Main >Go >Free Workout >Review >Continue >Ready, Set, Go >Start Work. I hate where the start workout button is placed and how it takes you to a different screen for your workout.
I like the timer screen, but to you have to use a slider to stop the workout (which is misnamed “slide to unlock”) then you have go to another screen to hit finish, these add about 5-10 seconds onto your time by the time you get through the screen which is a pain.
It has a nice summary screen. miCoach is a very powerful app that needs to be simplified, it has too many screens to go through to be useful to me, especially when ending a workout. I just want to press one button and have stuff stop at the end. Great premise, just not what I am looking for – too many screens for me.
None of these iPhone apps are really what I am looking for as a runner, the GPS in all of them gives a different distance each time you use the app for the same course, so they are approximations of the distance that I have run at best. I can get a reasonable distance that is as accurate on the roads with my car, so one of the reasons for using these GPS enabled running apps is gone.
If I can get back in shape enough for some trail running, I would probably use Runtastic, even though I don’t like the slider to stop the app. I do plan to keep using the Runtastic app for walking, when I want to keep track of one.