5 Popular Running Apps: How They Stack Up

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

Picking the right iPhone or Android app to run with can be a little daunting these days – a search in the iPhone’s App Store for something as simple as “running apps” produces dozens upon dozens of results, way more than anyone can evaluate on their own.

So, I didn’t exactly try them all out – I’d be doing nothing but running for days or weeks if I tried to do that – but I did test out five of the most popular apps that I and my friends have found to be among the best.

Here’s what I liked, what I didn’t, and which one(s) are probably right for you:

Garmin Connect MapMyRun Nike+ Running RunKeeper Strava
Basic App Free Free Free Free Free
Premium App N/A $5.99/month or $29.99/year N/A $9.99/month or $39.99/year $5.99/month or $59.99/year
Basic Features Dashboard for activities; LiveTrack for Facebook or Twitter; can manually add activities GPS tracking; lifetime stats; goal tracking; mapped routes GPS tracking; PowerSongs; real-time cheers via Facebook; challenges; training programs GPS tracking; 5K-marathon training plans; challenges; adjustable audio cues GPS tracking; challenges; compare similar workouts; gear tracker
Premium Features N/A Live Tracking; interval training; audio coaching; ad-free; heart rate analysis N/A Customizable plans; compare similar workouts; premium 5K-marathon training plans Live; segments; quantifiable heart rate data; pacing analysis; race analysis
Best For Garmin GPS watch users who don’t want to carry their phone (unless LiveTracking) Newbies & experts alike – those who want to track everything Basic tracking and stat-keeping Simplicity seekers Numbers junkies; runners & cyclists
Cons Must own a Garmin GPS watch Is there such a thing as too many features? For runners and running only Must use third-party apps to sync GPS watch data App doesn’t include many of the desktop features

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