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|
|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|