Top 4 Fitness & Activity Trackers in the App Store
With the activity tracking boom, many wearable trackers like FitBit, Withings, Jawbone, and Nike Fuel Band are increasing in popularity. From what I’ve experienced, these trackers can definitely be worth all the hype; tracking your steps, distance, exercise (running & cycling), and even your sleep cycles. The only thing that these new age trackers lack is affordability. With a price range of $55-$250+, they may be worth the price, but we’re going to take a look at your free options in the iOS App Store. Here is a list of the top Running/Activity tracking apps that can be found for FREE in the App Store. For the sake of the difference in opinion, I’m not going to rank them in any particular order.
This fitness tracking app is worthy of the first mention for more than just the reason that it is a Boston based company. RunKeeper comes free with an in-app purchase to upgrade to additional features. While the added features are nice, they are not necessary to experience the benefits of the app. RunKeeper is very easy to use, and you’re able to get a view of your essential running details (time, distance, pace and calories) at a glance. The app includes several customizable running workouts, and it can also shuffle songs from your iPod playlist. Most of all, RunKeeper is very clean looking and the GPS is very accurate.
Pros: clean design, easy to use, accurate GPS
Cons: upgrade needed for additional features
MapMyFitness is the leader in fitness tracking with their MapMyRun and MapMyRide mobile fitness apps. They are very hard toignore with over 20 million users as of this month. I started my activity tracking using the MapMyRun app when I was training for longer runs. It’s very simple, you choose ‘record,’ what activity you want to record, and then you are on your way. MapMyRun allows you to connect with friends, view your workouts and previous routes, and also track your diet. Your app can be connected to an online dashboard where you can create a route, and log your food intake. The food log isn’t as easy as some other websites/apps, but it is ok if you want to do all of your tracking in one platform. MapMyRun has an in-app purchase to their MVP option that includes advanced map features, training plans, heart rate and cadence analysis, mobile coaching, and interval training, to name a few.
Pros: multiple tracking features, easy to use, accurate GPS, food tracking
Cons: upgraded needed for additional features, not well-designed aesthetically
While the previous two apps focus mainly on GPS tracking and routes, Moves is your total activity tracker including your steps, running, and cycling. From the time you wake up, wherever you carry your phone, Moves will be tracking all of your activity. Some of you may like your running apps but here’s the thing about Moves, it automatically realizes when you go from a walk to a run, or walk to a bike ride. So if you’re walking down the street and have to run to catch the bus, both activities will be accounted for. Moves is a newer app so there are some draw backs. It had limited features, lacks the social features you will see in RunKeeper and MapMyRun, and it is always tracking so it does use your battery and data. If you’re looking for more than just a run tracker and you do not want to spend the money on the aforementioned pricey activity trackers, then Moves is for you.
Pros: simple design, easy to use, tracks all daily activity
Cons: uses data and battery, lacks many additional features
Argus is a total activity tracker that has similar features to Moves, but offers a lot more. Argus monitors not only user activities, butfood intake, workouts, sleep, hydration, weight, and vital signs. The app is engineered to consume very little power and is designed to run in the background at all times. Users can create food diaries, observe trends over time and track and share data with friends. It features a very interesting honeycomb like dashboard which allows you to see all of your tracking over time. This app is very easy to use, with little downside minus the data and battery usage, which is limited.
Pros: well-designed, easy to use, tracks multiple activities (including sleep), closest thing to a wearable activity tracker
Cons: uses data and battery
Eric Zisk is a Fitness Center Manager and Site Wellness Coordinator for a division of a Fortune 500 company. He has a MS in Exercise Science and Health Promotion and a BS in Applied Nutrition. Outside of corporate fitness he teaches group exercise classes at NB Fitness Club in Brighton, MA. He likes to stay active by running, cycling, lifting weights, and playing sports. Eric specializes in: health promotion, nutrition & weight management, fitness training, and tech-related reviews. Connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.