Developer Runtastic has been charging full-steam ahead into the Android market, targeting the fitness section with a bevy of apps aimed at improving health while having fun. Their crowning achievement, and staple app, is their titular fitness tracking app, Runtastic. (Google Play Link) With a society hell-bent on improving their health but nobody their to guide them short of normally-expensive trainers, users have turned to low-priced apps to supplement their nine-to-five lives with a little bit of exercise, all in the name of better health and longer, happier lives. How does Runtastic stack up against the competition? Let’s find out!
In recent months, Runtastic has been on the warpath, recently releasing updates that aimed to improve upon an already stellar running/fitness app. The beauty of the mobile app market is that there’s always another developer with better ideas coming right behind the current group, set to improve upon their predecessors and usurp the champion, so current developers are forced to improve upon their existing base in an effort to keep their customers.
Runtastic has all of the standard features one has come to expect in a fitness tracking app including gps tracking, manual data entry, and social interaction. Runtastic allows you to log in using your existing Facebook account, which you’d almost be a fool not to do, allowing you to take advantage of what is, in my opinion, the heart of these apps. With a social media account, users are able to compare and compete with their Facebook friends, that competition being the driving force behind constant improvement. Runtastic takes great advantage of this feature, allowing users to post their runs, times, and other activities.
Runtastic is incredibly easy to use and figure out, but doesn’t sacrifice any of the more complex features you might expect (or hope for) in a fitness app. I’m a big fan of Nike+ and the feature that their original iOS app offered that had voice feedback during your runs. Runtastic provides audio cues to let you know where you are in your exercise routine, how much longer you have, and provides words of encouragement during your most crucial exercise moments. Runtastic also offers a plethora of post-exercise features, allowing you to comment on the weather, conditions, feelings, and a multitude of other things that a user might want to track while they work out. Want to see how well you perform when it’s cloudy out? Runtastic keeps track of that information, allowing you to go back to it at a later date. Want to see how your run looked on a 3D map? Runtastic takes the GPS data and gives you that visual display. Runtastic even allows you to enter your data manually, just in case you happened to have worked out on a treadmill, hit the links for a bit, or did some other activity with no real tangible GPS movement.
I like Runtastic a lot. In the interest of transparency, I did not pay for this review copy (it was provided to me for review), and I do tend to think that $3.99 for an app is a bit on the steep side. However, at that price it comes in a dollar less than its main competitor Endomondo, and is less than a cup of coffee that you’re not going to drink because you’re too busy running with the app! I would definitely recommend Runtastic to anyone that is really serious about tracking their runs and all of the data associated with it. It’s a lot of fun and provides tangible data that might make getting up that last hill a little bit easier.