Big Test: The Best Workout Apps for 2020

Big Test: The Best Workout Apps for 2020

Exercise, motivate, analyze: The training app has become a prominent companion for those who want a little more control over their training. By logging your training, you can let the app motivate you, help you with the planning and analyze your results.

If you are healthy and stressed out, harder workouts can definitely go well, but be sure to listen if the body shows warning signals.

Intensive training stresses the body more than you thought

The cortisol is raising quickly after the run.
The participants had to go out on a lap before breakfast and they were asked to run as fast as they could for five kilometers. On the second day, they were allowed to rest for the same amount of time before breakfast. What was the difference then? Well, the results showed - among other things - that the stress hormone cortisol increased rapidly after the round, which in turn increased the blood sugar level in the body.

To handle the high blood sugar level, the body needed to produce double levels of insulin

More insulin - but just as high blood sugar. The body continued to have high blood sugar levels. Diabetics should not take too hard. An important conclusion is that people who exercise to combat diabetes probably should not take in everything they can during intensive training.

The apps can help you with a lot in training, from motivating to guiding so that you exercise properly and achieve your goals, to analysis and evaluation. One sign that apps, mobiles and training watches have become a prominent part of many people’s training is that the apps today are not released by independent small app companies but instead have giants like Nike, Adidas and Asics as senders. The apps are thus an essential part for the sports companies, and in addition to measuring how far and fast you have run, cycled or what you have now done, the apps can do much more. Here are the help and support to plan the continued training based on your past achievements, opportunities to challenge friends and unknowns to be spurred on for better performance,

Before choosing a training app, it is obviously good to think about what you should prioritize. All the apps we test here are available for both iOS and Android. You don’t have to bother about not getting your training history with you if you were to change your phone and system at some point. In this test, we focus on the phone apps, but we do not, of course, ignore the possibility of using a smartwatch instead, or as a complement, when you exercise. 

The smartwatch has several benefits for measuring your workouts. Above all, it can add heart rate data to your collected exercise data. Still, it can also be easy to avoid carrying the phone with you during the training session and instead have your hands free and release that possible holder to clamp the phone on your arm.

All the apps we test have a connection to smartwatches, so it’s clear that the smartwatch, especially in training context, has an important role and is here to stay. 

Timing and GPS are the basic features of this type of app. It is used to simply see how far and where you have run, walked, jogged, or what you have now done. Then, the different apps can use the information collected to calculate average speed, height differences during the workout, or how many calories you have consumed. The precision of how far you have jumped, we have compared the different apps, but how correct they actually show depends mainly on the phone’s GPS precision. The difference between the different apps has been vanishingly small when we tested.

In addition to measuring workout, the apps can act as a coach and advisor with your friends. The main benefit of documenting your workout in this way is that you can compare your workout today with what you did last week or the year before. 

Everything to be able to compare and maybe even compete against yourself and be spurred. Many apps also offer opportunities to compete with friends in the same app, so you can track each other and compare your results.

Another way to get some extra inspiration is to listen to music during training. Several of the apps offer customized playlists in more or less smart ways so you can get the music you like, and that also fits your workout pace. Regardless, you can, of course, regardless of which app you use, switch the app to a music player on your mobile and play a podcast or whatever music you want without the training measurement suffering. However, it can be convenient to be able to control the music directly from within the app just to avoid switching between apps during the workout. 

Money can be saved

Above all, different types of coaching and training advice adapted to your results and your set goals are things that app manufacturers are happy to pay for. However, it pays to compare the apps and think through what you need, because what costs extra in one app may very well be free in another. Also, we clearly notice that there is money to be saved even by comparing prices for one and the same app. The apps that have some kind of Premium mode charge for it in the form of a subscription. However, that subscription is significantly cheaper if you subscribe to the app’s website instead of directly in the app. The reason for this is that Apple and Google charge a portion of the fee when paying through the app, so it can often be cheaper, sometimes even down to half the price, through the website. In the fact table here in the test, we give an account of the costs when you subscribe the subscription through the respective service’s website.

Exercise is not everything

When talking about smartwatches, it is usually pointed out that good health is not just about high-intensity training, but also that regular movement in everyday life is essential. This is where apps like Google Fit on Android and Apple Health come in. 

In addition to gathering step data from the phone or smartwatch and the training sessions from the training apps that support sharing information for these apps, they can do significantly more. Here you can gather information about how you sleep, what you eat, what you weigh and everything else that has to do with your health and exercise. 

If you have a connected wave, sleep sensor, you will automatically get a complete view of your health in these apps, which makes it an advantage if the exercise app you choose has support just for sharing information.

Among the apps we test, some stand out from the crowd a bit. Fitbit, Samsung and Huawei are apps that are primarily created for each manufacturer’s training watches, but they also function as training apps on the mobile. We come to the strengths and weaknesses of each app as we now look at what each app can and cannot do. We start with one of the most exciting apps.

Fitbit

When talking about health and exercise, Fitbit has a unique position. Fitbit was one of the first to launch pedometers that, besides registering just how much you move, also had control of sleep quality and since then you have advanced and now also make smartwatches. What many have probably missed is that the Fitbit app used to connect your pedometer or clock to your mobile is also a training app in itself. The app aspires to be a total solution, and therefore there is the opportunity to follow their weight, how much fluid you get in, how much you are craving and then there is a button with a plus sign to register training. Then you don’t need a clock or pedometer, but the app simply uses the phone’s sensors. 

Looking at the features that are available and the interface, however, it is quite clear that training measurement is not the app’s main focus. In the iOS version of the app, you can play music directly from within the Fitbit app, then from the Apple Music app without switching to it, but otherwise, there are few benefits. Music control is missing in the Android version of the Fitbit app. Sure it is possible to register training with the app, but I sometimes have trouble showing the map that will present the route I skipped during the run myself and the app lacks autopause. For example, if you stop at a red light, time ticks on and just when I test it, I also discover that the distance is ticking. The reason is that GPS has a little difficulty getting the exact position when I’m standing, and such a problem is actually avoided in almost all other apps because they have autopause.

Fitbit is one of the few apps in this test that does not share their data with Apple Health or Google Fit and the reason for that is that you are certainly aspiring to fill such a feature. In fact, several apps of the ones we test can share their data with Fitbit. In the Fitbit app, you should thus be able to collect data from several different sources and get a complete picture of your exercise, health and everyday activities. 

To increase your motivation, there are some opportunities to add friends and compare yourself to their achievements. The interface when you are out and about shows the distance in kilometres large, with time and average tempo in smaller style. Directly on the screen, you can also control any music in the iOS app, but only Apple Music and not, for example, Spotify. 

The music controls are also available on the screen that you see if you swipe because there the music is displayed at the top and then a large map image on the rest of the screen. It does, however, show the wrong view sometimes, so Fitbit’s interface does not belong to the better in the test. The post-workout analysis is also flawed, and the Fitbit app is not much more than a pedometer.

Plus: Better on data collection from other apps, for free

Minus: The interface, no autopause, no training focus, inadequate analysis

Facts Fitbit

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: No, but for Fitbit’s own watches

App also for Wear OS: No, but for Fitbit’s own watches

Music connections: Control local music in the Ios app, not in Android.

Can share data for Apple Health: No

Can share data for Google Fitness: Only via the third-party app Fit To Fit

Live broadcast: No

Key features of the free version: Shows daily steps

Premium subscription, price monthly / year: SEK 85 / SEK 419 (cheaper on the web and in Ios app, more expensive in the Android app) Premium subscription content: Separate app called Fitbit Coach and gives you video instructions and voice coachingAuto training – motion activated: No

Rate Fitbit

Interface: 2

Functions: 2

Before Exercise: 1

During Exercise: 2

After: Data and Analysis: 1

Overall Rating: 8

 

Huawei Health

Like the previous app, Huawei Health is an app primarily for Huawei’s own products. The app lets you connect Huawei’s watches, fitness bracelets and scales, as well as a pair of heart rate monitors from other manufacturers. The app then collects data that it compiles and analyzes comprehensively. Therefore, the best use of the app is if you have a smartwatch or a separate heart rate band in addition to using the phone, as there is more data to analyze and draw conclusions about. 

However, the fact that the app is mainly for collecting information does not exclude that it is also a regular training app. Whether you have a clock or not, you can use the app as a regular running app, and like all the other apps in our test, it is available for both iOS and Android, although it looks a bit different depending on which system you use. In addition to starting a workout within running, cycling or a walk, there are opportunities to set goals with the individual workout or workout as a whole and also get different guided interval workouts. However, neither the Android nor the iOS app is particularly evident, so it can sometimes be challenging to see everything that can actually be done. One reason for this is that the app is not just a training app, but at the same time will try to collect data on your sleep, weight, what you eat, how you sleep and so on. 

Just for training, there are still a few useful functions. For example, you have no music connection, so if you want to listen to music, you have to switch to another app during the training session and manage it manually there. During the training session, map image and distance are the most visible and everything is collected in one screen, which is good. Swiping between different screens while running can be unmistakable. In addition to the distance, I also see the pace and calories consumed. 

When the workout is over, however, the analyzes allow you to get the app’s apparent strength. Especially when I’ve had a clock on me that can measure my heart rate, there are several different charts that I can study. After the jogging round, you get the necessary calculations of pace per kilometre, your step length, the total number of steps and the number of steps per minute. Also, I can see the effect of my workout, an estimated VO2 max value and an indication of how long after the workout I should rest before the body is ready for a new exercise. There is simply a lot to understand here.

When it comes to motivation, there are several different medals that you can earn in the app, similar to those that many other apps have. However, the focus of this app is primarily to compile statistics, and there are, for example, no features to challenge friends or in other ways be extra embarrassed by directly sharing and comparing their performance with others. 

Plus: Comprehensive analysis of data

Minus: Messy interface

Facts Huawei Health

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: No, but for Huawei’s watch Watch GT, compatible with Ios

App also for Wear OS: No, but for Huawei’s watch Watch GT, compatible with Android

mobiles Music connections: No

Can share data to Apple Health: Yes

Can share data to Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: No

Key features of the free version: Pulse zone data, pedometers, goals, auto-detected workouts (Android only), autopause, interval training (Android only)

Premium subscription, price month/year: Not available, all features are free

Premium subscription content: Not available, all features are free

Auto Exercise – Motion Activated: No

Rating Huawei Health

Interface: 2

Features: 4

Before Exercise: 3

During Exercise: 3

After: Data

& Analysis: 4 Overall Rating: 16

 

Nike Run Club, NRC

Among sports shoe manufacturers, Nike has been relatively early in adopting technology to make training more measurable and to motivate you. They have done this with sensors in the shoes and with a collaboration with Apple. The NRC app is another example of this, and when other sports manufacturers have bought already existing apps, Nike has already had its own.

The NRC app is well-made and, in addition to a scaled-down, simple interface, also includes some free features that are otherwise included in competitors’ premium monthly versions. Nike’s NRC app is entirely free. In the app, for example, you can specify that you want to run a half-marathon at a specific time this fall and get a customized training program to achieve your meal on that race successfully.

The NRC app is particularly good at motivating. It is the only app that has Spotify connectivity so you can control the music you play in Spotify directly from within the NRC app without having to switch between apps. Besides, you can choose your tempo and music genre or artist to get a custom playlist to suit your workout and taste. However, Spotify pairing with these special features is only available in the iOS version of the app, and in the Android edition, you will have to settle for playing the music from the standard app on your mobile.

In addition to the music features that also let you choose a “power song” that starts when you need extra peeps, there are opportunities to be tracked by friends. If you have friends who use the NRC app, you can compare your progress and compete against each other. 

The interface in the NRC app is, as I have mentioned, scaled-down and also modern. During the workout, you will see the distance large as well as smaller numbers showing pulse, time and pace. You can take pictures saved to your training data, and you can control the music directly in the app. Via a shortcut in the upper corner, you can see a map of where you are and how you got there.

After training, the NRC app feels ambitious. For example, I am encouraged to rate the effort of my completed workouts so that they can be included in my workout planning. The compilation of the respective training is also quite extensive. In addition to the basic data collected, I can also see tempo per kilometre, diagrams that visualize pulse, ascent and tempo for the entire run. Overall, the Nike app is especially good at visualizing, and already in the map view, I see my round has been coloured according to the data collected.

Plus: music coupling, motivational, training planning, useful visualizations

Minus: Not so comprehensive analyzes

Facts Nike Run Club

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: Yes

App also for Wear OS: Yes

Music connections: Select “Power song”. For example, control the music in Spotify directly in the training app without switching the app. Only in Ios: Enter your running tempo and music genre, and a custom playlist will be played in Spotify in your running tempo. 

Can share data for Apple Health: Yes

Can share data for Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: No

Key features of the free version: Autopause, Workout planning, goals

Premium subscription, price month/year: Not available, all features are free

Premium subscription content: Not available, all features are free

Auto Exercise – Motion Activated: No.

Rate the Nike Run Club

Interface: 4

Features: 3

Before Exercise: 4

During Exercise: 4

After: Data

& Analysis: 3 Total Rating: 18

 

Strava

For those who pay for the entire subscription package consisting of three different parts, Strava offers lots of analysis, training planning, motivation and live reporting of your training. But even in the free version, it is a competent app.

During the workout, the screen is filled with big numbers that show the time, pace and distance.

Before you go out, Strava actually has a unique and fun feature, and it is used to find new workouts. This is an opportunity to share your favourite routes to others and find new places to discover while you exercise. With a special tool on Strava’s website, you can create your own routes and see other users. In this way, you can find new proper training rounds but also compare yourself with others on parts of your round. When you run with the Strava app and come across a route, you can also see it, and then you can compete against others. For example, a special part of my running round has another Strava user drawing in, and I place myself as the second fastest on that particular stretch. This adds a little extra space to the workout that other apps don’t have. One advantage is that it does not require your personal friends to use Strava, but this can be anyone you can suddenly challenge. In the app, you can search for routes that others have named and designed, and there you can challenge each other as users.

After the training, I get diagrams of altitude differences and tempo as well as figures of total time, distance and tempo in total and per kilometre. For additional analyzes such as heart rate and tempo zones, you need to pay for that extra package. If you have friends who use the Strava app, you get their workout in a flow and can comment and like their performance, and you can join different challenges, both of these things also occur in other apps among the ones we test. Otherwise, however, it is quite thin with opportunities to track or compare performance with each other in the Strava app. Yet, you can join different forms of challenges, such as running a mile or training for a special race and then comparing yourself to everyone else who does the same challenge in the app.

Plus: Find training round, challenge others on intermediate goals, comprehensive features for the payer

Minus: Many features cost extra

Strava Facts

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: Yes

App also for Wear OS: Yes

Music connections: No

Can share data to Apple Health: Yes

Can share data to Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: Yes, with a premium subscription

Essential features of the free version: Autopaus Premium

subscription, month/year price: SEK 79 / SEK 529 (cheaper if you opt-out of premium features, but the same price in the app as on strava.com)

Premium subscription content: Training planning, goals, more detailed statistics and analysis, live broadcast, personal heatmaps, priority support and more. You can also opt-out of premium features for a cheaper fee.

Auto Exercise – Motion Activated: No.

Rating Strava

Interface: 3

Features: 4

Before Exercise: 4

During Exercise: 3

After: Data and Analysis: 3

Total Rating: 17

 

Samsung Health

Just like Fitbit and Huawei Health, Samsung Health is above all an app that is used to collect all information about your overall workout and health as well as to collect data from Samsung’s own watches and activity bands. The app’s focus on trying to do more or less everything and also collecting data from third-party apps and other services makes it difficult to get an overview in. It takes a while before I manage to find my workouts that are older than 30 days, and it’s not Of course even how I start to register a new workout, but the function is there. The apps for Ios and Android are completely different structured and the features are also slightly different, but just to start training so that the phone logs GPS, time and – if you have a smartwatch – you also do pulse in one of the boxes on the home page of the app.

There are no features in Samsung Health that require you to pay anything extra. When you look around in the app, you can actually find a lot of things that cost money in other apps but which is thus free here. Before training begins, I get help setting goals for my workout, both long-term goals and the purpose of the individual exercise. When this is done, I can receive instructions during the pass-through voice instructions. The instructions are also displayed on the screen, and you can choose from, for example, a distance target, that you will be able to manage 5 kilometres, or that you should be out for an hour or burn a certain number of calories. Then the guidance becomes a countdown. If you choose tempo goals, you will instead receive continuous instructions on how to set up the workout with warm-up, tempo changes and calm down in the end.

During the workout, time is displayed with great distance and tempo in a smaller style. In the same view, you also have the map image which shows which way you took. The Android version also has a shortcut to your music app, but it does nothing more than just switch to the music app, whether it’s Spotify or someone else you’ve chosen. That everything is collected on one screen is good because it can be challenging to switch between different screen views when running.

After the training session, in addition to the basic information about distance and time, I can also see tempo per kilometre, average speed and also speed, altitude change and tempo visualized in a diagram.

Whether you have friends who also use the same app or not, you can compare your overall performance with other users. For example, I can see how my number of steps stands compared to other users of Samsung Health. I am told that I am currently among the top 4 percent of all users and among the top 6 percent of my age group. This is a good incentive that does not require you to convince friends to use the same app as you.

Plus: Objectives and training planning, comprehensive analysis

Minus: Messy interface

Facts Samsung Health

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: No, but for Samsung’s own watches

App also for Wear OS: No, but for Samsung’s own watches

Music connections: No

Can share data to Apple Health: No

Can share data to Google Fitness: No

Live broadcast: No

Key features of the free version: Auto-detected workout (Android only), autopause, workout planning, goals

Premium subscription, price month/year: Not available, all features are free

Premium subscription content: Not available, all features are free

Auto training – motion activated: Yes, in Android

Rating Samsung Health

Interface: 2

Features: 3

Before Exercise: 4

During Exercise: 3

After: Data

& Analysis: 3 Overall Rating: 15

 

Runtastic

As soon as I start Runtastic, I can confirm that it is a feature-rich yet easy to use the app and that it is the giant Adidas behind it. Runtastic offers a lot of unique features that we do not find in competitors.

If we look at the app as a whole, the interface is excellent, and you manage to combine the generous range of features with a design that still makes it easy to find what you are looking for. An information flow shows your own and connected friends’ training sessions and you, as a tradition in the app context offers, have the opportunity to like each other’s achievements. Runtastic has a premium location that costs extra and looks that closely see the free user information and additional services that are marked with a yellow star and thus cost extra to see and use. It is obviously intended as a spur to pay but may feel a bit legitimate that it is so diligent in the standard interface. I even receive newsletters via e-mail where all information is erased and requires a premium subscription for me to see them. It feels a little good.  

During the training session, I get to see a map of the route, in the middle of the screen and above it, the time is displayed and in smaller style distance, calories and pace. I can switch the map image so that it instead shows music being played, settings or tempo per kilometre. Music controls in Ios are limited to Apple Music and in Android to be a very primitive shortcut to the separate app you use for the purpose.

A more fun feature is the one called Story Running. It is one of the premium features that costs extra, but in return provides something that few others offer. You could call it a way of combining benefit and pleasure because there are spoken stories that are, in a way adapted to the workout. These are stories where you who train are involved in the story. Four stories are when I look for free to test, but the rest costs a fixed sum of ten SEK each. Among the stories is one where you are taken around the city of New York, should avoid a forest fire, act Spartacus or avoid a helicopter pursuing you. It can undoubtedly be a different workout if you have a little imagination and allow yourself to be moved.

In fact, I can also choose to broadcast any of my workouts live so that my friends can follow me online and cheer. This is done by sharing a link on Facebook, but it becomes complicated for anyone to see. They too have to create a Runtastic account. Not so useful in practice thus.

After my workout, I get a summary with map image, distance, calories and pace, but the figure for the height of the exercise is hidden for those who do not pay. In the leaderboard, you can compare your training with friends who may be using the same app. In addition to the list of friends, however, you can also choose to join one of Adidas running communities located in the world’s major cities. For my part, Stockholm is the closest group (and the only one in Sweden). There I become one of 463 members and can thus also compare myself with the participants there if I want.

Anyone who wants more guidance and help in putting together their goals and training sessions can get it. It is part of the premium package and gives you a workout program adapted to, for example, losing weight, running a marathon or just getting started with a little more continuous running training.

Plus: New motivational features, feature-packed, yet good overview

Minus: Many features require premium

Facts Runtastic

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: Yes

App also for Wear OS: Yes

Music connections: Select “Powersong”. Control music in, for example, Spotify (Ios only Apple Music) directly in the training app without switching the app.

Can share data for Apple Health: Yes

Can share data for Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: Yes

Key features of the free version: Live broadcast, weather information, autopause (premium on Android)

Premium subscription, price month/year: SEK 208 (3 months) / SEK 521 (cheapest at rondastic.com, more expensive in the app)

Premium subscription content: Exercise planning, interval training, goals, video instructions, tips on running rounds, heart rate zone data, autopause (in the free version on iPhone)

Auto Exercise – Motion Activated: No.

Rating Runtastic

Interface: 3

Functions: 4

Before Exercise: 3

During Exercise: 3

After: Data and Analysis: 3

Total Rating: 16

 

Endomondo

This is an app that is now included in the great flora provided by Under Armor, manufacturer of sportswear. Endomondo, like many others in this test, is a free app that has several premium features on top of the basic features that you have to pay a subscription to avail. Running may be what the app is most suited for from the start, but here there are nevertheless some seventy sports to choose from. Everything from rope jumping to American football and boxing. However, the view in the app is the same, so whether I select boxing, badminton or table tennis, I get the same screen with map, distance and time. Sports such as cross-country skiing, kayaking or running are therefore best suited for the app.

One fun feature, however, that belongs to the premium range is the opportunity to compete against yourself. Then you choose a previous workout, and during your new exercise, you always have the chance to compete against yourself. It is a surprisingly effective carrot. Then the map view during the passport itself is combined with information about how you are compared to your previous passport. So instead of just showing the time you have been out, it shows how much time you have spent or are left compared to yourself.

Endomondo has no special music features in the iOS version and in the Android version, we have to settle for a primitive shortcut to a music app of your choice. 

After the workout, I get a summary with map image, distance and other relevant figures. However, I think it is a pity that there are few opportunities to compare with and compete with friends or others more than liking each other’s workout in the news feed.

However, another way to get some competition pulse is to create your own or join the app’s various challenges. When I go into the extensive settings menu in the app, I notice that this is a feature-packed app and here are, among other things, routes, challenges, interval training and dietary advice. However, the latter turns out to be just a shortcut to the sister app Myfitnesspal, which is reminiscent of Endomondo being part of a difficult-to-understand group of apps, all under the flag of Under Armor.

Anyway, the challenges are a way to compare yourself to others. Admittedly, it is a relatively primitive way since you are lumped in with thousands of others more or less randomly.   

Plus: Many features

Minus: Much requires a premium

Facts Endomondo

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: Yes

App also for Wear OS: Yes

Music connections: No

Can share data for Apple Health: Yes

Can share data for Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: No

Essential features of the free version: Autopaus

Premium subscription Price per month/year: SEK 55 / SEK 276 (cheapest on endomondo.com, more expensive in the app) 

Premium subscription content: Training planning, more detailed statistics, heart rate data, custom voice-based coach, weather information, advertising-free, priority support

Auto-training – motion activated: No

Rating Endomondo

Interface: 3

Features: 3

Before Exercise: 3

During Exercise: 2

After: Data

& Analysis: 4 Total Rating: 15

 

Runkeeper

We end with the app that is probably the most popular here, at least judging by how long it has been popular in the app stores’ leaderboards. Although it has many years on its neck, it does not mean that it is out of date. On the contrary, Runkeeper has both changed and improved in several steps and now the sports brand Asics is holding the threads.

Over the years, both the direction has changed, and functions have come and gone. For example, Runkeeper had a feature where Spotify automatically created a playlist at the pace you were running, but that feature has been gone for almost a year.

Runkeeper is a free app where the basic features are free, but where some extra features require a premium subscription. Besides the fact that the free user is reminded of this in the interface, unfortunately, it is sometimes a bit unclear what the cost is. When you create a training plan, for example, you do not find out until the last stage that it costs. Other functions that are only for the payer are, for example, live broadcast of workouts. Then you get a link so that anyone you share it with can see where you are and how it goes throughout the session. Also, weather information and extended statistics are subject to payment. 

A useful feature that is free, but only found in the IOS version, is the one that logs walk even when you have not actively started the Runkeeper app. This means that walking longer than 15 minutes is logged and shows up in your Runkeeper app and it can make it easier to keep track of how much you move in general and not just during active training. Generally, you will go a long way in Runkeeper even without obtaining the payment subscription.

During my running round, the distance is displayed large and around the many other numbers in smaller style. Here are the average tempo, current pace, time and calories. Then there are two additional screens, one on the left where the map image is displayed and one on the right with the mileage. You may think that it is a bit messy and that it would be easier if only the most relevant information was collected in a screen so that you did not have to swipe between screens on the fly.

Before I go out, there are routes with suitable routes to choose from. I can also decide how often, if ever, I want voice information on how things are going and I can choose interval workouts, if I want to run freely or if I want a distance or a time as a goal and get guidance there. At this point, Runkeeper is particularly competitive, and it does not even require me to have the payment subscription.

As in many of the other apps, you can also get more long-term training planning and achieve goals, but then a payment subscription is required to get customized guidance. 

The interface in Runkeeper is easily built with a lot of air, a little adapted to allow you to dot correctly even during the run. After the training, there are plenty of statistics and visualizations. I get to see the step frequency, pace and height curve in separate diagrams. Also, there is the map image and the tempo per kilometre. Since Runkeeper has so many users, the potential for you to compete with and be encouraged by your friends is great, but here the app does very little. There are challenges you can accept in the app, but the top list with my friends shows only the number of activities, and it gives a weak motivation to squeeze the last extra kilometre in the drizzle.  

Plus: Interval training, interface, many users

Minus: Weak motivation functions

Facts Runkeeper

For: Ios and Android

App also for Apple Watch: Yes

App also for Wear OS: Yes

Music connections: No

Can share data for Apple Health: Yes

Can share data for Google Fitness: Yes

Live broadcast: Yes, with a premium subscription

Essential features of the free version: Autopause, auto-detected walk (Ios only), interval 

training Premium subscription, price monthly / year: SEK 92 / SEK 368 (cheapest on runkeeper.com, more expensive in the app) 

Premium subscription content: Training planning, more detailed statistics and comparison possibilities, weather information, live broadcast

Auto training – motion-activated: Yes, on the iPhone

Rating Runkeeper

Interface: 3

Features: 3

Before Workout: 3

During Workout: 3

After: Data and Analysis: 3

Total Rating: 15

Ratings

Interface

When we look at what the apps look like, we start from what works best to log the training and evaluate the results of it. This automatically means that apps that not only log exercise but also try to be your full health centre lose points. The Nike Run Club has a modern interface where you have borrowed more aesthetics from the sports world than from the app world, but it works.  

Winner: Nike Run Club 

Features

In this test, we compare free apps with those that offer more features to the payer. This results in the fee giving the app points deductions, but that many features even if they are behind a payment wall give extra points. Huawei is the free app that delivers the most useful features while Strava and Runtastic both provide a lot for those who are willing to pay for it.

Winners: Huawei Health, Strava, Runtastic

Before the workout

Before your workout, the app’s role is to prepare you purely practical but also motivational. It is about giving tips on exercises and location for the individual training round and more long-term planning to achieve your goals or help you set and achieve reasonable goals. The latter is often a service that belongs to the apps subscription part that costs extra.

Winners: Samsung Health, Nike Run Club, Strava

During the workout

Once you get started with the exercise, the app’s role is to provide you with quick and easy-to-understand information about how you are doing. Also, we value motivational extras, such as custom music features or the ability to compare you to others and gain extra competition feeling that can spur you on. 

Winner: Nike Run Club

After: Data and analysis

In terms of precision, our tests have shown only marginal differences between the apps, as the quality of the data collected is somewhat dependent on the phone’s GPS or your possible smartwatch. For the app analysis, heart rate data from watch or heart rate band is valuable. For example, Huawei is best among the free apps, but provided you have a device that can deliver heart rate data to the Huawei app.

Winners: Huawei Health, Endomondo

Winner: Nike Run Club

With a scaled-up and modern interface, Nike Run Club, NRC stands out in the crowd. It is also free, supports both Apple Watch and Android Wear watches, and has a variety of motivational features that make training fun.  

Fact: This is Apple Health

The Apple Health app is installed on your iPhone from the start, and the main function is to collect health data from various sources. For example, it could be the pedometer that is integrated into your iPhone or the heart rate monitor in your Apple Watch. The first time you start Apple Health, you will see all your steps, because that feature is activated on the phone right from the start without having to initiate it yourself. Besides, Apple Health may collect and compile training and health information that other apps collect if you allow it. However, Apple Health is primarily a database that gathers data. If you want help drawing conclusions from the amount of data collected or have tips on what you can do to improve your health, it is instead the apps that have collected data that can help you with that.

Fact: This is Google Fit

Google Fit is primarily an app that collects data from other apps. You will need to install Google Fit yourself, but it is free to download from the Google Play app store and provides a lot of added value. In addition to collecting movement information from your mobile phone and from connected clocks and other devices, the app can help you understand the numbers. Based on the collected data available, the app gives you heart points and visualizes your active time. It does this by summing activity minutes and by calculating something, Google calls heart rate. This is said to be based on health advice from the WHO, the World Health Organization, which is part of the UN. Also, Google Fitness is an exercise app in itself and can be used standalone to log your workout directly into the app.

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