App Test: Sports and Tracking Apps for the Iphone

Where are they going… (Runtastic Pro and Nike+GPS)
Forrest Gump just put one foot in front of the others and took little care of his clothes and equipment and where he just ran. The runners of modern times love breathable clothing and prefer to walk almost barefoot. They chase to the beats of their favorite songs through forests and pastures and sometimes ask themselves: Where am I now and how long is it probably home? The iPhone users among them know how to help, because as an Apple slogan is so beautiful: “For everything there is an app!” One that helps him with cooking. One that structures his everyday life. One that knows the departure times of the U- / S-Bahn and the bus schedule. And now also one, which shows him, where he just runs around, when he has run away again. And the same, who builds him up when he breaks down completely broken in the apartment floor after his run.
App Diversity
The running and fitness-enthusiast customers are pleased with the iPhone and the invention of the app store. The high-tech smart phone has blossomed in only three years since its release in the summer of 2007 to a kind, which would say Bayer “Eierlegendenwollmilchsau”. A beautiful Wolpertinger, so to speak, with many useful features. A virtual Swiss officer knife.An all-round tool for daily survival in the urban jungle. Because, in the country, where the UMTS, EDGE, GPRS supply are often still incomplete, and the GPS satellite signals sometimes just as little reliable, the smart iPhone at photionary unfortunately remains silent sometimes. In the metropolitan areas, on the other hand, the “Runtastic Pro” fitness app ( AppStore link , 4.99 euros) and “Nike + GPS” ( AppStore link , 1.59 euros) prove to be a useful tool Run.Quasi, to run an electronic running diary. Numerous apps are now available, such as “Runkeeper Pro” ( AppStore link , 7.99 euros) or “Runmeter GPS” ( AppStore link , 3.99 euros). They all offer basically the same functions. The latter, however, pondered with regard to GPS signal processing during market introduction and thus with the accuracy of the location. Meanwhile, one reads that the children’s diseases are repaired. A fifth app is “B.icycle” ( AppStore-Link , 7.99 Euro), which, as the name implies, is designed specifically for the needs of cyclists and cyclists. In principle, all these iPhone programs work according to the same procedure and are all good for recording waypoints.

It is like a question of taste, for which product or brand the buyer ultimately decides, one might think. In the case of these fitness apps, the basic functions are almost identical: track recording, time measurement and calorie consumption. Depending on the provider, the apps also offer an additional evaluation in the relevant Internet portal.

In the test: Runtastic Pro and Nike + GPS
In the following, I focus on the two apps “Runtastic Pro” and “Nike+GPS” . With both, I was enthusiastically amazed at the GPS accuracy and handling. There are significant differences only in the design of the user interface and in other features such as pulse measurement and training documentation. At first sight, the Runtastic App seems to be overcharged and confusing, too much information is pushing on the iPhone display. Ergo the user has to push too many image contents back and forth. In comparison, “Nike+GPS” comes very tidy therefore and very “stylish”. Until now Nike + is known as the system with the “sensor chip in the shoe”, which Nike is expensive to pay an average of 19 euros ( at Cyberport currently 17.90 euros ) and often fails after a short time. The battery, which is not very persistent, quickly loses charge and is not interchangeable. Once empty, it moves with the sensor into the hazardous waste. Recycling looks different!

dditional sensor chip. And what does the indoor sportsman do? At the moment, I can not answer this question with certainty. Since I still carry a chip in the shoe, the sensor serves as a step and calorie counter on the treadmill.Nike + without GPS quasi! Apple’s App Store contains some customer reviews, which are a combination of both possibilities. So an app that provides both outdoor and chipless chipboard for reliable training documentation. For example, “Nike+iPod” and “Nike+GPS” are currently considered as parallel solutions.

The “Nike + GPS” app is definitely a plus. Provides a more motivation by the route determination. Just the color of the home screen in red-orange pushes every endorphin junkie to throw himself into the training kit. With a powerful headline “Give Every Run a Boost” and the total mileage / mileage display, the Nike app challenges you to a new training session or invites you to another “challenge” against yourself. For a complete overview, a sub-line shows the runner, how many runs in which average speed and in what time he has traveled. And how many calories have been burned. At the bottom of the docking list of the app, the athlete can access his running history or make personal settings.

The “History” menu item displays all documented runs and personal records. Additional information about each run can be found by tapping on the respective run. Graphically very clear in pictogram style, the Nike App shows the mileage, average time and calorie consumption. On a map view, the runner sees the track and the individual kilometer/milestone points. In addition, the viewer can check the speed on the distance traveled.Ambitious rotor blades appreciate this information in order to improve their performance in the future.

The Internet connection to the portal Nikeplus.com offers the iPhone owner more detailed info and analysis tools, which should be configured however first on the domestic PC or Mac.Unfortunately, you have to log on to the iPhone every time very cumbersome via its account to retrieve the data of the Nike+portal. With a little patience, you can get your training targets and performances deposited there on the iPhone and check them. This happens as in the app not with boring figures, but for hobby and leisure runners comprehensively prepared. In comparison, “Runtastic Pro” provides the ambitious athlete with detailed lap times.

Two additional features “My Challenges” and “My Nike + Coach” round off the Nike+internet offer. Both must however also first activated and edited on the domestic computer, in order to be then useful on the iPhone. Under “Settings”, the user can create his personal user profile in the app. There you enter your size, weight and sex. Determines whether the app should measure the distance in kilometers or miles. You can also create playlists in the settings to have the appropriate musical background during the training. In addition, you can determine whether Nike + can connect to the portal automatically, and whether you want to share your run results with friends on Facebook or Twitter.

In the “Voice Feedback” section you can decide whether you want a kilometer announcement and the average time. A female or male voice can be chosen. In the App Store some customers complain that both the voices and the menu control are only in English. Also the “Cheer-Ins” of prominent world-class athletes such as Lance Armstrong or Paula Radcliffe are only available in the original. I ask myself whether the few English chunks should not belong to the basic vocabulary that one hears and reads in the app? Does it need a synchron or a simultaneous translator? The functionality of “Nike+GPS” opens up with a bit of “grips” intuitively. And for the price of 1.59 euros I can hurt the non-existent translation.

Back on the Homescreen the runners can choose between two program variants. Either he starts a new run or faces the challenge of underpinning the achievements of his last run. You can start a new run as a Basic Run, without time or distance limitation. Or you can choose between a runtime or distance specification, depending on your requirements. Accepting a challenge means going further, longer or faster: improve your personal best time! A nice motivation aid to escape the training or to bring the inner pig dog on the go, if he wants to go.

Gallery

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„Sports Tracker“ im App Store

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Sports Tracker on the App Store on iTunes

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