A screenshot of RunKeeper.com taken on Oct. 22, 2013.
Long heralded as the most popular running application for phones, RunKeeper boasts over 24 million users and an impressive interface for tracking not just runs, but cycling, hiking, and walking as well.
Features: Log distance with GPS tracking on your run, add other activities in your history manually (elliptical and snowboarding are just two of the additional activities). Set goals, track progress, and beat previous records. Opt in for reminders to work out, and follow an in-app training plan for several race distances up to a full marathon. You can listen to your music through the app, which gives voiceovers of distance completed. RunKeeper is also heart-monitor enabled and you can share your runs on social media if you wish.
Ease of use: To start, you do have to sign in with an email address or Facebook, The features and set-up are pretty self-explanatory for someone well-versed in apps, but might throw less experienced techies for a loop. GPS signal has to be strong as well, which can make things tough in a bad service area. Other than that, it’s an easy one-click start for a run, and one more to save.
Price: The app is free, and the paid Pro version doesn’t exist anymore. But there is an upgraded subscription service that lets you live broadcast workouts and helps better visualize progress through improved analytics. 1 month is $4.99 and 1 year is $19.99. You also have to pay for some training plans, which bring varying price tags, all in the neighborhood of 20 bucks.
Battery Life: Like any other fitness or GPS tracking app, this will drain your battery if you use it for a really long time, so be cognizant of that while on a long run.
Overall: This is the most popular running app for a reason—it’s simple, effective, and motivational. Definitely would recommend, and you can easily get by without upgrading or buying a training plan, especially if you’re an experienced runner just looking to keep better track of your distances.