Smartphone Running Apps - Nike and Endomondo and an iPod. Oh My!

Update: Check out the 2014 Review of Apps with some new information, and a mea culpa to Nike.

My own personal experience with several different smartphone apps for running, since I now have a smartphone that can't be crashed by turning on the GPS.  I took my cue from Lifehacker and their review of running apps.  For an Android specific list of apps, go here. I tried to consider
  • Does the app work for outdoor runs? (I mean, they all do but there's a couple differences?
  • Does the app work for indoor track workouts? It's colder than snot up here and I need to be able to run indoors right now.
  • Does the app work for treadmill workouts?
  • Does the app work for run/walk interval workouts?
  • Does the app work for walking? Not as common as you'd think.
  • Does the app work for sports besides running? Like scuba diving or kayaking?
  • Is goal setting a feature?  (For example, can I say "I want to keep running for 45 minutes?)
  • Does the app let me track how many miles I've run in a particular pair of shoes?  Relevant.
  • Does it work on iPhone?  Android?
  • What's the cost?
  • What's the website like? (You know it's connected to a webiste).

Nike+ iPod (also works with iPhone) is the oldest run tracker on the list.  It came out when the iPod Nano model was brand new.  I got my first one in 2007 as a graduation present from Qat Lady, my Pooky Bear and Pooky Bear's Prince Charming.
  • Outdoors - works with a foot pod in/on a shoe.  The more the pod comes pre-calibrated, but can be adjusted.
  • Indoor track - works with the foot pod.  (Only one on the list, and the reason I can't give up my iPod entirely.)
  • Treadmill - yes, it actually does work with the foot pod.
  • Run/Walk Intervals - this doesn't really work for run/walk intervals.  (Or maybe it's just the webiste that doesn't display the data correctly?  I'm not really sure.)  It seems to get fairly inaccurate the more I change my pace.  (See the picture below.)
  • Walking - sort of.  Time and distance are accurate for walking, but "calories burned" is still based on running and so way high for the version I have.  The website says new versions of the iPod Nano have a pedometer and can track how much you walk all day
  • Other sports - No.  At least I don't think so.  I'm told that at some gyms there's workout equipment that works with one of the Nike+ apps, but I don't think it's this one.
  • Shoe tagging - yes, now I can know how far I've run in my shoes.  (It's probably tragically way too far.)
  • Goal setting  - Yes, allows for setting time, distance or calories burned goals and gives vocal feedback on progress.
  • iPhone - yes, but also requires the foot pod.
  • Android - sadly, no.
  • Cost - I actually have no idea.  The shoe sensor is $19.  I use the sensor with my iPod touch.  Really old iPod nanos will also need a receiver; the receiver and sensor together are $29.  From the site it looks like newer nanos don't need the footpod, but I wonder if they're plagued by the same "hold it in your hand" issues as the next app.
  • Webiste - has some basic information.  There's about a billion screen shots on this blog.

Nike+ App (I believe it was formerly known as Nike GPS). I think at one time, this app actually cost money.  It's free now. 
  • Outdoors - Yes, uses GPS.
  • Indoor track - No.  I'm saying no; the app would want me to tell you "yes, but you have to hold your $700 iPhone in your hand while you're running".  That's what armbands and pockets are for.
  • Treadmill - No.  See above.
  • Run/Walk - Yes.  (As good as any other.)  It uses GPS for pacing data.  The "calories burned" data are going to be based on running the whole time.
  • Walking - Yes, basically.  It uses GPS for pacing data.  Again, the "calories burned" section is going to be off.
  • Other sports - No.  Just, no.
  • Shoe tagging - Yes definitely.
  • Goal setting - Yes, allows for setting time, distance or speed goals and gives vocal feedback on progress.  (I've never done a speed goal, it's based on past personal bests at various distances.)
  • Works with iPhone - Yes.
  • Works with Android -Yes.
  • Cost - free app.  (I swear this one used to cost money.)
  • Website - same as the Nike+ iPod website; it will draw maps when GPS is being used in a workout but doesn't provide much other data.  The map is the most laughably small thing I've ever seen and there doesn't seem to be a way to zoom or make it larger. 


Endomondo is an app I discovered when I had my other phone.  (Other website here.) I used Endomondo some for running and really enjoyed it.  I used it most for biking.  I'm talking here about the free version; I've never used the Pro version or signed up for a premium membership.
  • Outdoor - Yes.  Uses GPS.
  • Indoor track - No.  Sigh.
  • Treadmill - No.
  • Run/Walk Intervals - Yes, with the same caveat at the Nike+ app.  (The Pro version says it can do interval workouts. Maybe one day I'll spend the $5.)
  • Walking - Yes.
  • Other sports - Yes.  Like I said, I use it for biking all the time.  It's got tons of random sports where I can't imagine how the thing even works.  (Scuba diving, I'm looking at you.)  I'd imagine the most popular ones are running, walking, biking (with options like "sport", "mountain biking" or "transportation) and in Minnesota I'm sure skating and skiing are popular.
  • Shoe tagging - No. 
  • Goal setting - Allows goal setting for distance, or for racing against previous time on the same route (if it's saved), or for racing a friend.
  • Works with iPhone - Yes.
  • Works with Android - Yes.
  • Cost - $0 for the basic versions.  $5 for the premium app, or $20/year for the premium website. 
  • Website - hands down the best website of all three.  Most importantly, the map can be made into a full screen feature and provide mile splits and real time pace information.  It has tons of other information like the fastest 1K, mile, 5K, 10K, 1 hour of the run.  For really long runs I think it gives 10 mile and half marathon splits but it's been a while.


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