With the explosion in wearable devices, and improved sensors built into our smartphones, fitness apps have never had it so good — all of our vital statistics can now be logged automatically, from the distance of a morning jog to the time spent lifting weights in the evening. Here are the best apps for tracking your health and fitness on Android and Android Wear.
If you're in the market for an app to help you record and make sense of all this data then there are plenty to choose from on Google Play. Several stand out though — in terms of presentation, comprehensiveness and features — and we've listed our current favorites below.
It's worth starting with Google's own health and fitness app as a benchmark. It's pretty sparse in the features department right now, but it is tightly integrated with Android and Android Wear, so it's a convenient option at least. A web interface is also available at https://fit.google.com.
Weight, heart rate, steps and activity time can all be logged automatically, and if you have the time to tell Google exactly what you're up to, a long list of activities is available: from snowboarding to horse riding. You can set simple daily goals as well and get alerted when you've reached them.
RunKeeper has a good reputation not just for the number of features in its own app but also the number of third-party services it plugs into (it works with both Google Fit and Apple Health). If you're a keen runner at whatever level then there aren't many better options around than this one.
You can plot your runs on a map, monitor distance covered and calories burned, set personal goals, integrate your indoor activities and more. Despite the name of the app it can handle bike rides and gym workouts as well as running, so it's a comprehensive monitoring app.
Another well-known app with a strong reputation, Strava comes with a host of handy features, both in the core of the app as well as via separate add-ons. By tracking your running and bike riding via GPS, Strava can help you beat your own personal bests and challenge your friends as well.
Strava lets you track distance, pace, speed, elevation and other statistics as you go, and thanks to the data that's been collected from all of Strava's users, you can check out some of the routes that are popular with other people — even if you're in a strange place that's a long way from home.
If comprehensive running and cycling statistics are what you're after then Runtastic has you covered: Get back home and you can see where you've been on a map, as well as analyse statistics for distance, elevation, speed heart rate and more. You can even view your activities in 3D.
Other features offered by the app include a personalized workout diary and even an automated voice coach to encourage you around your route. Treadmill, spinning and weightlifting activities can all be added manually to give you a more comprehensive picture of your overall fitness.
Map My Fitness Workout Trainer
Map My Fitness develops a whole host of different apps devoted to different types of activities, but this is the one to go for if you want to get an overall picture of your health. My Map Fitness Workout Trainer lets you pull data from your running, cycling, walking and other types of workout.
One area where the app excels is in pulling together all of your statistics across a particular day, week, month or year for you to analyse. With over 600 types of workout activity to choose from, you can keep a close eye on your progress and watch how it changes over time.
Endomondo Running Cycling Walk
Like a lot of the other apps here, Endomondo Running Cycling Walk enables you to pull together data from a wide range of activities, and you can set customized goals, routes and intervals based on your own program. There's also a prominent social element for sharing achievements with friends.
With separate sections covering training plans, challenges and commitments, there are many different ways to set targets and work towards them, and if you're stuck for inspiration you can download plans created by others. From calendars to maps, it's a feature-packed app.
Nike has gradually changed its focus from hardware to software, and the Nike+ Running app is evidence of that — it's one of the slickest tracking apps out there, and the quality of the interface and the number of features on offer show how long Nike's developers have been in the game for.
Nike+ Coach is one of the best features inside the app: It provides a personalized list of workouts and a tailored schedule that will make sure you're progressing towards your goals. No matter what level you're at with your running fitness, this is an app that can make a difference.