There are lots of apps out there for logging your runs using your GPS enabled smart phone or similar devices. I have found this to be a fantastic use for these devices. For most of my life I had to either run on streets, where I could drive and get the odometer reading, run on a track, or just guess how far I had run. Running on streets is fine, no problem with that unless you want to hit a trail or run through a park. A high school track is great, until you start running 3+ miles on it, then the monotony is mind numbing and motivation shattering. So then I was left with seat of the pants guessing. You run a track and from time and exertion you guess how long it is. Then you ask your buddies to run it and give their input, average it out and come up with your SWAG(Scientific Wild Assed Guess). No longer! Now we can see how far we ran, our pace, splits, altitude, and even have our music mute and a voice tell us while we are running how fast and how far we have gone. Good days for those of us who like to get off the beaten track.
There are literally dozens of applications out there to track your runs. Depending on your device operating system (Android, iOS, WP7, Symbian). I happen to be in the Android camp, so I’ll be looking at application for my phone, the Motorola Atrix running Android 2.2. Specifically today I’m comparing Endomondo and Sports Tracker by Sports Track Live. To be fair and upfront, I’ve been using Sports Track Live for over a year (log here) and have only used Endomondo twice so far. That being said, lets get into the details.
Both apps are easy to find and install through the Android Marketplace. Setup is similar for both, set up account, input height/weight/age, select activity (running/cycling/snow boarding…), hit the start button and go. When you are finished, hit stop, and your info uploads to their website. You can then look at how far you ran at what pace, and see your track on a Google map. Beyond these basics is where the differences show up.
Voice announce. Both apps have this available. This feature mutes your music while a voice tells you information about your run up to this point. Endomondo gave me the choice to have this on or off, and if I wanted to download another app I could chose male or female voices. It decided that it would tell me my pace, distance, and mile split every mile. Sports Track Live gives you the option to set how often you get announcements. You can set them by distance (1/4 mile, 1/2 mile, 1 mile/kilometer) or by time (1 minute, 5 minutes). You can also select what information you hear (pace, current speed, average pace, altitude, and many more). I like the level of customization the Sports Track Live gives to this feature.
To be fair, there are dozens of features on both of these apps that I will probably never use. Coaching features, heart rate monitors, cadence monitors, and more.
Post run data. Here I have to give the nod to Sports Track Live as well. The level of detail in the report/log is much finer that in Endomondo. Sports Track gives me my performance for .25 mile, .5 mile, 1 mile, 1,5,10 minutes, maximum ascents and descents. It also compares these stats to prior runs and shows you, by use of a star system, how close you were to your personal best for that stat. To me, this is important. More important than the social aspect of these apps.
If the social aspect of tracking and logging runs is more important to you, then Endomondo has it hands down. With an installed user base that is 10 times larger than Sports Track Live there is a better chance you will find people near your that are using this app. It also has Challenges you can take part in like; most miles in a month, most calories burned, first to 100 miles. You can also run against someone on a track they have made at some time in the past, pretty cool, it just isn’t all that important to me.
All that being said, they are both good apps that do the job they are intended to do. In my opinion, Endomondo is more about the social networking side of working out. Sports Track Live is more concerned with giving lots of details and options for customizing things for someone serious about logging miles and analyzing performance. For my running app, I’m sticking with Sports Track Live.
I’d like to hear what your thoughts are.