Application Name: RunKeeper Pro
Description: Sports/recreational fitness distance/pace/calorie tracker.
Publisher’s website: RunKeeper
Cost: Now completely free (used to be $9.99)
Version/date reviewed: v.188.8.131.52 / 1-23-11
Phone/OS: Droid X / Android 2.2
RunKeeper Pro tracks your individual and cumulative exercise sessions, recording your pace, distance traveled and calories burned.
Figure 1: Start by entering the input type for your location. GPS is for normal outdoor activities, while Manual Entry is for indoor activities, or those where you’re static (e.g. weightlifting). Activity Type includes the standards (hiking, cycling, running, cross-country skiing, etc.). Coaching lets you set pacing, warm-up cool-down times, repetitions, etc.. When you’re ready to start, press the Start button …
Figure 2: RunKeeper tracks your pace or speed (user-selectable), the amount of time you’ve been active, calories burned (a rough estimate, since it depends on your weight/metabolism), and total distance traveled. It also plots your pace/speed every minute as a scrollable bar graph, with the most recent point highlighted in blue.
Figure 3: Tap on the tab at the lower left, and get your activity route plotted in Google Maps, with markers every mile/km. Only the Maps view is displayed here, no options for aerial imagery or terrain. The arrow takes you back to the main screen.
The “cross”-like symbol to the left of time switches the display from portrait to landscape and back; rotating the phone has no effect on the display.
You can set the unit to give you voice output cues for time, distance and pace, at user-defined intervals. It’s not the built-in Google text-to-speech library, but a higher-quality digitized voice. The settings section also lets you configure units, what you see on your main display, and whether to share your activity data with others (RunKeeper website, Facebook, Twitter).
Figure 4: Once you’re done with the activity, a voice summary is given, and you have the option of saving the data with a note, or discarding it.
Figure 5: All your activities will be accessible from the list; tapping on an item brings up the summary, bar graph, and access to a map.
Figure 6: If you register with the RunKeeper website (free, and optional), your activity data will be uploaded to your account on that website as well. You can keep it private, share it with a few people, or share it with lots more using Facebook or Twitter. The data page for that activity includes more options/info than in the app, including elevation plots and aerial/terrain options in Google Maps. The site can also email you alerts when set personal bests in an activity for distance.
Other Issues: App worked very smoothly. Always remember to exit out of the program when you’re done, as GPS can really drain the battery quite quickly, and it keeps running even if you shut off the screen.
Final thoughts: Clean, simple interface, very easy to use and understand.
Not sure that it’s worth $9.99, but definitely worth grabbing at the current price of free, and worth considering even at the higher price. Now completely free forever, and worth considering in any case if you’re serious about your training regimen.