The best running apps for Android

Apps that will help you get moving — and keep you moving

Running, for many of us, is hard work. Maybe it's a motivation thing. Maybe it's physical thing. Whatever. It's exercise, and exercise is a pain.

MobileFiltApps make it better. As part of Mobile Nations Fitness Month — MobileFit, we're calling it — we're looking at apps that can help you grind through an exercise. Or, actually, apps that will get you up and moving in the first place And that's OK — we could all use some help.

Today we're looking at some of the best running apps for Android. And we've got a few different kids of apps here. Some are more of the hard-core variety, for folks used to exercise and who may be looking to increase and improve the way they do things. Others are more basic — simply tracking steps or basic movement. There's a place for all of these, as one may lead to another.



Can't go wrong with Runkeeper. It lets you sign in with your Google account, which is always a good thing. You get proper tracking of your workout, the ability to chose from a number of training plans (lose weight, train for a race, just get started, etc.) and has various levels for all sorts of exercises. You get audible notifications (as any app should do), and you can add friends for accountability and fun. The app is nice designed, easy to use and has pro upgrades (through an in-app purchase) that opens up more sharing features. Will connect with a FitBit and ANT+ heart-rate monitors.

Download: Runkeeper (free)


Reader comments

The best running apps for Android


+1 for sports tracker.

Except this morning when I finished my 5 and a half mile run, it recorded the time only and not the distance.... although that could be a GPS connectivity issue with my kit Kat note 3, which has sucked since the update.....

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I have been using Sports Tracker for 4 Years (2652 miles tracked so far) and found it to be the best, every so often I try another app but Sports Tracker is never beaten.

The voice feedback on lap times is excellent, music integration and photo logging all make this the best out there.

I'm going to try Sports Tracker because of all the recommendations (+1) received. Thank you.
I've used Endomondo, Run Keeper, Map M yRun/Fitness, Runtastic, Nike+, Zombies, Run!, (most of the list), plus a few others and always want to try new ones as I can't find one I like enough.

I beg to differ. Any of the recommended apps that can't provide the needed features without forcing users in to a "premium" subscription model won't get my vote. This business model (along with in-app purchases) is unacceptable and the general public are starting to recognize the degree of gouging that these developers are implementing. One app has you upgrade to the "pro" version and you still have a subscription option pushed out. Wow.

Yes. I recommend Endomondo. I've logged 5000 miles on my bike with it, including two double-centuries.

I bike and walk (bad back ended running as an option). Endomondo works perfectly for both. My daughter runs and she also relies on Endomondo. I started with the free version and went to the paid version after 2 weeks.

I use miCoach from Adidas for biking. Using GPS it tracks your route, can give you 1km (or mile) update to your Time, Distance, Calories and average speed for the interval.

+1 for Strava and if you are super geeky you can export to kml and then import to Google Earth, GPSies, or etc...

Endomondo will track distance, speed, altitude (phone dependent) and what music tracks you were listening to. It will also display where you slowest and fastest miles were.

Oh wow... Didn't notice it since I was using the app. Please AC, for the love of all things good, PLEASE do not do the page 1 of X number. I know the extra page views are good for the business, but they are annoying as heck. I use AC because you have always seemed like the kind of site that had the user at top priority, unlike some sites which screw over the consumers and just don't care.

Got Nexus?

As far as I can tell that option does not exist in Feedly, Press (love the Readability option) or mobile browsers like Chrome or Dolphin! I've enjoyed your articles for years Phil but I have to say I am right now on the verge of removing Android Central from my feeds and the feeds are my motivation to visit the website. Please rethink the whole 'next' thing!

Honest answer: It's both. It's also easier for a lot of folks to read that way. How do I know this? A lot of folks are reading it this way.

And again, it's not like every post is being done like this. Even if it was one a day — and it's been nowhere near that frequent — I don't think is all that much. I think folks just have a hard time with change. I'd know — I'm one of them. ;)

Change is good if it improves things in the long run. I don't think you'll find many that prefer to go through what amounts to a manual slideshow just to read textual content.

But don't you think a lot of people are reading it that way because it is only option? I read AC on Chrome and I don't have an option to view it as one page.

Only now that you mentioned it's an option did I see the page icon next to the big NEXT button...
THAT'S why a lot of people are reading it "this way"

Clicked this thinking it was about the apps that perform the best on android lol still good either way.

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Yep. I just started yesterday and have never been more excited and motivated about running. Still don't really understand the base thing though lol.

i tried a ton of these last year and ended up picking Runtastic for two reasons:

1- Portability of your data. It's pretty easy to export your mapped runs if you decide to start using something else instead and
2- They have some other fun workout apps that work well together (like sit-ups and push-ups)

MapMyRun is pretty good too. But I've been using Runkeeper for ages. It would be nice if it can work on a GPS smartwatch so I don't have to take my phone running though.

I left runkeeper for map my run after MMR released its app for gear 2. Love seeing my stats on my smartwatch while running. Runkeeper works well for pebble users if you don't use the gear.

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I've been using Map My Run for the last few weeks, and I just picked up a Fitbit yesterday. I think I'll keep using both, unless Fitbit updates with a much more robust tracking system. I like having MMR announce every time I hit another mile and then break down my splits for me. It's encouraging.

Pretty much anything that makes fitness into a game is good for me, really. I respond to that really well, because I'm a child.

Also, I really hope you guys don't continue using the slideshow article model. I know it inflates page clicks, but it's a really bad user experience, especially when each click causes a full page refresh.

Please please PLEASE do not move to the "load 27 pages to get through one article" gallery model. This sucks, is annoying, and will drive me to get my Android fix elsewhere.

I hate the new slide show interface. Takes forever to load. Would be much better if it could load without reloading the page. Heck I prefer the super long articles over this new interface.

I know. It was bad enough that they had the "click here for more" type links even for very small articles.

It's bad UX, but they don't care because they are trying to generate more revenue. My first impression of this article was that they declared Runkeeper the winner in a shootout as that's all I saw. It took me some time to realize there were arrows at the top. Bad UX is bad.

Thanks for the review Phil, although I am not a runner yet. (still in the walking stage) I will be soon.

I recommend Active's c25k app for any beginning runner. It's a great way to get started on a running program without pushing yourself too far too fast.

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At first glance of the title I thought it was a list of apps that run the best on Android...I was like whaaaa lol

I've been running with Endomondo for about 2 years and have liked it. Good mapping, good features, and audio feedback every mile with pace and other info is great. The only thing I don't like is how silly the icon for the app looks.

Most of these apps are a fail - I've tried most of them.

Why? Because none let you track your most important piece of equipment for a runner. YOUR RUNNING SHOES!!! And the worst part is most of the developers have been told about this and yet ignore it. As a runner you should retire your shoes at 3-500 miles and some of us rotate them. It would also be nice to be able to see which ones go further and those that go less.

Back to just a spreadsheet.

Sports tracker allows you to add notes to each workout where you can put that information in....

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Adidas' MiCoach has the shoe tracker built in. At the end of your run, you select which shoe you were wearing and it automatically updates the miles on them. Believe you can have up to 5 pairs of shoes listed in your inventory. Been using MiCoach for years because of the various training plans offered to help reach specific goals.

Actually, miCoach by Adidas let's you track your shoes! Each time you finish/start a run, just before rating and syncing your workout, you select shoe from a drop down menu. The shoe options are ones that you put in, not pregenerated, which is nice. The free version has a boat load of options, but the paid app let's you track heart rate and steps. Only downside is that when not running outside with the GPS on, your have to manually input treadmill workouts.

nike running will track you shoe usage with each run; however, yesterday, the app crumped on me. It kept entering the last run I had. I thought I found the best app for running, for me, until that happened. Oh well...

Pulse should be one of the best news apps around!! A killer against most

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Keep making articles in this format and an unsubscribe is on the way. I know it makes a longer article with less effort, and plays up page clicks, but it does nothing for your readers and makes you look like the million other slimy news sites. I expect better from Android central...

Totally thought this was an article about which apps work the best on Android. I'm kinda disappointed :-(

Hate the paginated format... Frankly I think it makes A LOT more sense for long reviews and such, breaking then into 2-3 pages would make 'em more manageable and also allow you to experiment more w/formatting w/o wrecking the experience on low end devices.

For quick suggestion articles like this it makes little sense, regardless of whether it's one a week or ten a week. I happily click thru 5-10 pages of an Anandtech review because each and every page is a screenfull of content, clicking thru pages to read a single paragraph is asinine.

/me channels Mark Jackson: You're better than this Android Central!

ON TOPIC: Does anyone know if using the Fitbit hardware & app allow you to easily track specific events rather than whole days? I don't care about tracking my whole day of inactivity, I know I'm a sedentary geek and I work in IT... I wanna keep track of my runs and my bike rides and nothing else.

Frankly speaking, I just don't like carrying my phone when I go running... I sweat a ton and get caught in the rain all the time, so I carry as little as possible; usually it's just my keys and a $25 Sandisk Clip Zip (with $20 MEElectronics M6 IEM), that's it. Having to wear an arm bracelet for a phone or having it banging around in my shorts pocket for 5-10 miles isn't really very appealing (and I used to run with an iPod touch on an arm sleeve), hence I've never used my phone for tracking. Not to mention it's nice to disconnect once in a while...

I've been meaning to look into how usable the Fitbit is as an event tracker but I put it on the backburner when Android Wear stuff was announced... Hopefully those watches can do some of these functions WITHOUT having a phone present the entire time, otherwise I'll surely be looking at the Fitbits again.

My internet connection is too slow to load 8 pages. But I just clicked the menu and saw all 8 titles, and I'll search them myself. Thanks anyway.

I would have to vote Zombie Run on this one. It does everything I want it to do and its a great story. Yes you have to buy it but I say its a great bang for your money.

Please take a look at Momentum Tracker.

This new app has the best live data monitor, supports offline OSM maps and ANT+ sensors.
Most accurate and responsive data. Exports in several file formats.

As the developer I would appreciate any feedback, especially on new features you would like to see implemented next.

The mapping on Momentum is much better than other apps offer. However it would need bluetooth smart compatability and the ability to create and follow tracks for me to consider it as my go to app. I will keep my eye on this one though as it looks like it could be great.

I use Zombies Run for when I'm actually running, and have it linked to my RunKeeper so it syncs my runs from Zombies into my RunKeeper database as well.

Do any of these work offline? I've got no cell service for the time being.

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I'm disappointed My Tracks didn't make this list. I needed an exercise tracker for biking and tried a couple apps. My wife tried even more, but we both arrived at the conclusion that My Tracks was the best one. It was simple and effective. I think she still actually uses a couple other apps simultaneously when I'm not looking, though.

An app to track your run with (precise) elevation variations

couldn’t get my hands on a free android app that properly accounts for altitude variations (gps is quite lame for that). So I wrote my own and I would really like to get some feedback from other runners. The app is free. It shows your track on a map like many other apps out there but it is simple to use and it calculates your elevation variations with very good precision so you can have a real idea of of many meters/feet you climbed up and down. Exporting kml or gpx is simple to do.

Any feedback will be greatly appreciated!

Get it at

Problem I find with many of these apps (I have tried Endomondo, Runtastic, mapmyrun, nike+) i use them to walk to work everyday and all of them say i have travelled varying distances, even though it is exactly the same route, the other issue is they can vary wildly in terms of calorie counting, I use them in conjunction with myfitnesspal as a way of tracking calories for the day, and not sure if any of them are accurate. Oh well, continue on with it fatty!!