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.

Runkeeper

Runkeeper

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)

Endomondo

Another great fitness app, Endomondo tracks all sorts of activities, including running and walking. You get audio feedback as you make your way through your route, or you can enter your workouts manually, if you prefer. Once you're done, you can share your result — though be careful if you're starting and stopping from home. You also can track your heart rate through Bluetooth-enabled devices, as well as ANT+ heart-rate monitors. There are a slew of challenges built in, so you're not just relying on yourself to push things.

There's a free version of the app available if you just want to try it out, or a monthly subscription will add a personal training plan, additional statistics, weather information and remove advertisements.

Download: Endomondo (free, or pro for $4.99)

Fitbit

Fitbit

If you're using a FitBit to count your steps, there's a good chance you're using the FitBit app. It's not a traditional running/walking app in the sense that it helps guide your exercise. The FitBit app is more about counting than it is tracking, we suppose. But it does a great job with pure distance and calories burned, and it'll separate active minutes from the minutes in which you're just milling around.

The app is free, and some phones can take advantage of it without having to buy into FitBit's accessories line.

Download: FitBit (free)

Withings

Withings

Withings is best known for its smart scales — they'll tell you how much you weigh, of course, but they also go beyond that, depending on how much money you've spent. They can also keep up with your body fat percentage, air-quality level, and heart rate. And it all uploads to your Withings account over Wifi.

You're not going to drag a scale along with you on the road, though, so you also can input things manually. Withings makes this list because it'll track your steps as well. It'll keep an eye on your steps as well, but we'd recommend tying it into RunKeeper for better results. Withings does a straight activity tracker, too, dubbed the Pulse.

Download: Withings (free), Withings products)

Runtastic

Runstastic is another longstanding and excellent way to keep up with your workouts. It's got a free trial, but if you're anything like us you'll quickly pony up for the Pro version. You get all the standard feature — mapping of your route, a calendar for long-term goals, and all sorts of social sharing. Plus you can manually add activities.

Runtastic Pro adds a voice coach, route search, audible cheering, heart-rate monitoring, interval workouts, weather information and, one of our favorite features, the ability to auto-pause the tracking should you stop for some reason. (Not that you should stop. But sometimes we stop. It happens.) You can check out all of the differences here.

Download: Runtastic (free version is free, Pro for $4.99)

Nike+

Nike used to only hit the road with Apple and iOS, but that's finally changed, and now we have its excellent app on Android. You don't even need a Fuel Band — the app till track things for you. You also get audible feedback and cheering, music support, and more.

Nike has ended its hardware development, but the software lives on.

Download: Nike+ (free)

Zombies, run

Running sucks. (At least if you're normal, it should suck.) This app makes it fun. Immersive and alternate reality games are nothing new, but Zombies, Run brings it into the fitness space. You're running. Zombies are chasing. There are plenty of stories to keep you entertained, so it keeps things fun. Want interval training? It can do that, too. If you're more of a walker than a runner, the app can handle that, too. (Just make sure you walk faster than zombies shuffle.)

Download: Zombies, Run ($3.99)

Android itself

And as a reminder, Google Play Services has been updated with the ability to tell if you're walking or running or riding a bike, giving app developers — including Google itself — even more flexibility for their apps.


Those are but a few of the various running apps available on Android. We leave out your favorite? Give us a flogging in the comments.

 
There are 79 comments

T68 says:

You forgot the excellent app Sports Tracker.

kj11 says:

+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.....

Posted via Android Central App

Ian Barnes says:

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.

ValerieAnne says:

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.

sentinelred says:

I bike alot, will these track my distance and speed on bike too?

Posted via Android Central App

I use runkeeper and it is great for tracking biking.

Posted via Android Central App

ScottJ says:

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

FreudSlipped says:

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.

Nunnsey says:

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.

For biking use strava. It's the best one I found

ilhe1s says:

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

kamiller42 says:

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.

batmanyoda says:

Strava beats all of them!

Please for the love of God do not become one of those "page 1 of 8" sites. So annoying.

scottyhifi says:

Yeah, I agree. If this is the future I will not be visiting.

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?

Do what I do and just view it all on one page

wantabe says:

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!

scottyhifi says:

Honest question, is it a page views thing? Because I don't see any real advantage for the readers.

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. ;)

scottyhifi says:

Thanks, Phil. Just please, think of the children.

ScottJ says:

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.

cshrader says:

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.

breakerfall says:

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"

jssingh says:

Agreed, its a terrible experience!

anthonok says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

NickLippert says:

Same here.

mstrblueskys says:

I love Zombies! Run!

cpmjja says:

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.

comraderudy says:

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)

estockda says:

Wahoo, FTW

TheWenger says:

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.

To not have Strava on here invalidates the entire list...

Gekko says:

My Tracks by Google is decent.

Volkers84 says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

eahinrichsen says:

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.

jt1980 says:

Cardio Trainer. Been around forever and is popular. Why no mention??

Troothdotcom says:

Amen to this! It's what I use and I have no complains

Posted via Android Central App

hypersnail says:

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.

Then click this "view all" button. (Which will soon be redesigned.)

http://www.androidcentral.com/best-running-apps-android?nopaging=1

FaisDogg says:

@Phil.... Continue to work harder and bring that BMI

selenitic says:

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.

ScottJ says:

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.

Wlctttrue says:

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

tim242 says:

I prefer My Tracks, by Google.
Posted via Android Central App

thatguy97 says:

I totally misunderstood the title at first rofl

Posted from my Nexus 7 2013 or Samsung galaxy S5

My Tracks is pretty good. I can auto save my walks to my Drive and map them out on Earth.

Posted via Android Central App

bolm86 says:

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.

Posted via Android Central App

Trent9810 says:

I just wish i would stop hurting myself when i run!

noeltorious says:

STRAVA!

Strava allows me to use a heart rate monitor such as a gear fit or other brands

scaots says:

I prefer RunKeeper on phone or web, but Endomondo interface is excellent for a smartwatch.

zackmack7 says:

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

decolate says:

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.

itguy14 says:

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.

kj11 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

itguy14 says:

Thanks I'll have to check it out.

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.

OdinsDottir9 says:

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.

Kinglo says:

RunDouble:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rundouble.companion&hl=en

Far and away the best running app I've ever used. Includes coaching, customizable stat intervals, running plans for beginners and even for marathoners, ant+ monitoring, even works with pebble.

izzy67 says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

JKFraser says:

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...

lrrowley says:

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

Phantasmn says:

No mention of Google Tracks?

Debra Bohm says:

How do I get textplus

Posted via Android Central App

Impulses says:

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!

Impulses says:

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.

iamthecosmos says:

Strava should definitely be in the list. My Tracks and Map My Run should probably be in there also :)

dcviper says:

I'm wondering if anyone has used the Viiiiva from 4iiii? It's supposed to be able to connect ANT+ sensors to your phone through bluetooth. No official support for Android, though.

http://4iiii.com/product-viiiiva/

cjbrigol says:

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.

thegillion says:

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.

cdlancs says:

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.

brunodmjr says:

You forgot Strava.

Imriela says:

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.

anthonok says:

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

Posted via Android Central App

Try Momentum Tracker. No internet needed. Download a map for your country from http://www.openandromaps.org/. Data analysis is done on-device - no internet required, neither.

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.

Isonix says:

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!

Website: http://isonix.ch
Get it at https://play.google.com/store/...om.isonix.keeptracks