Full disclosure: I was a Runtastic fan, and had the Pro version installed on my phone for a while, but I got sick of the ridiculous battery drain I had to put up with and decided to look for another app to take its place. On the recommendation of a colleague I made the switch to Runkeeper and after a week on board I wanted to tell you about what I think is the best app for running fitness.
Runkeeper is a pretty clean, no-fuss app. It has four basic tabulated categories: one for exercise, one for your profile and stats, one for the social side of the app, and one for add-ons like optional training programs. I really like the simplicity and straight-forward feel of the app. It looks and feels like a training tool, a simple means to track your activity and achieve your goals without being too complicated.
As you can see in the screenshots (I used my colleague's app because he has much more training data than me!), there's a basic map view that switches to a tracking screen when you're in the middle of an activity, whether it's walking or running, that will keep track of time elapsed, distance covered, calories burned and allow you to snap shots along the way with geo-tagging capabilities. All of this data will be saved to your profile and can be shared with your friends.
Your profile page contains a history of your activity and a breakdown of all the stats accumulated along the way. You can set goals for yourself to keep you motivated, and you can see at a glance if you're improving or falling behind. Your personal records screen will give you your best efforts across a wide range of activity, from hiking to cycling. You can see your longest distance, highest elevation gain, longest duration and more. If you like stats, then Runkeeper can keep you busy.
If you lack the drive to get yourself to the park everyday, even with the goals you may have optimistically set for yourself, then there's a whole bunch of different training options available too. Maybe motivations isn’t your problem, but you feel like you're not particularly scientific about how you approach your fitness regime? If that's the case, you can activate a training program designed by professional trainers that will lay out your activity for you, step by step. All you need to do is follow it.
I have to admit that it's still early days for me yet, both in terms of my acquaintance with Runkeeper and my fitness efforts, but I have to say I really appreciate the simple layout, clean interface and manageable content that Runkeeper provides. GPS tracking of all of your activity, with stats, maps and social interaction combined, makes Runkeeper a quick choice for my best fitness app for running. And it doesn't drain your battery.
What is your favorite running app? How many have you tried?