Do you use an app with live tracking in it? Tell me about it!

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I’m often asked to do phone app reviews, but as I explain in my FAQ page (which, btw, continues to grow), the rate of change of phone apps makes reviews all but meaningless within days or weeks.  So instead, I like to include apps in others posts as relevant to that topic.  For example, my favorite tri apps, or apps for finding swimming pools, etc…

But I’ve been thinking lately about what apps are out there that offer live tracking while you’re out there running, cycling, or rambling around.  But in particular – apps that also live transmit sensor data – such as ANT+, Bluetooth, or Bluetooth Smart.

I thought it might be interesting to put together a post on all the options you have.  I quite often use the Garmin Fit app which has live tracking of both position, as well as ANT+ sensor data – including Power, Heart Rate, Speed and Cadence.  And in general, I find it works pretty well.

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But I know there’s more.  For example, Runkeeper has some functionality (that’s even used by other apps too).  As well as Endomondo.  But I know there’s many others out there I’m not aware of.  The app landscape is just that big.

So over the next 3-4 weeks as I’m on near nonstop travel around the globe, I’d like to test out different options and will include them in a compiled post with all the pros and cons of each.

Here’s my only requirements:

1) Must transmit my current location on map (so that someone can view it on a page)
2) Must include a track of where I’ve been
3) Must include some ANT+/Bluetooth/Bluetooth Smart sensor data (i.e. HR/Speed/Cadence/Power/etc…).

That’s all.  Free app or paid app, either is fine.  Service fee or no fee, both ok.

From a platform standpoint, I’ve got iPhones, Android phones, Windows 7 and Windows 8 phones – so I can toy with just about anything (except Blackberry…sorry!).

So – let me hear about them.  The more the merrier!  And, you’re experience with them is even better.

Thanks for reading (and commenting!)

76 Comments

  1. Greg Hamm

    Yes!!! I use the Garmin Stat Tracker. I mainly use it because my wife would like to know that I am safe. She is able to track me and know where I am at. She also sees it as fun to see the stats during my ride. I also send it to some of my fellow riders and they can see what I'm doing too. I think it works great, but I would love a service that is closer to real time data feedback instead of every minute (or so) data feedback. Maybe more will show up next week at CES?

    Reply
    • Doug replied

      My wife tracks me during my rides and runs via Apple's "Find my friend" app. It work's great and I occassionally use it to find other friends at concerts, busy locations, etc using the ability to temporarilly track a person. I don't really get why I would want someone to track me via my Garmin since I pretty much always have my iPhone with me (working out AND not working out) and it's so easy for my wife to track my phone using Apple's familiar iPhone or iPad app no matter the situation.

      Reply
  2. Hi there.
    I've been using Garmin FIT so that my girlfriend could find me if case of trouble. But after she also got an iPhone we both can find each other trough "Find my Friends". So the need for a live tracker vanished and that was a couple of bucks saved.

    Reply
  3. I think it would great if you could expand on requirement number 3. I think transmitting that information would be great if you were working in tandem with a coach or someone who knew how to translate that information and provide instant feedback during your workout/race; otherwise, I'm not sure why it is a required feature. You know your audience more than me but I have a feeling there might be some people hitting this page that don't require that functionality. Hopefully you'll have an honorable mentions section of your post :).

    Naturally, the reason I ask this is because my favorite live tracking app has a more general purpose than those using it for athletic purposes. I'm a huge proponent of the Glympse app.

    My purpose of using a Live Tracking app is two-fold:
    1. So my sherpa doesn't have to stress out missing me cross the finish line of a race.
    2. So my wife can locate my remains if I don't return from a training run or ride.

    It will show your location (requirement 1) with the speed you are traveling in MPH/KPH (partial requirement 3). It will provide a "tail" of where you have been (requirement 2).

    It can text, email, twitter, or facebook the link for people to view and is smart enough to know where the viewer came from. Within the app, you can view how many times someone viewed your "glympse".

    The interface is decent. They just went through a complete revamp of the app UI and are continually tweaking it.

    Other uses of (but not limit to to just) Glympse
    What I also enjoy about live tracking apps is I can send it to people so they know how far I am from reaching my destination, especially if I'm picking people up at their location or trying to time a meal to be ready when I or they arrive.
    I've used it even when I'm not moving. Maybe someone is trying to find me in a crowd outside or trying to find where I'm parked. I'll send them a glympse and they can find me.

    If you really only want apps that transmit technical data too, then feel free to remove this comment but I'd love it you could expand on why. Thanks!!

    Reply
    • Arnaud replied

      Whenever I go on a long training ride, I also use the Glympse app so that my wife can track me in real time. But I use my 910XT to capture metrics about the ride. I have been using Glympse for a couple of years and it has worked great for us.

      Reply
  4. Toby

    I use runkeeper, seems good and I like the integration to other sites.

    Reply
  5. Chris Walkup

    I use Runmeter. It is one of the few apps that will do it all and is as configurable as my Garmin 205 was (before it imploded - the guy behind me handed me the pieces - on a 50k in September).

    Reply
  6. Erik Haselsteiner

    I use Runtastic! Perfect App for me and my tracking of training sessions.

    Reply
    • Jason replied

      I use Runtastic too. My one issue with Runtastic's tracking is it requires the Runtastic app for viewing. My wife is not a runner, but likes tracking me while I'm out on long runs. It's a little annoying that she has to access Runtastic to track me, versus just going to the web (e.g. Googlemaps). Do you know of any apps that allow viewers to track you but don't require installation of the specific app?

      Reply
    • DC Rainmaker replied

      The older Garmin Fit one does, no download for the watching person required.

      Reply
  7. Best cycling app.measures distance,track and gradient.free

    Reply
  8. Jackson

    Joining some others in questioning #3 - for your average visitor, do they have a person back in a office tracking their stats in realtime? For me, like others, its a matter of safety especially during the dark winter months. Apple Find Friends saves me that pain.

    Reply
    • Rainmaker replied

      Hi Jackson & Scotty-

      It's a good question. We're seeing more and more interest in live sensor data - for example, TdF tracking and the like. I'd agree, that if I'm sending it to my immediate family, not all of them will care about power or heart rate (though, my Dad would).

      That said, there's many cases where athletes tend to have other athlete friends. Sorta the 'birds of a feather' at work. In those cases, when people share live tracking feeds with others, they tend to be other athletic-minded friends that are interested in that data. Perhaps for fun, and perhaps because they may be on a team, coached, etc...

      For me, I'm open to hearing about others if the implementation is cool (even if they don't have sensor data). I think that across the solutions I've tried so far, there's a lot that can still be done in this area to make a killer experience.

      P.S. Scotty - Thanks for the detailed explanation!

      Reply
  9. Christian

    Strava changes your training immediately. Knowing you will be ranked and compared with other Strava-Users riding/running certain climbs, you will train much harder on that segments. That's why Strava is my favorite app.

    Reply
  10. Mitch

    I'm looking for just the tracking function, as I already have data recording on my bike mounted garmin unit and recording would be duplication. Same main need as others have posted so that someone can find you and see where you are.
    What would be cool is an ETA function so that others would have a rough idea on how long before you will arrive at a location or finish etc. It would need to estimate speed over a specific course to get time of arrival. So you know when to start cheering or how long before they arrive, or how much time before you have to get the car to a pick up point etc

    Reply
  11. MapMyRide has live tracking as well. I was using the Garmin app, but go tired of forking out the $$ every time I wanted to use it. MapMyRide is a one time fee for the app and any "friends" on MMR can see your tracks when you enable it.

    Reply
  12. Have been using Cyclemeter (iPhone app) for the whole 2012 season. Rode over 2.000 km with it. It supports livetracking (automatic upload every 5 minutes) and is very stable.

    It also supports ANT+ key (Wahoo Fitness Fisica Key). In fact, I just bought one today, preparing for the 2013 season. But even without the key the app worked great. Very accurate (GPS & speed, it also supports auto-pause) and very easy on battery power.

    Cyclemeter also supports live (or near-realtime) transmission of ANT+ data (HR etc.). Also, the automatic reporting to Twitter & Facebook (and others) works well.

    Abvio, the developer is working hard on making the tool even better and come with regular updates. Every update has been stable and working well.

    Oh, it's also very cheap. Just a one-time payment. I think it's about $5,- at the moment.

    Where Cyclemeter lacks is in the total statistics area. Per ride it's great, but totalling km's, hours over multiple rides isn't where Cyclemeter shines. I'm using SportTracks for that.

    I'm a happy user of Cyclemeter and think they deserve the credit.

    Reply
  13. Ian

    I've run/biked with about 10 apps over the last 1.5 years-- Endomondo is the best. Not as well known in the U.S. but just as many users worldwide as Runkeeper, MapMyFitness, etc.

    Reply
  14. Rog

    +1 for Cyclemeter. With BT hr and cadence this obviates the need for a dedicated bike unit. Battery life is the only downside. Actually, another downside is that it's a pretty complex app and some functionality isn't obvious. Easily the best of the bunch and getting better all the time.

    The guys at Abvio are responsive and helpful too.

    Strava's apps are getting better (as is the site in its niche way) too.

    Reply
  15. +1 for Strava here. I have tried a lot of apps and this has to be one of the easiest to use with strong stats analysis and social elements to keep you motivated. The tight Garmin integration is also a bonus as I recently acquired a Forerunner 610 for when you leave the mobile at home.

    SportsTracker (Android) was also a previous favourite and ticks all your boxes.

    Reply
  16. Zen

    I am using Endomondo on WP7.

    Reply
  17. Travis

    I wanted to switch to an app but found that it just isn't as accurate as my Garmin 310xt. I mountain bike and with all the switch backs and changes in altitude the apps don't cut it. I wish they would cause I could upload to Strava as soon as the ride is finished.

    A Garmin will record every second, but apps will only go down to every few seconds.
    One app that is nice is iBiker. It seems to be the most accurate so far.I was using MapMyRide until they updated it and want you to pay for live tracking now with a membership and not a paid app.

    I would just like to use my iPhone and nothing else.

    Reply
  18. I've been playing around with the different apps on my phone. My criteria was that they had to be free, accurately calculate the miles, have a lot of online tools to analyze, and provide audible pace and distance information at no more than half mile or 5 minute intervals. I blogged about 5 (Runkeeper, Runtastic, Endomondo, MapMyRun, and Strava).

    I loved Runkeeper, but I found after about a month using it, it would begin to go haywire and I would then have to reinstall. Then updates didn't really fix the problem. I am using the app on Android platform.

    The one I am using now, however, is Strava. I like the tools and the instant motivation I get by competing virtually against my PR's and others.

    My blog reviews that go into more detail are as follows:
    Preview:link to from262to26.blogspot.com

    Endomondo and Runkeepers: link to from262to26.blogspot.com

    MapMyFitness and Runtastic: link to from262to26.blogspot.com

    Strava:link to from262to26.blogspot.com

    Reply
  19. Jeff T

    This doesn't really meet any of your criteria, but is a tracking app and has one cool "live-tracking" feature... it's the Nike+ app. I really like it's facebook integration where when you start a run, if someone Likes it, you get an audio notification through the app (as long as you are listening to music). I think this is freaking awesome. More apps should do this.

    Reply
  20. I use RunMeter to track my runs. It can do bikes and walks and other stuff too. I regret I didn't use it to track my snowshoe trip last week.
    It tracks your map, and you can send a map with your route back to the house as soon as you're done. There are graphs for pace and elevation. If you plug in a bluetooth heart rate monitor you can get all that too. You can set it to give you audible results, as in telling you your pace, every K, or on a time, and you set up the whole thing. What it says, how often. The how loud is a little tricky, I admit.

    This app is customizable out the ying-yang. In fact, there are so many options I'm not sure I've found them all, let alone set them the way I want. It's iPhone centric. I have several dozen runs with it now, and on only two of them the GPS got all confused and gave me totally unrealistic pace numbers. When I looked at the map after it had me zig zagging all over the place.

    It meets my needs perfectly. If you want to see an example of one graph, and the map, I periodically post them on my blog. Here's one. link to keithsodyssey.blogspot.ca

    Reply
  21. Nick

    Note: None of these apps meet req. 3. I understand that requirement but I haven't needed what it specifies yet.

    I use Google Latitude to keep my wife updated on my location. It works really well on Android because it seems to be very carefully optimized to minimize battery usage. You don't get second-by-second (or even minute-by-minute) updates, but for things like "how soon will he be home" it is very good. I keep it running 24/7 and get more than 24 hours battery usage on my phone.

    For more accurate tracking I've found an Android app called "Real Time GPS Tracker" to be good. It's free, doesn't drain the battery too much and allows simple sharing of location (you get a unique, secret URL which it will send to people via email).

    Like I said though - neither of these transmit ANT+ data or anything except your location.

    I used Endomodo when I walk or run, but I don't think that does live tracking does it? I don't have an Ant+ dongle for my phone so I'm not sure what support for that is like either.

    Reply
  22. I've used both RunKeeper and iSmoothRun on my iPhone and only begrudgingly switched to a Garmin device when I started running distances that were too far for the battery life of my phone. I'd switch back if I got faster. Compared to my Garmin the apps are more flexible, easier to use, and have a broader feature set.

    Reply
  23. Thor R

    I've been playing with Tasker for Android to produce and run a set of tasks that suits my purposes.
    I've had quite good success using it to send my position, heading and speed at routine intervals. And I've had limited success including (ANT+) HR data and creating HR zone alerts.
    It takes a while and a lot of trial and error to get each task right so I'm interested in what others are using & recommending as an app.

    Reply
    • Can Koklu replied

      Hi thor.. I'm a total newbie for tasker (and running).. Any chance you came across a recipe to pause amazon's audible app when endomondo voice coach activates?

      Reply
  24. ColoradoNate

    Strava (which I love) doesn't have live tracking. I use a combination of an Edge 500 and cyclemeter on all rides. Reasons: 1. If one device gets goofed up (battery, user error...) I still have data from the other. 2. Cyclemeter does live tracking for me, I get HR from the garmin (but I could have cyclemeter do it if I did BTLE or an ANT key. 3. I do lots of climbing, and the iPhone really is terrible with accuracy of elevation data, so the feature I can't replicate in my phone is the barometric altimeter.

    Cyclemeter is great for tracking. I tweet ride updates for organized rides. I have it email my wife at specified intervals for my other rides. Abvio has recently upgraded the live tracking view. Example here (if HTML links work): link to cyclemeter.com
    They also added live tracking via Facebook, though I'm not on Facebook so I've never tried it.

    Reply
  25. Henrik

    I have a question about apps and that is of there are any apps that can receive data from a Garmin GPS watch. I have a Sony with ant+ chip. So it hopefully should be possible to upload data without a laptop when traveling. :-)

    Reply
  26. Tom

    Have been using the android app "Avocado My Tracks Bridge" which sends data live from the google mytracks app to MapMyTracks.com. Got a bunch of friends and family following my run during the paris marathon last year and thus easily find me for cheering purposes...

    Reply
    • Tom replied

      Edit: it seems mapmytracks has its own app now Map My Tracks OutFront but not sure if this one records ant+ data, mytracks does.

      Reply
  27. At Selfloops we have developed a sensor and tracking platform that does, among other things, live streaming (telemetry) of activities.

    The application is available in the Android Play store. You can stream your sensor data, including all different ANT+ sensors, if you have an ANT+ capable Android smartphone such as the Sony Xperia Active. We support also the Zephyr Bluetooth HRM.
    Without sensors, you can still stream speed, altitude, distance, GPS location.

    You can post the link to the live streaming to Facebook or/and Twitter.

    Give it a try and let us know what you think.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  28. Manfred Rotgers

    Hi I use sportypal / garmin fit on an android device Sony Xperia active

    like both apps since they support ant+ for my garmin bike sensors (both speed and cadence); garmin HRM and garmin footpod.

    I user sportypal the most times, since the interface is much better than the garmin fit.

    My only problem is I would like a new phone (a larger screen) but there are almost no new phones with ant+ support.

    Reply
  29. IpBike Android has ANT+ support and offers live tracking via the the RunKeeper backend.

    This means you need to be a RunKeeper Elite subscriber. The RunKeeper APIs support position, speed and HR data but unfortunalty no Cadence, Power or Temperature which IpBike also supports.

    Reply
  30. OruxMaps is not a fitness but a very good tracking app for Android. It supports heartrate belts (bluetooth, ANT+) also.
    For "simple" GPS tracking I used the small app and website link to instamapper.com until Autumn last year - but it seems that this service was closed now. :-(
    It was great because battery drain was very low.

    Reply
  31. Tim

    I use Cyclemeter. If I paid for it, I don't remember doing it so it must have been cheap.

    It will send emails/tweets/texts?/FB updates/more?... at predefined intervals, either by time or mileage. The updates includes a link to a map of where you've been. (Google maps if you look on-line, the crappy iOS6 Apple maps if you just use the app on the iPhone.)

    It's not "real time" but on the other hand, I can make my iphone battery last for a full two day MS 150 bike ride sending updates every 10 miles or so with the phone stuffed in a bento box.

    The developers just added updates recently for use with the Wahoo WiFi dongle and you iPhone. If you have the dongle, it will send HR, cadence, POWER METER, and so on (as far as I know any ANT+ sensor) in addition to the speed and elevation it can collect via GPS.

    I have it for safety, and set on 5 miles for my normal rides. The theory is that if someone at home doesn't get an email every 15-20 minutes, they should go to the last place the update showed me at and start looking.

    The tracking feature is free. No extra fees for use, other than the little bit of data through the cell network.

    Ray, I watched your Constantinople/Istanbul run around "live" and it wasn't really live either. It seemed like it updated every mile or so. Cyclemeter will send an update of your track (and all data you care to collect with the Wahoo dongle) every 1/4 mile if you pick the shortest interval option.

    Based on what I saw, I don't see the point in the Garmin app you used, especially as it's $$$. I'll stick with free and updates between 1/4 and 100 miles.

    Reply
  32. Eric

    It looks like Garmin is planning to add that functionality to their new 510 and 810 cyclecomputers: link to forum.slowtwitch.com

    Reply
  33. mark

    Use mapmyfitness app, free, does all sport not just run or ride. also use at the same time; adidas micoach app for coaching using heart rate monitor.

    Reply
  34. Stepan

    I used the iPhone Nike+ application for quite a long time.

    Few years ago I started with my Ipod Nano + Nike foot sensor. There was application from Nike, that could be used like kind of coach - I set the distance or time and started runnig. I listened to music and I heard voice comments of my pace, distance and summary at the end of the run.

    Then I moved to iPhone and its application Nike +. It can be downloaded for free, I think.
    I saw evoluton of this app over the years and sice it has s many great features I did not try anyting else. What I like about this app:
    - I can set goal like time or distance.
    - It has voice feedback during the course. I hear when I am at the half and when I am almost at Finish. Nice.
    - It has "cheer" message from famous athletes at the end of the workout
    - It is connected to facebook online. When I run it posts the start on my wall and whenever anybody likes the post, I hear cheer during my course. Great during longer races
    - It is connected to music library. I can set the "powersongs" that I can play anytime. The powersongs give me extra boost.
    - Nice mapping feature
    - Simple easy to use website
    - Continuus development

    What I do not like
    - The app runs as long as the batteries do. It gave up after 2 hours in Prague International Marathon, so I moved to Garmin 910xt
    - Website offers only basic information, that is not sufficient for more in depth analyses

    Reply
  35. Stepan

    Oh and I forgot one another drawback of iPhone Nike+ - it cannot be connected to the HR strap.

    Reply
  36. Patrice

    Hi everyone,

    I’m using Endomondo Pro on my Sony Xperia Mobile but ‘ve already tried Runkeeper, Nike+ & Runtastic.

    Endomondo pro is so easy to use with distance or time goals, intervals training etc. You don’t need the network data access to start or record your run. If you start your run with Wifi activated you can even check your evolution on the map which remains in memory.

    Sometimes the GPS synch is much more faster that with my Garmin but it could lose your track, find it back and calculate a kind of “bird flight” between the two points. Garmin GPS seems to be reliable but it’s maybe due to my phone ?

    I’m always using it “combined” with my Garmin Forerunner 210 HRM and on 10k run the distance & pace are quite similar on both units but not the calories!. Garmin formula seems to be more realistic Sometimes I like to listen to my music when running and I’m using Deezer apps to achieve that.

    Cons is that with Endomondo you can’t define the ratio between music and trainer speech so sometimes you can hardly hear what is your distance and pace and you are more focused on the sound than on the race.

    I don’t like to keep my mobile in my hand to know what is my heartbeat rate or pace and an armband is not so user friendly, so even if you could adjust the trainer speech frequence, for me a watch is far easier.

    The pro’s of course is the livetrack and the fact that you don’t have to synch anymore after your run + social network features.

    But pay attention, the friend of your friends are not always so friendly. Here in Belgium some people using livetracking without some good privacy rules got the bad surprise to find their house a little bit more empty that when they left it!

    Thanks for reading and Ray, once again, you do an incredible and much appreciated job !

    Reply
  37. kelly

    i use sportstracklive, works pretty good, compatible with Zephyr Hxm only. link to sportstracklive.com

    Reply
  38. ethan

    I keep trying to like the 910xt but I'm looking for my iphone to walk me through run and cycling workouts as I'm trying to train with 8 hours a week or less. Still struggling to pick an app that can help me do that and upload my data in alignment with a training plan. I'm vacilating between trainingpeaks, garmin connect or runkeeper.

    Ismoothrun, cycle/runmeter, wahoo fitness, garmin's fit, trainingpeak's one... I'm trying them all and quite frankly am almost paralyzed by the options.

    Anyone got a great bike mount that's waterproof for the iphone 5? Waiting for the wahoo one for a while now. Tried lifeproof but the screen cover bubbles up and makes the user experience suck.

    Reply
  39. I use Strava or MapMyRide to log my rides and runs. I have a Timex Run Trainer that will show a map on Training Peaks, but I really just use it for heart rate now. However, I also have to recommend the Find Friends app on my iPhone. I got a new bike recently, and my old bento box didn't fit, so I had no spare, etc. I went for a short ride, and, sure enough, got a flat. I was able to call my wife and have come right to me using it.

    Reply
  40. Fabio

    Strava ftw.

    Reply
  41. anbody

    You should probably have a look at the runtastic Pro App.

    #1 and #2 two should be working.
    For #3 the Speed will come from the phone I guess. They sell their specific HR strap for the heart rate, but I guess you should be able to connect some other Bluetooth HR straps as well.

    Reply
  42. john

    Been using RunMeter which is same as CycleMeter basically. Same company makes both apps. One time purchase $4.99. Love that I can email results when finished and import into the site I use for training and planning. Very close accuracy to my 500 and 210. Will connect to Ant+ and Bluetooth devices.

    Reply
  43. rik

    I use the Polar App. Together with the Polar H7 BLE heart rate monitor.

    Reply
  44. Jamie k

    I was wondering.... I am doing an 11 day charity event in July, cycling from the top of Scotland to the bottom of England (John O'Groats to Land's End), we have a website and I would love to be able to add a button where people can click and go straight to viewing my location live on a map.

    I'm in need of it to do this on the same link for all 11 days, although I will need to turn it off at the end of each day then back on when we start riding again!!!

    Is this possible????

    Reply
  45. Jamie K,

    'Realtime Events Body Charge'

    NewWell has released both Android and Iphone capable apps which show your location, speed and Training Stress Score amongst other data. To allow people to view your progress and realtime location,
    you select the public livemap group in the group options.

    Stress Score is based on Dr Eric Banister's scientific Training Impulse but with the updated algorithms for more accuracy. The World's best undiscovered training tool.

    Good luck :-)

    Reply
  46. Neal Bailey

    If I am not using my FR210 or Edge 500 or if I am and want to have the addtional function of live tracking I use my iPhone with runmeter (cyclemeter is the same under a different name).

    It has various options for live tracking but essentially it posts a webling when you start riding and it updates the website with data every 5 mins. You can share this automatically to either Facebook, twitter, dailtymile or specified emails.

    Although there are more options to update based on distances, when you pause your workout, restart it, reach the end of a split etc the simplest is how I have indicated above.

    Here is an example link of one of my recent rides in Gran Canaria, my fiancee said it was great to track my slow progress up those 25% gradients watching my heart rate.

    Ride Link: link to runmeter.com

    Actually Runmeter only recently updated the way the data is displayed and it greatly improved. If you check the link you will see that you can turn on and off the various sensor info, Speed, Candence for example can be turned off and you can watch just the heartrate and elevation, you can also zoom into the charts.

    If you are looking for a more instant live, every 3 second type update then runmeter might not be best as it updates every 5mins.

    Also another nice feature is that if you post to Twitter, Dailymile or Facebook and then someone comments on those posts, runmeter will read in to you while your running (text to speech). In fact you can set it up to read all your wall posts so good for some support on that marathon as your hitting the wall.

    Good luck with the trials...

    Reply
  47. Lionel V

    I've started to run with Runtastic two years ago. I quickly subscribed for the PRO mode. I found it awesome because for the first time I could map my runs while listening music (whatever stored in my iPhone or spotify) and monitor my heart rate. But, while i was preparing my vacation in a foreign country, i realized that i would have to pay roaming fees only for data export (GPS localisation + exchange with Runtastic servers as it's not a standalone service).... so I started to think about other systems, standalone, with autonomous GPS, not 3G dependent. And i bought a Suunto Ambit and i'm happy with it. Whatsoever, i still continue running with my phone (for the music and to let my beloved know where i am or just to call if i break one leg :-)).
    Thanks very much DC Rainmaker for your reviews!

    Reply
  48. Alex

    Please review Endomondo. I've used a number of activity tracking apps, and that's the one I've converged on. I'm in the gym (read: indoors) twice a week, and my FR110 GPS watch works poorly there. But Endomondo + a Zephyr HRM (that uses bluetooth) (link to int.store.endomondo.com) has worked for me for running, biking, and indoors workouts. Endomondo integrates with other things such as websites that look at your weight/diet (link to myfitnesspal.com).

    I'm happy to take my smartphone running and biking, because I also use it as a camera to take pictures of where I've been and (more importantly) a map, to tell me where to go next, so I can completely my route.

    Reply
  49. Jérôme

    Ray,
    You must test a fantastic application LiveTrekker for iPhone.
    You can be tracked in live and you can too send (in live) video/pictures/audio/text. And of course, all yours fans or friends could see you in live via mail, facebook or twitter.
    Jérôme

    Reply
  50. Pierre

    I use Runkeeper/iphone for walking and short distance running.
    I use SportTracks/Garmin 910XT for long distance running and cycling.

    Both can export/import tracks for the other.

    Reply
  51. hollyoak

    Any update on this interesting topic?

    I've found Nike+ and Runtastic Pro to do the job of live tracking but they only post to Facebook, they can't send an email so that makes things a bit difficult if you want to send a link to a non-FB person...especially if you're taking part in a race!

    I prefer Nike+ because I've found that it can mute the sound of other music apps when making announcements, whereas Runtastic Pro just puts the voice on top of the music so it's hard to understand.

    Reply
  52. Punchcard

    I'd love to see a review of this.. I've been looking at RoadID's ecrumb and livetrekker... Wondering what else is out there.

    Reply
  53. Bruno Lencastre

    Endomondo Pro user since March 2012.

    I have a love/hate relationship with endomondo, the interface, intervals, audio coach and live tracking are all Great, the constant bait and switch tactics are not so Great. The worst offenders are: removal of detailed statistics (before you could track your progress for specific distances, like 5k, 10k, marathon, etc... now, only 5k, before you had live weather and heart rate data access,... now? nothing. To get those features back you need to pay for a Premium account.

    Other than that, the app is really easy to use (unlike 100+ click to get up and running... pun intended runkeeper), or the messy in-your-face-too-much-for-me Nike+ app. Endomondo strikes the balance with a clean interface and quick and dirty setup. The developers have been refining the app, with better accuracy and better use of the audio coach... for instance, only recently the audio coach started to be useful in interval training.

    But this post is about live tracking. According to my wife (I don't live track... er... myself) in the desktop it's fairly easy to see where I am and send me text-to-speech reinforcement messages (which I hear while running). On the mobile phone not so much. There is significant delay (as much as 1 mile) between my actual position and the point on the map. The little map client inside the endomondo app has a poor performance.

    That's it.
    Happy New Year
    Bruno

    PS: I've used runkeeper, nike+, strava, and others... and endo is probably the all-round best.

    Reply
  54. Anders

    Hi DC, and thanks for your great artikles!

    I'm one of those looking for an review / overview on this topic, and espescially the live tracking of ANT+ data. I haven't tried it out yet, but basic low skill googling give me two options today:

    Selfloops: link to selfloops.com

    Sportstracklive: link to sportstracklive.com

    But I find it strange that I can't find more. Have you tried any of them? I believe updating to a newer Garmin device might help me? But I'll prefer to use my old and rather use my Android-phone for this task.

    I can't wait to keep my training buddies alert:
    "Damn, look at that b"#¤", climbing the Tryvann-hill in 18 min with THAT heart rate!!!. I'll sneak out from the office early today to get in som nasty work out!"

    A

    Reply
    • hollyoak replied

      Yep, not much is new in that area oddly enough...as far as I can tell, the only non subscription based app for iPhone that meets all the criteria is Runstastic Pro, but and it's a pretty big one, you CANNOT share your live track via email, only via Twitter or Facebook (or with people who have a Runtastic account), which is a bit annoying as eveyone does not have a "social network" account. One workaround is to start a session, log into Facebook, get the link and send it, but is that something you want to do before a race? No!

      So in the meantime if I need people to track me when I'm running, I just use Glympse...where it would be great to have an adjustable refresh rate to save on the battery life.

      Reply
  55. Mike

    Does the wahoo app do live tracking? If using the wahoo app for metrics will one I these other apps work in the background for live tracking?

    Reply
  56. Lee

    I use Endomondo Pro, with a Zephyr HxM Bt heart rate monitor. I like having HR, Pace, etc., displayed on my phone and announced audibly over my headphones. I would love to find out if there is a better app available. I have set up the tracking website on the desktop when I head out so my wife can view my location. I am looking at using RoadID eCrumbs to see if it is easier for her to use.

    Reply
  57. Jeremy

    Hi! Is there a running app that auto post in FB or twitter like every 5km of running, and includes map, average pace, total time and race distance? 'Would be cool to use one during a marathon. :) Thanks!

    Reply
  58. Lance

    I don't want to run with an iPhone, but would love if Garmin would create an app that syncs with my 910XT for tracking real time activity.

    Is anyone familiar with an app that would identify my 910XT and relay live / real time action to a laptop or perhaps to my wife's phone?

    I noticed Garmin has Garmin Fit for the 510 and 810 (cycling), but not to for wrist based GPS systems.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks for your input,
    Lance

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      Unfortunately the FR910XT lacks Bluetooth Smart in it, so there's no easy way directly to the phone. There are some 3rd party ANT+ adapters, like the Wahoo one, but that's kinda clunky compared to teh Edge 510/810.

      That said, for wrist-based, the FR220/FR620, and Fenix2 all do live tracking. So check out those.

      Reply
  59. Michael Lane

    I have a Garmin 500 and Garmin 910xt. I like using Strava to upload to for the segments, and social aspect. The 500 works great. Very disappointed with my 910xt as it has lost data on so many runs, always ones that I have really pushed hard, and wanted to see the data :(. So lately I have been using my iPhone and Strava app.
    What is your opinion on the upcoming iwatch with the iOS Strava app.? This would be so simple, and maybe no need for HR strap.

    Reply
  60. Michael Lane

    Thx. for the quick reply. At present in your opinion what running watch works best if I use Strava?

    Reply
    • Ray Maker replied

      There aren't really any great options for GPS running watches that have Strava built in (you can sorta use the Magellan Echo, but the options within that in the Stava app are limited). Thus, I'd look at using anything you'd like and just have it sync afterwards. Both Garmin and Suunto have automatic sync to Strava post-run.

      Reply
  61. Albert

    I use a program called "onX" by Microsoft for Android. See http://www.onx.ms. I installed/coded a "recipe" on the onX app that simply responds with a google maps link with my position when somebody sends me a text with "where". I can disable or enable the recipe as needed or even modify the recipe so I can white list phone numbers that I automatically respond too. The response link launches the native google maps app. Works great when iphone and android users text me. Not related to cycling but I like this option as it does not impose on the battery life of a fitness app using the GPS hardware. I use a dedicated Garmin 910xt for that stuff. I recently bought a Samsung S5 and found a "uploader for garmin" app where I can export my data out of my 910xt watch without needing a PC with a usb ant stick.

    Reply
  62. Brian

    There have been a few commenters above that asked the same question I have. Does the Wahoo app have a live tracking feature? I use that app for my rides,and it would be simplest just to go that route for me as I have that app open anyway. I can't seem to get an answer on this anywhere, so my guess it's "no" but I figured DCR would know if anybody did.

    Reply

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