Tracking your daily activity is an excellent way to keep in shape, especially if you’ve just spent the Chinese New Year gouging on various high-calorie goodies. However, not everyone is willing to spend upward of a hundred dollars to get a fancy new activity tracker that have to be worn.
For users who are not into expensive gadgets, we have identified five top activity tracker apps that you can download onto your iPhone or Android smartphone and start using immediately. What’s more, they are either free or cost in the region of $2 and $6, to boot.
Moves is primarily a pedometer (step counter), though its developers says it will automatically track cycling and jogging too. Steps taken and distance travelled is recorded, as well as calories burned. The data is used to create a daily “storyline” infographic to chronicle key information such as activity performed, duration and location. To avoid sapping your smartphone’s battery life, Moves uses the GPS and other sensors sparingly, relying instead of acceleration data, cell towers and Wi-Fi locations, and will tap into the M7 coprocessor on the iPhone 5S. Moves is free and is available on the iPhone and Android platform.
Runtastic Pedometer Pro
The Runtastic Pedometer Pro counts calories and step-frequency, and works whether your smartphone is placed into a pants or jacket pocket, held in your hand, or stashed inside a bag or purse. Runtastic Pedometer offers social integration to share fitness activities on social networks like Google+, Facebook and Twitter. A lite version of the app is free, though the paid version presents all tracked activities in a diary – complete with detailed graphic analysis and statistics. The Runtastic Pedometer is available on the iPhone and Android ($1.99).
If you’re on a budget, the Argus personal tracker app will fit just perfect with its free price tag. Billed as a sophisticated health and fitness device, Argus sports an intuitive, eye-catching interface. You can set daily goals for yourself, and the app automatically detects running and walking and tracks them. Like Moves, Argus supports the M7 processor to minimize battery usage on the iPhone 5s, though it will work with earlier versions of the iPhone, too. An integrated sleep tracker also monitor your sleep cycles without the need for an additional accessory. Argus is only available on the iPhone at the moment.
As its name suggests, Pedometer++ keeps track of your step counts throughout the day. This basic no-frills app doesn’t deliver anything fancy, though it does tap into the M7 coprocessor on the iPhone 5S to access detailed activity data without having to run in the background. What we really liked about Pedometer++ though, is the ability to set it to dynamically show your current step count as the dynamically updated app badge. Pedometer++ is free, though it will only works on the iPhone 5S.
Endomondo Sports Tracker
Endomondo Sports Tracker is one of the most popular fitness apps around, and it is easy to see why. While the app can function as a pedometer, it also tracks practically any distance-based sport, tallying such statistics such as duration, speed, distance, calories and more in a detailed training diary. Endomondo Sports Tracker supports just about every smartphone platform too, including Android, BlackBerry, iPhone, Symbian and Windows Phone. The price varies slightly by platform.
Proficiency level: Intermediate/Expert