A smartphone's built-in sensors make it a great platform for a variety of running apps that can track your speed, distance traveled and calories burned while even mapping your route. (Check to make sure where that data's stored if you're concerned about privacy, though.) Things get even better when paired with a run tracker or smartwatch. From high-end exercise apps with dedicated training plans to fun, gamified tools, hit the trail and work on your fitness goals with the best running apps for Android and iOS devices.
A perennial favorite among runners, Runkeeper (Android, iOS) uses your phone's GPS to track your running, cycling, hiking and other distance activities. The app records your pace, distance, total exercise time, calories burned and other useful metrics, and also comes with a variety of training plans, complete with reminders and gamified challenges. Users can go freeform or download and follow popular running routes. You can measure your progress and workout history, as well as sync with numerous other apps and services and receive detailed reports of your tracked activity. The app also works with a variety of smartwatches and fitness devices such as the Apple Watch and Android Wear devices.
In addition to being a top-notch running tracker, Strava Running and Cycling (Android, iOS) adds some pretty neat competitive and gamified features to the usual run-tracking recipe. The app records your running speed, distance traveled, time and course taken for both useful metrics and tracking, but combines all that with leaderboards, achievements and challenges as you race against your friends. Strava supports a variety of running trackers in addition to Android Wear and Apple Watch. (Just make sure you opt out of the location tracking features if you happen to be around restricted areas.)
Google Fit serves as a fitness tracking hub app for Android devices, using your device's on-board sensors as well as any connected fitness tracking devices to record a variety of info, such as calories burned, steps taken, and elevation. Users can set fitness goals, and the app provides helpful exercise and activity recommendations. You could use Fit as a stand alone tracking and pedometer app, but it really shines when you allow it to sync and aggregate info from a variety of popular fitness apps and trackers that you connect to it, such as Strava, Runkeeper, or Sleep As Android, giving you a unified platform to track fitness data.
Run with Map My Run (Android, iOS) is Map My Fitness's own take on the run-tracking app, taking advantage of your phone's GPS and other sensors to track and map your running course, time, speed and total distance traveled. The app displays both your real-time stats and your end-of-run totals. Useful extras include support for a variety of fitness trackers and heart rate sensors, Android Wear support and nutrition tracking. A premium subscription provides voice coaching and location sharing and removes ads.
Runtastic (Android, iOS) uses GPS to track and map your exercise, monitoring time, speed and distance and plots your route in real-time. A personal exercise diary keeps track of your running metrics, and you can view routes in a Google Earth-style view. A configurable dashboard, detailed graphs of your exercise information, progress sharing over social networks and numerous training plans round out this neat exercise app.
iSmoothRun Pro is an extremely feature-packed running tracker app that works fantastically well on its own, or in combination with a variety of wearable devices and fitness apps and services. iSmoothRun Pro uses GPS and the iPhone's motion sensors, effortlessly switching between the two as needed, while tracking your run time, cadence and more. Users can log and display a variety of running metrics, such as speed, distance, time and intervals. You can export data to a variety of formats and fitness services.
Footpath Route Planner turns planning your next running route into simplicity in itself. Users simply trace a rough outline of their intended jogging route, walking path, or hiking trail, and the app will intelligently snap the route to match nearby trails, paths and roads. You can also press and hold on the map to calculate routes between points, and you can look up details like elevation to gauge difficulty. An in-app purchase unlocks additional features such as unlimited saved routes, cross-device syncing, premium topographic map sources and route exporting to GPX or KML files.