*This page will be regularly updated. Latest update: 11 November 2012*
Make more of your android phone with this selection of fitness apps.
If you feel I have missed out on some apps in these reviews, please drop me a comment in the box below. All reviewed apps were tested and evaluated on a Samsung Galaxy Note running Android Ice Cream Sandwich.
The free version of JEFIT is worth downloading just for its database of exercises. However, as a weight training log, and as a community based app, it really does shine... You might not understand the greatness of JEFIT if you simply download the app though: the free version comes with just one preloaded workout... Log on to the website however, and the world is your oyster! You will find a database of thousands of user generated workouts which you can then synchronize with your device... And all this for free!!! You will never be lacking inspiration in your workouts again! The training log is really decent too!
Best running apps:
Even in its free android version Endomondo is a totally functional running app that will track your workouts accurately. It offers a wealth of information such as your current speed, average speed, total distance, lap times, etc, as well as drafting your course on a map. Where the app really shines though, is in its social features: you can add your courses to the database and, as other runners complete them, see how you compare to them. Endomondo even allows you to get live peptalks from friends: they write a short text on our website which is then read out loud to you seconds later.
There are other running apps that offer more functions than Runkeeper, but what sets it apart is not only that it is totally free -and free of adds- but that it has been integrated into other fitness apps. Fitocracy, for example (see below) synchronizes seamlessly with runkeeper and allows you to ingtegrate your running workouts into its workout tracker.
What runkeeper does, it does very well, with a clean and functional interface.
Strava Run offers similar functions to Endomondo, and some more. Like Endomondo, it offers community features and lets you compare your performances against friends and locals. The Strava website also runs regular challenges which are fun to take part in and will keep you motivated.
The only downside to this app, as compared to Endomondo, is that it is slightly less popular so far, and therefore fewer courses have been entered on the database... In my area, the majority of courses seem to consist of small hill climbs (0.5m or so) which seem to have been added automatically. Watch this space though, and expect this app to grow!
Gaming fitness apps:
New on Android. Unlike our previous entries, this app is not free. However, if you ever get bored on your runs, it is well worth the investement! Rebuild your base following a zombie apocalypse...
An augmented reality ghost hunting game... Ghosts are placed on a map around you, and you must run around trying to catch them. When you come close to one, tilt your camera, and capture it in the view finder.
This is a great premise for an augmented reality fitness app, the only problem being that you are forced to constantly look at your screen, which could cause you to trip and fall... Still, a fun game ; and kids will certainly love that one!
At the time of writing, this one is still very much in beta, but of all the apps listed here, it is possibly the one with the biggest potential! Healthy Heroes, essentially, is a fitness rpg: it will appeal primarily to kids, but also to the big kids among us.
The principle is simple: every time you exercise, check in on the app, and check out once you're done. Your character evolves and levels up with your training.
Healthy Heroes supports gps tracking for outdoors activities, and indoor sports are logged in at user defined 'spots' (your local gym), from which you can check in or out. A bit buggy at the moment, and not fully functional, but this could quickly become the number one fitness app for younger users!
A brilliantly simple calorie counter with a huge database of products, and a really supportive community behind it. If you want to lose weight, this is the one to download. Highly recommended!
Why have I included Fitocracy here when there isn't an android app yet, and the link redirects to the mobile page of the website?
Well, quite simply, despite the lack of android support, Fitocracy is probably the most supportive community and network around. With rpg elements (you can level up an the website and complete quests and achievements), Fitocracy is essentially a workout tracker. It also allows you to create groups (some of them NSFW) and to set each other challenges, it has its own forums, and a very knowledgeable user base. The one site I keep coming back to! As a bonus, here is a post on how to log the exercises from the Bodyweight 666 on Fitocracy. UPDATE: an android app is now in the works! You can be notified of its launch by leaving your email address on the Fitocracy android web page.
Recommended to me by my triathlete friends, this app is fairly similar to Strava Run (reviewed above), but with the distinction that it is actually quite popular within the cycling community. It offers detailed statistics, community features, challenges, and of course you can create your own 'segments' to compete over with your friends and other users. Highly recommended!
Workout trainer puports to be a free app, and it would certainly be a stellar one, but the reality is that you have to pay to download the better workouts (a lot of which are home workouts). That said, if you have the cash to throw at it, workout trainer is as close as an app can come to having a personal trainer: individualized programs, video demonstrations, virtual coaches talking you through the exercises, etc. If you're the kind of person who enjoyed P90X or Insanity -or has considered them- get this app instead!
You are your own gym
Deemed by some to be the bible of bodyweight exercises, Mark Lauren's "You are your own gym" now has its own android app. The app is not free, but it's cheap, and it is a comprehensive encyclopedia of bodyweight exercises, offering very well structured training programs.
A simple heart rate monitoring app that does what it claims accurately, with a clean interface. Place a finger on the lens of your phone camera, and this technical bit of digital wizardry will give you an almost instant reading.
I've been looking for a boxing timer for a while now, and they certainly don't come cheap! This app does the job well, and it's free. It takes seconds to program, and once done, simply plug your phone into a set of speakers to have your own boxing timer!
Slow motion analysis, drawing tools to highlight the footage, audio commentary for feedback on the footage, Coach's eye does everything a coach (or anyone interested in video analysis) may want. It's not free, but at its current price, it's an absolute bargain!
Bleep test 20-15
A must have for anyone interested in testing their aerobic fitness... An old classic, this bleep test works perfectly, and is free. The interface is clean and intuitive.
Pull ups pro, Push ups pro, Sit ups pro, Squats pro
Four simple but effective apps with a clean interface which make use of your phone's accelerometer, proximity sensor, and touch screen to count your reps for you.
After an initial test, and inputting your vital statistics, the apps also come up with a personalized training program.