- Discussions (2)
Comprehensive runner's companion but arguably overkill
Author: Jay Feldman
Date: 04 Jun 2017, tested on ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
Lots of settings, stylish design
Can't pause or stop workouts on free version, is lagging, kills your battery
Runtastic for Android is a comprehensive runner’s companion app. The best features require the paid version; however, if you’re into running, this might be a worthwhile purchase.
Runtastic is pretty amazing. The basic concept is to bring a digital companion with you on your runs and get detailed map info, biometrics and even have friends cheer you on. The app is very well developed with a host of interesting features. The story running feature which literally reads to you from selected programs while you’re running. Naturally, you can also just listen to your favorite music, but Runtastic adds the ability to even control your music player functions directly from this app. The pro version adds training routes, interval training and advanced training plans.
The app makes use of your GPS so it can keep track of the route you are taking along with how far and how long you've been running. All of your workouts are saved in the history, so you can easily monitor your results and tweak your workouts. The app also has the ability to connect with your smartwatch and heart rate monitors and integrates the biofeedback into the app for easy monitoring.
The app itself runs fairly well, though the free version is seriously hamstrung. Once you start a workout, there is absolutely no way to pause or stop it; so you just have to run the workout, or manually force close the app just to get back to the main screen. The GPS functions are typically laggy. Once they do hone in on your location, things seem to work a little smoother, but I honestly question if any phone using a standard battery can handle running this app, tracking your GPS location, play music for you and then maybe even answer a call. If you’re planning on running for a few miles, I’m pretty sure your gizmo’s battery would die long before you make it back home.
Runtastic is certainly a comprehensive app, but I wonder if it’s just a little overboard. If you need this much distraction while you’re running, maybe you should pick another activity that you actually enjoy. I think the only truly useful feature here is the distance tracking and possibly the biometric feedback integration. The rest, is probably just going to distract you from your workout while killing the battery on your phone.