Fitness app spotlight: Digifit Icardio, Endomondo, Sports Tracker and Fitbit
Fitness apps help smartphone owners monitor a wide-range of health and workout-related data, including their heart rate, sleep patterns, steps taken and calories burned – and that is just for the most basic apps. Most apps connect to Facebook, Twitter and other social networks – including some that are specific to the manufacturer. Most are effective, reliable and and compatible with a variety of smartphones and other devices. Here are just four of the most popular.
The Digifit Icardio heart rate monitor, activity and workout tracker has been generally well-received by people who want to keep tabs on how far they have run or walked, the speed at which they move, and, of course, the rate at which their heart pumps while doing so. Digifit Icardio can also track weight loss and monitor the progress being made on a workout regimen, and lets users engage on Facebook and Twitter as well as with a group of up to 10 partners. The
- Effectiveness: Solid performance
- Reliability: Keeps working even if contact with the network is lost
- Cross-Environment Compatibility: works well with ANT heart-rate sensors
- Android vs Apple: Digifit Icardio is Apple iOS 8 Compatible and can use the Apple Health App Integration; it requires at least iOS 7, and is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iTouch, and is optimized for iPhone 5.
- Fashion: Conects to a heart rate monitor with a device that plugs into the iPhone charging outlet
- Cost: Basic app is free but to Digifit Connect Services are $59.95 and there are a lot of add-ons and upsells for users who want or need to get the most out of what Digifit Icardio offers.
- Ease in Social Networks/Community: can share workout information with up to 10 partners and works with Facebook and Twitter (“with more coming!” promises Digifit)
The Endomondo smart phone app works with a wide range of smartphones, on both Android and iPhone. The basic app is free and the paid version is only $3.99.
- Effectiveness: Easy to use and very good at tracking health, heart and workout rates and goals
- Reliability: very good.
- Cross-Environment Compatibility: works with iPhone, Blackberry, Samsung, LG, Garmin, Polar and many other smartphones, and with ANT + heart rate monitors from many manufacturers.
- Android vs Apple: works with Android and iPhone (requires iOS 4 or later) and iPad
- Fashion: connects to a heart-rate monitor strap
- Cost: a basic app version is free; paid version is $3.99
- Ease/Effectivness in Social Networks/Community: the “Friends” tab lets users compete against friends in their network who also have the app. Not yet linkable to Facebook or Twitter.
Sports Tracker has so many features that it has been likened to having a “sports computer on your wrist.” There are both Android and Apple versions, and it has its own social network as well as links to Facebook and Twitter. The app keeps track of calories burned, distance traveled, heart rate and provides other useful data – and even gives voice feedback during training.
- Effectiveness: Likened to having a “sports computer on your wrist”
- Reliability: excellent
- Cross-Environment Compatibility: works with Apple Health
- Android vs Apple: both Sports Tracker for Android and also for iPhone, iPad, iTouch with iOS 5.0 or later
- Fashion: N/A
- Cost: $3.99 per month or $27.99 per year
- Ease/Effectivness in Social Networks/Community: has its own (and growing) Sports Tracker community social network, links to Twitter and Facebook, and allows friends to share selected data (and even take a “sportie” photo to share).
- Effectiveness: Highly effective in tracking workout, heart rate and sleep patterns.
- Reliability: excellent
- Cross-Environment Compatibility: compatible with and syncs wirelessly to over 120 devices, connects with Fitbit's line of activity trackers and Aria Smart Scale
- Android vs Apple: compatible with Android and with iPhone, iPad, iTouch, optimized for iPhone 5.
- Fashion: Fitbit makeswatch-like wristband trackers, available in many colors
- Cost: basic app is free, but premium apps are available, especially for those with Fitbit tracker devices
- Ease/Effectivness in Social Networks/Community: accesses the large Fitbit community