Recently, I have been dabbling with some running apps and covered my thoughts on the likes of Nike Run Club and Strava. Continuing that pattern, I will cover Endomondo and RunKeeper in this post. These two are notable running and other activity tracking apps with millions of daily active users across the globe.
ASICS bought RunKeeper in 2016, and it made the headlines for collecting user data and sharing it with advertisers in the same year. That was surprising because the collection happened even when the app was not in used. Still, RunKeeper is popular and comes with a host of features that we will explore below.
When you are running or doing any activity, the interface is not the most important thing on your mind. Still, an interactive interface with all features neatly organized and easily accessible can go a long way. Both Endomondo and RunKeeper have done a good job.
The only difference is that Endomondo comes with a bottom bar which makes switching activities and choosing features that much easier. RunKeeper is still rocking the sidebar menu which opens when you tap the menu icon at the top. Even more irritating for people with small hands, like myself.
Both the apps open on the GPS screen by default, making it easier just begin with your run.
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2. Recording Runs/Activities
In Endomondo, tap on the Workout tab at the bottom to begin. The default activity is running, but you can quickly change it by tapping on the Settings icon at the top. That’s where you can also choose music, audio feedback, or begin a countdown. Moreover, there are also options for connecting to fitness bands for measuring heart beats and bike speed in case of cycling.
RunKeeper makes it easier to change activity with a clear button for the same. You can choose an activity, play a song from YouTube Music or Play Music (Apple Music was not detected) or go for a tailor-made Workout plan. Makes it much faster and easier to begin, in my opinion.
Both Endomondo and RunKeeper can be set up to notify you of different metrics while running. For example, the audio coach will tell you your speed, heart rate, distance, time, averages, and splits. Endomondo also tracks goals. However, I think each individual would want to look at different stats, so it depends on what you are tracking.
RunKeeper tracks a lot of stats while you are listening to the audio coach, but not sure where all that data disappears when you open the feed. Strange.
3. Training, Challenges, Goals, and Plans
Whether you want to lose weight or run your first 5K, there are plans and challenges in both the running apps to keep you motivated and track your progress. Starting with Endomondo, there are personalized training plans complete with workout calendar to help you keep track of progress over time. Not to be left behind, RunKeeper will also let you choose your goals and then create plans accordingly.
You can participate in social challenges where thousands of others will join you. Endomondo again takes the lead here with many challenges available. Of course, you can always create your own in both RunKeeper and Endomondo.
Moreover, Endomondo comes with a unique feature called Commitments. It works like goals where you will set a target. Say, I want to run my first 5K in the next 3 months. You can now invite your friends, thereby being accountable to your commitments. Well, losing face is not an option. Ever wondered why Mark Zuckerberg shares his annual goals publicly on Facebook?
Endomondo also comes with Interval Training which is a proven way to burn more calories and build more muscle, only faster. Training plans are available on both the apps for premium users.
Creating new routes in your locality or finding existing ones is also easy on both.
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4. Platform and Pricing
Endomondo and RunKeeper are available on Android and iOS with a web app accessible from the browser. They also connect with a host of third-party fitness devices like Garmin, arm bands, and so on. Endomondo again has a long list of devices and apps like MyFitnessPal that it works with right out of the box.
The free version of Endomondo comes ad-supported but has more features available for free. Endomondo pricing begins at $5.99 per month while RunKeeper Pro begins at $9.99 per month.
Run Lola Run
RunKeeper is more suitable if you are a hardcore runner. Though the app does track other activities, it was primarily designed for tracking runs. Endomondo is also popular among cyclists, but again, not as much as Strava. That said, Endomondo does offer more features in the free version than RunKeeper.
Endomondo is cheaper than RunKeeper, and when you are talking about subscription plans, they add up pretty quickly. I would suggest Endomondo to most users unless they are runners, in which case, you should compare both before making a call. Which app your friends are using will also be a major determining factor.
Next up: Confused between Apple Health and Google Fit? Here is an in-depth comparison between the leading fitness activity tracking apps.
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