FAVORITE THINGS (running): Running programs for iPhone

If you are like me, any gadgets that support running peak your interest. Especially the new GPS iphone apps: They allow you to listen to music and track running stats at the same time. Nice! But which one to use? Here are some that I previewed after purchasing them, in order of usability:

1. Run Keeper: This is my favorite overall. Once the run is started, The front interface displays overall time, average min. per mile, calories, current pace in minutes per mile and total miles. In addition, it has a feature to change the direction of the screen, the music automatically starts (playlist is chosen beforehand) and it has a button to bring up the camera should you want to take pictures of the scenery.

One of my favorite features is the touch screen that will feed stats through the voice feature. The only drawback of the front screen is that the touch feature is contained on a small blue portion of the screen. Another favorite feature is that your own customized interval workouts can be added and used with the voice feature.

2. I Map My Run/NB Total Fit: This runs a close second with many of the same features that Run Keeper has plus a whole lot more. The reason it runs a close second is it is a bit too busy for my taste. It has a nice interface to map workouts that displays either 1- the map, 2- running data (time, pace, speed average and current speed) or 3-IPOD interface. A smaller interface of running data is present on the map and IPOD interface for easy access to data.

The voice feedback feature does not have a touch feature but one can set it to give audio feedback at a certain time and distance (ie every 5 minutes or 1 mile). One unique feature that it has is that it maps elevation for each run (I would love to see the Pikes Peak Marathon on it but not willing to run that). It also allows the user to add workouts to the app. Previous routes are saved and mapped. Overall, they’ve thought of everything except the “where to find water” feature.

3. 321Run: This runs a close third due to its simplicity but has an annoying bug in the program. Overall performance is totaled on the front. The easy recording interface shows time, distance, average speed and current mile time. However, the average speed and mile do not display accurately. The touch feature to activate stats via voice is almost enough to make up for this as the whole screen is touch respondent. The program also has some nice preset workouts in time, distance, calories and special programs (ie. marathon). There is a history feature that stores maps of runs and data.

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