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The best running apps for iOS and Android

Running is one of the best ways to keep yourself in shape and in good health. However, one of the most difficult things about running is staying motivated and engaged so you can accomplish your fitness goals. Luckily, technology can be a great tool to keep you engaged and motivated — especially when the desire to get off track or quit starts to kick in.

Here, we’ve rounded up 12 of the best running apps available for Android- and iOS-compatible devices. They offer GPS tracking, the ability to share stats with friends, and even the option to challenge friends to competitions. Many of these running apps are fully compatible with the Apple Watch and Android Wear, too.

So, let’s dust off our running shoes and put on our best looking pair of shorts. It’s time to run our way to better health. Exercise is just one piece of the puzzle to stay in good health.

Check out our picks for the best fitness apps for the iPhone or your Android device, apps that help you stay healthy all year round, and the best Fitbit device for every active lifestyle.

Strava

This fun running app makes it feel as if you’re playing a game with your friends. It offers GPS tracking but also allows you to see a feed of your friend’s activities, allowing you to challenge them along the way. You’ll also be able to see how you stack up against others, set goals, see leaderboards, and join monthly challenges.

You can also share your activities via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Thanks to its robust community and the designer’s commitment to keeping it fresh, Strava remains one of the best running and fitness apps available. Download now for:

Android iOS

Runtastic

Doctors recommend you should aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise every day. This makes Runtastic the perfect app for those who like listening to audiobooks or podcasts while exercising. Its Story Running features allows you to download stories for just £1 and each track is roughly 40 minutes, making it the perfect time for a good workout.

The app is also optimized for both Android Wear and the Apple Watch. Download now for: Android iOS

Runkeeper

Runkeeper is another great running app which boasts a user community of more than 50 million runners.

Staying motivated is very important and Runkeepers social approach is perhaps its best feature. It allows you to stay inspired and motivates you with rewards, along with a host of sharing features. It has Apple Watch, iTunes, and Spotify integration and works with other health apps such as Fitbit or MyFitnessPal.

Download now for: Android iOS

MapMyRun

MapMyRun built a member community of more than 40 million people, due in large part to the fact it’s just a great running app. There’s a specific Routes feature which allows you to find nearby places to run, as well as tools for saving and sharing them with your friends.

The app can also automatically track runs and you can sync any data with devices from Garmin, Fitbit, Jawbone, and Under Armour (who happen to be the brand responsible for the app these days). With its deep customization and rewarding social features, MapMyRun is a triumph. Download now for:

Android iOS

Nike+ Run Club

Nike+ Run Club is a running app that takes an adaptive approach to your training. Based on your goals and fitness level, it adjusts the training to better suit your progress. Not only does the app help you stay motivated by integrating with social apps like Facebook but it also allows you to send a shoutout to a friend to help them stay motivated.

There’s no denying how much easier it is to accomplish your fitness goals when you have someone working toward them with you and Nike+ Run Club further proves this. Download now for: Android iOS

Endomondo

This is a great, GPS-enabled app that allows you to track running, walking, biking, and a slew of other sports.

Logged data is sent to Endomondo’s website so you can analyze your stats and progress — friendly competition with others in the community is also encouraged. While the baseline app is free, you can go with a Premium option which lets you enjoy the app ad-free while offering weather information and other added perks. You’ll also have access to more detailed statistics, including calories burned per month, running distance by year, and other useful metrics.

Download now for: Android iOS

RunGo

RunGo is the best app to use if you want to discover new places while you run. With turn-by-turn voice navigation, you can select more than 100,000 routes around the world, or build your own.

The app clearly tells you where to turn, even if you’ve gone a bit off course. You can also use it offline and it’s fully compatible with the Apple Watch. It also takes advantage of ARKit for iOS 11, integrating augmented reality into its features.

Monthly subscriptions cost £2 while a yearly subscription runs for just £10. Download now for: Android iOS

Couch to 5K

This running app dares to make a substantial promise.

Couch to 5k asks you to spend 20 or 30 minutes training, three times a week and promises that in nine weeks time, you’ll be ready to finish your first 5k race (roughly 3.1 miles). A one-time purchase of £3 allows you to choose between four virtual coaches and the app also features GPS support, an in-app music player, and offers you the ability to share your workouts via Facebook. Download now for:

Android iOS

Wahoo

Wahoo Fitness’ main attraction is its robust compatibility, which allows it to integrate with more than 50 third-party apps and 240 individual products. It allows you to upload workouts to a host of top-tier training websites, including MapMyFitness, Nike+, Strava, MyFitnessPal, and several others. You’ll also be able to use this app with heart rate sensors, bike speed sensors, and even some specialized gym equipment.

Download now for: Android iOS

Zombies, Run!

An incredibly unique fitness app, Zombies, Run!, turns your workouts into a real-life adventure. It’s a running game that casts you as the hero in a zombie adventure story — one where you must race to save your life and the lives of others.

The first four missions are free but after that, you’ll need to unlock new stories on a weekly basis. The app does allow you to unlock more than 240 missions by upgrading to a Pro membership. If you want to work out while having fun, this is the way to go.

Download now for: Android iOS

WeavRun

If music is your true inspiration for running, then WeavRun was designed just for you. This innovative app syncs your favorite music to your footsteps, increasing the beat as you speed up and decreasing the beat as you slow down.

In addition to simply tracking cadence and making automatic tempo adjustments, you can choose to enter your desired steps-per-minute and challenge yourself to keep in tune with the music. The app also includes GPS run tracking, seamless sharing, and is fully integrated with Strava and other running apps. The best part?

The app functions so that it doesn’t sacrifice the quality of the music — ever. It never distorts songs or stretches them beyond their original compositions. Download now for:

iOS Android

My Run Plan

This is not just another running app — My Run Plan is an advanced fitness tool for serious runners. This application builds a training plan tailored to your needs. It really is all about you, too, as it focuses completely on your schedule, your goals, and your performance.

How does it work? Set a running goal and input schedule information before letting the app’s algorithm give you customized training guidance. You can even reach out to USATF-certified coaches for questions regarding training, nutrition, or for help with injuries.

It costs £9.99 for a monthly plan. Download now for: iOS Android

Additional information

If you want to read more about how tech and health are getting more integrated, read our picks for the best fitness trackers and how Fitness AR uses ARKit augmented reality to share your workouts.

Update: We’ve added links to related articles and added the WeavRun and My Run Plan apps.

Editors’ Recommendations

Find out what to expect from Android P in our extensive guide

The most recent version of Google Android, 8.0 Oreo, is slowly making its way out into the world, and toward the phone in your hand, but what is coming next? Google’s alphabetical naming system suggests it’ll be Android P, and a major redesign is being rumored for version 9.0. Here’s everything you need to know about it now.

Battery life, calls recording warning, and other new features

If Google concentrates on a new look for Android P, will the rest of the software remain similar to Android Oreo?

We can expect plenty of changes and new features deep inside the software. One such feature seems to be focused on privacy, and basically involves the operating system preventing apps idling in the background from accessing the camera. What that means is that even if you get a virus with malicious intent, it shouldn’t be able to access the camera.

The feature was first noticed by XDA-Developers from code in the Android Open Source Project. Another addition could be a feature that issues a warning sound when your phone call is being recorded. The Android P enhancement is there for carriers to activate, and will play a short tone every 15 seconds through a call that is being recorded.

The feature has to be supported by the network, and it’s not clear whether it will apply to customer service calls, often recorded for training and legal reasons, or third-party recording apps only. It’s not clear how but Android P may bring more improvements to device battery life, too.

Android P?

Google names its major Android versions after some kind of sweet, or dessert. The most recent is Oreo, and we’ve had everything from Marshmallows to Cupcakes in the past.

What will the P stand for? It’s apparently being called Pistachio Ice Cream internally, but that’s not an indication of its final name, and Google has changed its mind at the last minute in the past. What do you think it should be called?

Remember, it has to be something sweet, and start with the letter P.

Design

How will Android P look? It may look quite different to existing versions. Most notably, Android P is rumored to adopt the iPhone X’s screen notch.

The iPhone X’s screen covers most of the phone’s front panel, apart from a controversial notch at the top, where the camera and various sensors are placed. Google may be building support for a similar screen layout into Android P, according to sources speaking to Bloomberg. While phones that run Android are expected to arrive with a screen notch before Android P is released, they will operate a custom version of Android modified by the manufacturer, much like how the Essential phone deals with the layout now.

The adoption of the screen notch is potentially just a small part of a major redesign for Android. Google wants to attract people who choose the iPhone over an Android device by “improving the look of the software,” sources told Bloomberg. The reception to Apple’s notch on the iPhone X was mixed, and many Android users prefer the deeper customization available with Google’s software over Apple’s iOS, so bringing it closer in line with Apple’s design choices may prove controversial.

The notch may be just one new device design Google will encourage with Android P. Because manufacturers design their own hardware, many use different looks to separate their devices from others. Android P may also support designs with foldable, or flexible screens.

Like the notch, Android phones with these designs have already been seen, and we expect to see more in 2018 even without official support for the design from Google. Instead, custom Android interfaces will be put to use, much like the ZTE Axon M.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is already a key part of Android, but Google has made it clear over the past few months that Assistant, and voice control in general, is only just getting started. Google may make Assistant even more prominent in Android P, according to a Bloomberg report, which says engineers are considering placing Assistant inside the Google search bar on the main home screen.

Additionally, developers may be able to exploit Assistant’s voice technology inside their apps. It is not clear whether this will be widely spread, or if Google will choose specific partners to utilize Assistant’s talents. The report also says neither of these two features is final, and Google may not include them in the final version of Android P.

When will it be announced?

Google often gives us a quick look at the next version of Android during its Google I/O developer conference.

We hope 2018 will be no different. Google I/O 2018 is scheduled to begin on May 8, and we’re most likely to hear about Android P during the keynote held on the first day. When the software will be ready for your phone is a very different story.

Developer previews follow the announcement and continue until a final release around September or October, traditionally. The software usually debuts on new Google-produced smartphones in the Pixel range. If you own a phone from a different manufacturer, it will come at a later date.

Updated on February 20: Added news that Android P could prevent background apps from accessing your camera.

Editors’ Recommendations

Swype discontinues its keyboard app for Android and iOS

Swype Keyboard The popular third-party keyboard app known as Swype is no longer up and running, XDA Developers reports. Owned by Nuance Communications, the company confirmed it’s discontinuing the app for both Android and iOS.

While Swype is similar to many of the other keyboard apps on the market today, it led the way for swipe-gesture typing. When using the Swype keyboard, you were able to type one-handed by swiping your finger along the keys without having to lift it. The feature was originally built into smartphones but was then released as an app for both iOS and Android — it has since been pulled from both the App Store and Google Play Store.

A user had taken to Reddit to share an email from Nuance support in reference to Swype crashing on their Pixel 2. In response, Nuance explained that Swype+Dragon for Android has faced the end of development and will no longer be receiving updates. Even though the Reddit post confirmed the discontinuation of Swype for Android, the response didn’t clarify whether the same meant iOS.

XDA Developer discovered another announcement from Nuance that confirmed the iOS version of the app was also coming to an end. But the end of Swype means Nuance is able to focus more on its other projects. The company is no longer involved in the direct-to-consumer business in an effort to concentrate on developing artificial intelligence solutions for the business-to-business space.

Some of the A.I. solutions Nuance is working on are specifically targeted for the medical space, which uses speech recognition technology to translate to text. Using its Dragon Dictation technology, the software can translate a doctor’s voice into the patient’s electronic health record. Nuance also provides A.I. solutions within the automotive space as well.

With Dragon Drive, users have an automative assistant that uses A.I. to get to know the driver. It can discover specific traits and preferences such as the types of restaurants the driver would like to stop at on their way home, along with calendar entries or best routes. But the end for Swype doesn’t mean the end for other keyboard apps that allow you to glide your finger across the screen while typing out texts.

Both iPhone and Android users can download other third-party apps such as GBoard, SwiftKey, and more.

Editors’ Recommendations

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