Routie ($1.99) is a simple iPhone app that maps your route and tracks your speed, distance, and altitude while you’re moving, whether that’s running, walking, bicycling, or doing another activity. Routie, unfortunately, doesn’t have nearly the same extensive features that you’ll find in other similar paid apps, such as music integration and a power song setting, split tables, and the ability to connect a heart rate monitor. And in testing, I found at least two inaccuracies in Routie’s data output, which makes it difficult to recommend.
The Routie iPhone app has a simple interface that isn’t cluttered with features. You’ll see an interactive map in the middle of the screen (powered by Apple Maps, although an option to use Open Street Map is reportedly coming soon) and a few selection options below it: a satellite icon (which tells you whether the app is able to pull an accurate location at present), a start button, a “tracking” option that doesn’t do anything from the main page, “my routes,” and an About option.
When you start an activity, Routie begins tracking your speed, altitude, and distance, which appear at the top of the app. When you finish (by hitting “Stop”), Routie then lets you choose the activity—which is a little backward. I’d rather designate whether I’m cycling, walking, kayaking, skiing, etc., before the app records my movements.
Upon completion of an activity, Routie displays the map of where you traveled, while also showing the point of your fastest speed, start point, end point, and highest and lowest elevations. A small graph that you can pull up beneath the map gives you more details about how fast you were traveling at different points in your route, and you can trace your finger along the graph to watch a yellow marker move along the map, illuminating where you were at these different points. This interactive graph actually supports two-finger input, but it’s so small that I couldn’t get my fingers close enough together to get the details I wanted.
Routie also shows you total time traveled, distance, average speed, altitude, and a few other basic metrics. In testing that app, though, I found a few inaccuracies. The first was that Routie thought my lowest altitude was at the mid-point of a bridge that I crossed—when in fact that was my highest elevation. The app must have misinterpreted my location as being below the bridge rather than on it. The maps appear to be powered by Apple Maps data, which are notoriously flawed.
Another inaccuracy I found one day while sitting in bed and exploring the app. I hit the Start button, even though I wasn’t moving at all, and saw in real time the marker for my current location float away from my actual location and all the way across the street. I apparently danced in the middle of the road for a bit and then looped back and ended on the opposite corner from my real position. Routie said I hit a top speed of 13.3mph during this time as well. Bizarre.
One unique feature in Routie is that it lets you automatically import photos that you take along your journey if you so choose.
Autopause is supported in the Routie iPhone app, but as I said, a lot of other features that are common in even free run-tracking apps are not. And considering this app costs $1.99, it’s really hard to see why you’d choose to use it over the others.
Runtastic PRO is an Editors’ Choice iPhone app in this category, and it has a free version with very good features if you don’t need everything the $4.99 version has to offer. There’s also a Runtastic PRO Android app, and a Runtastic Road Bike PRO app for cyclist. All those apps include support for dozens of activities—not just running and bicycling (you can track a run with the bicycling app and vice versa, for example).
Serious racing cyclists will find a few extra features in Cyclemeter (iPhone only), which is also an Editors’ Choice. Even the Map My Fitness line of apps offers more, although I’ve noticed it also shows inaccuracies with its mapping data from time to time.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc