With the credit crunch biting hard, more people are cancelling their expensive gym memberships, donning their running shoes and heading to the local park for a jog. The problem with this is it’s suddenly harder to track your progress and your pace. Up steps Nokia Sports Tracker, which aims to combine the GPS technology built into your phone with statistics and social networking.
Although technically still in beta, that hasn’t stopped it picking up an award as Best Mobile Internet Service at Global Mobile Awards 2009, and millions of people already using it.
Inside the software, you start a new workout and define the different parameters that go with it. There are a number of pre-set types such as Cycling, Jogging, Walking and you can choose if you want to share your route live via your online profile. There are even facilities such as auto lapping – based on the route (if you have done it before) or by 500m/1km markers.
Once your exercise starts, your pace, distance and time are all displayed in a nice big font. In the top left, there’s a map of your route so far. If you’re following a previously run route, it’ll even show you where you are in comparison. If you don’t find the diagram particularly useful, there are two other pages available with even more “useful” statistics – including your current altitude for those hardcore training sessions.
To maintain the best GPS signal, its probably best to hold it like a baton, but this does mean it’ll get quickly covered in sweat – which isn’t pretty. However, we found GPS signal was fine just being kept in our pockets.
After you’ve finished exercising, you can see how you’ve done – with average speeds and distance run, like you would on a normal treadmill. Unlike a treadmill however, you can go at your own pace and not a fixed one, so you can also view the map of your journey and see where you were going fastest and slowest.
If you then login to your profile online, you can see your route superimposed over the top of Google Maps. You can share your routes and all sorts of other social features that you’re likely to never need.
To describe this software as overkill is probably correct – but for serious runners, these extra features are what make it so useful. For the casual runner it’s still incredibly useful to gauge how much you’ve walked, run or cycled and how long it’s taken you. Giving you that essential piece of information – how to improve. Nokia Sports Tracker is free, so if you’re into running – give it a go.
Nokia Sports Tracker info
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Platform: Nokia Symbian S60
Website/Demo: Sports Tracker website