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January 30, 2012

Nokiapp showdown #1

As always, we want to brighten your day. So, today being Saturday we’re going on a journey. An ‘app’ journey which (and borrowing in part as far as name goes from Jay’s Lumiappaday series), I’m proud to introduce as the Nokiapp Showdown.

Each week here at Nokia Connects we’ll be pitting two apps against each other, but it won’t be me giving my thoughts on each. Oh no. It will be two of you guys! To kick us off in grand style, I asked Michael Hell and Clinton Jeff to share their thoughts on two fitness apps – one for Symbian, one for Windows.



Sports Tracker on the Nokia N8

via Thoughts From Hell

Michael is first up, with his take on Sports Tracker:

In today’s times it’s even easier to get in shape than before. Why? Simple, with apps like Sports Tracker, you don’t even need the super fancy, expensive equipment, your personal training computer is right there on your Nokia smartphone. Sports Tracker has a long journey behind it, coming from the early Nokia N95 days, and has evolved into a truly helpful, very popular app for sports enthusiasts.

So what does Sports Tracker do?

‘Simple, the app tracks all your sports activities via GPS, records and analyzes it, and shares it to the Sports Tracker website and/or alternatively to your Facebook or Twitter account.’

The whole experience is a story with 2 important components:

1) the app’s simple interface makes sure it’s a) easy to understand and b) gives QUICK access to all neccessary information while on the run.

‘After connecting with your Sports Tracker account, a simple hit on “new workout”, define the activity you’re about to do and there you go! The app will then display important information like pace, distance and training time, in big, easily readable letters on the phone.’

With the optional heart rate monitor, it’s even easier to control your health, with the sensor sending the recorded information to your smartphone via Bluetooth. As you would expect from a personal workout computer, features like a lap timer, night mode and more are present. Since the app relies very heavily on GPS, it will also record your workout route on a map, which is also shown on the workout display. As you can see, a lot of features already known from standalone workout gadgets, but all on your ever-present smartphone. The only downside is, of course, the permanent GPS usage, which drains the battery. But you need it in order to have an accurate tracking, and while you recover, you can plug your Nokia in for a charge.

via softonic

Below an input of a workout description, the meaning of why Sports Tracker is a social sports computer is made clear: as the workout can also be shared with friends via Twitter or Facebook.

2) The Sports Tracker website is the second crucial part of the Sports Tracker experience. The website collects ALL uploaded workouts in a very nice overview – a diary shows all previous workouts, all ready for comparison and with plenty of options to analyze and optimize. Where the Sports Tracker website shows it’s true potential is socializing. Friends from Facebook or Twitter can be imported and workouts can be shared or compared, even photos can be shared with your friends, showing your latest workout spot etc.

‘As you can see, Sports Tracker is all about working out, getting fit and sharing your success with your friends. There is a lot to discover, and the system is very well done. I especially like the big lettered workout interface on the Symbian app, which makes it very easy to read on the go. Other than that, I haven’t discovered any flaws with Sports Tracker – so if you’re trying to get yourself ready for summer, Sports Tracker is my recommendation for you! Why? ’cause it’s free!’

Michael’s scores for Sports Tracker:
Usability 5/5
Design 5/5
Features 5/5
Longevity (would you keep it on your phone?) 5/5
Fit for purpose 5/5


Endomondo on the Nokia Lumia 800

via his Twitter profile

Next up is Clinton (or Cj, [formerly ZOMGItsCj])

So 2012 is here and my resolution to try to be more healthy hasn’t really been off to a great start. Luckily nowadays it’s easy to get into shape and monitor it, thanks to the plentitude of work-out and health apps available out there. I had a brief run with SportsTracker a while ago, but I figured it’s a new year, why not take a look at a new app. And that, is where Endomondo Sports Tracker comes in.

I remember when Nokia first released a Step-Counter app on the ol’ Nokia N95. I used it on mine and was amazed by how it was able to detect the steps I took, using the built-in accelerometer and some degree of voodoo magic (I assume). When Nokia Betalabs released their sports tracker app that combined the step-counter but threw in GPS to locate where you were, and measure your speed and all together measuring the calories you burnt during your run or cycling trip, etc., it simply blew my mind.

We’ve come a long way since then, and as a result, apps like Endomondo do a lot more. You have the ability to choose what type of workout you’re about to commence on, being able to choose from just simple walking (that’s what I’m doing right now heh), cycling (both transport or sport or mountain biking), skating, rollerblading, skiing, snowboarding, rowing, sailing, windsurfing,hiking, swimming (not recommended unless you have a really waterproof phone heh), riding, etc. That’s a lot of options. Basically any route-based sports activity can be traced. Great to work off that website-rebranding cake.

So yes, getting started is easy. You choose what type of activity, hit start and well… just start moving! I choose ‘Walking’ and went for a short walk around my block here in Delhi, where I desperately tried to find a store that had moved location. Hey, it’s a walk, so it counts! Endomondo very neatly plotted my location on the map and the route I was taking, along with the amount of time I had been walking, my average speed (which was nothing to brag about unfortunately), and the total number of calories burnt. Just 57 cals for me, D’oh!

‘What I really liked about the entire thing, was that I could have my headphones plugged in, so that I could listen to my own music library right from Endomondo, and control it using the volume keys (and the music drop-down) on my Lumia 800. It’s the little things…’

There are other apps that might offer the same thing, but they probably aren’t as fully featured on the web side of things as Endomondo is. To take better advantage of the app, you login and can view more statistics on your sessions, as well as a satellite map of your routes. You can also see friend activities and stats or create a team of your friends. There’s also a fun challenge mode where you can create a challenge like ‘first to reach 100 kms’ where you can set an end date and include friends who might want to participate in it. And for bragging rights, you can share your routes to Facebook or Twitter as well so that it’s public.

Even nicer is that Endomondo keeps a nice little diary of your workouts so that you can view any old activity both on the windows phone app, or the website.

‘Endomondo is a neat little app that does what it’s supposed to do well, without cramming too much functionality in it. There’s cool things like audio feedback while you work out, and most importantly it helps you stay motivated to keep at your workouts. Definitely worth checking out if you have the same new year’s resolution.’

Cj’s scores for Endomondo:
Usability 5/5
Design 5/5
Features 5/5
Longevity (would you keep it on your phone?) 5/5
Fit for purpose 5/5

So which of these do you prefer? Which would you use based on these thoughts? Let us know @Nokia_Connects, and also feel free to drop us a line if you’d like to be a future #NokiappShowdown participant!