After years of putting up with a stupid phone, I finally sprang for a smart one. I know, we try to help the less fortunate among us, but this phone was hopeless. It did none of the things we expect of a phone today, no wonder-evoking apps, no effortless, magical interface. It’s interface was a couple of cracked buttons scotch taped on it. The one thing it did rather well, ironically, was make calls.
I went from a problem child to a teacher’s pet. The new phone does some amazing things, like keeping me too distracted tracking GPS-enabled bus arrivals to notice the bus pulling up in front of my face. It also tracks cycling rides.
I’m experimenting with two apps for Windows Phone 7, RunSat and Workout Tracker.
They’re both pretty cool, and they both track your progress through GPS. With both apps, you hit the start button, put the phone in sleep mode and get going. Here’s a breakdown:
Price: Free and$2.99
Data: Distance, time, Avg. Speed, Lap times
Cool feature: It also maps your progress, so you can see exactly where you went on a bing map. For a daily commute it’s not that big a deal, but I could see this being really great for a weekend ramble or an organized group ride.
Price: Free trial and 99 cents
Data: Current speed, average speed, max speed, distance
Cool feature: It tracks altitude, and shows you total feet climbed and descended.
Verdict: Workout Tracker. I like the extra data it gives, although the one thing I wish it did have is the mapping.
Why keep the data? Personally, it’s just fun to know what you did. A little sobering though, I don’t go as far or as fast as I thought. I’m hitting about 14 mph avg speed, including traffic light stops, and maxing out at about 30 on the downhills. I thought I was averaging about 18 mph. But hey, now I know what I’m shooting for. For commuting, again this is not a big deal, overall time is more important, and you can get that from your watch. But I intend to go on some extended rides this summer, including my first century. If I’m going to be in shape for that, I need to track my progress. Nice to be able to just push a button and have that done for you….