Blog Post by: Patricia Davis-Muffett, “Boss Girl”
So I’m just back from my third run using my shiny, new iMapMyRun+ app to track where I’ve been running, my pace, my times and all of that good stuff. On the whole, it’s not bad, but I think it’s an app that’s destined to one day be better than it is today.
First the good stuff: I have used the standard website, www.MapMyRun.com and others like it for some time. I find them especially valuable when I’m running in an unfamiliar place and want to see what other runners have put up on the site as good runs in a particular neighborhood or city. This site is great for that and the addition of a mobile app got me pretty jazzed up. I fired up the app and headed out for my run. I loved the fact that I had a map at my fingertips all the time and could see right where I was on it as I was running. The app also provides up-to-the minute stats on your distance run, time elapsed and your current and average running pace—both as mph and as minutes per mile. That’s all good stuff. Also, when you’re finished with your run and you save it to your account, the route immediately uploads to your account and it’s there for you as both part of your training log and as a new saved route!
It wasn’t all perfect, though.
One of the features touted on the app store was the ability to run the app in the background while your iPod was running (and let’s be honest, who would want to use it without that?!). I headed out for my first run and tapped the “iPod” button on the app. What I didn’t know, though, was that you have to get your iPod started BEFORE you fire up the app. Otherwise, it just picks the first album in your collection and you’re stuck with it, because you can’t really control the iPod very well within the app. (On the plus side, I now know how fun it is to run to ABBA!)
Another annoyance was the fact that the iPod is essentially the only thing you can do with your iPhone while this app is running. I found this out the hard way when someone sent me a text and I sent a quick “OK” reply. Five minutes and a half a mile later, I realized that the app was no longer running because that tiny text had bumped me right out of the app. I chose the “Resume My Workout” option, but the app couldn’t figure out what I might have done over the last 5 minutes and decided that I had covered 30 miles during that time, screwing up all of my stats for the rest of my run. Oddly, it fixed itself once I completed the run and the data uploaded to the site…but it drove me nuts for the next five miles as I had to keep seeing my average speed calculated at a sub-one minute mile!
By biggest complaint, though, is that the screen locks pretty quickly (not a bad thing when you’re out running and might accidentally tap the wrong place on the screen) and then it’s VERY difficult to unlock. Also, the colder my fingers got, the worse it was. I found that the only way to reliably unlock the screen was to bang it with four fingers at once several times…not exactly what I wanted to do while running. Also, the “Pause” is placed directly above the “Map” function, so it’s pretty easy to tap the wrong thing while you are mid-stride.
All in all, I feel like the app was worth the money, but I’ll be watching for enhancements and improvements to make it even better!
Title: iMapMyRun+ (iPhone App) Cost: $4.99 Category: Healthcare and Fitness Developer: MapMyFitness