I didn’t go for a ride today. Again. This a Bad Thing (capital B, capital T). Instead, I thought I’d tell you about the parallel test I’ve been running on three Windows Mobile Cycling trackers.
The Windows Mobile Phone
I use an HTC HD2. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love it when it’s working fine. I does loads of stuff. It’s even quite useful for speaking to people with, sometimes. I know, that’s unusual for a smartphone. I hate it when I have to rebuild it from scratch, which occurs once every 8 or 9 months. I’ve even written a little “rebuild the phone” note on my hard drive so I don’t forget what I need to restore. Still, that’s Windows for you…
SatSports, Endomondo and RunSat
SatSports was featured on Dragon’s Den a while ago, which led me to check the app out. It’s got a lot going for it. It does rely on you running an app on your PC to get the most from it, which enables you to compare your rides in quite a detailed way. Calories, routes, times, detailed tracking of time & pace – it’s an excellent app if you want to see all your rides in one pace, nicely tabulated. I also like the way it publishes to Google Earth from the app directly, showing your fastest, highest and lowest points alongside your start and finish times. Nice for the bloggers to screencap!
Socal networking links aren’t really supported from the app though, which is quite limiting for those of us who like to show off a bit.
I’d recommend this if you’re training and you’d like to see your progression because it’s a brilliant way to see similar rides sorted most recent first, showing how you’re progressing. The SatSports app is available for Windows Mobile and Android and costs about 6 Euros as I publish. Worth a punt.
Endomondo is becoming more and more popular. Several readers of this blog already use it. Its biggest advantages are the social networking links. Endomondo is capable of telling all your Facebook and Twitter friends when you’re going out and when you come back, telling them how far you went and how fast, as well as what you were doing (running, cycling etc). Links are published so your friends can visit the main Endomondo site, view your route and stats, then leave comments if they wish.
Unfortunately, the Windows Mobile Endomondo version isn’t nearly as good as the one they have for iPhone. It doesn’t take account, for example, of resting time. Now I don’t know about you, but I like to stop for a brew and a danish when I’m out for a ride. With Endomondo for Windows Mobile, my brew time is included in my ride time and therefore my average speed. This makes me look like a right old slowcoach! My average speeds are poor enough without adding brew and pee stops!
For this reason, I can’t recommend Endomondo for Windows Mobile. Not until that major oversight is fixed up, anyway 🙁
RunSat, Navmi, RunningFree Online
Call it what you will. This tracker has gone through a few iterations and I think it’s been bought by one or two different parties in its lifetime. Maybe that’s because it’s actually very good.
The app itself is downloadable as RunSat from Navmi.com. It’s a comprehensive app, giving a number of different views whilst you’re actually out. I use it on my handlebars (if you’ve seen my bar arrangement you’ll kow it’s quite crowded), where it shows me all sorts of route and riding information. By toggling the view you can see as much or as little as you want to. You can also turn the info off and the app will record your ride without distracting you.
You can also upload routes to your phone to show on the maps within the app, which download via GPRS as you ride (or whatever live internet connection you’ve got going on your phone). I’ve used this feature to upload a route which veered onto a bridleway in Royton which I wasn’t sure about – it worked perfectly.
Like Endomondo, RunSat automatically posts your ride to the internet when you finish. Your ride is posted to your (free) account on RunningFreeOnline, which is a great way to keep all your routes handy, whether running, walking or cycling. From within this site, you can set auto-posting to Facebook and/or Twitter. The posts can be edited too, so you can add hashtags for example. I have it post my rides with the #Feb100 and #20111k hashtags, which is nice.
Which Cycling Tracker Should I Use?
Well, I’ve used all three. Each has advantages and disadvantages. SatSports is great for serial training. Endomondo is simple to use and has a great membership website.
But for me, the Runsat app is superior. It tells me all I need to know whilst I’m actually riding, then it records comprehensive information on the RunningFreeOnline website when I get home. It posts to my favourite social media channels too. And the website can take information from a massive variety of other devices too.
What do you use?