Step apps: Step counters have progressed rapidly over the years and are almost, if not in line with uber advanced smartwatch standards. Thanks to rapid developments in technology and low-power movement sensors included in most modern phones, there’s simply no need to spend a fortune if you wish to count your steps anymore.
First emerging as a method of measuring distance in the mid 1900’s and swiftly transitioning into the use of physical pedometers with ‘those’ clunky digital displays back in the year of 1995, safe to say, the step counter has advanced to a greater level of good. According to the American Council on Exercise, people who track their steps take an average of 2,500 more steps per day than those who don’t. Perhaps more interestingly, a study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found activity tracking apps on smartphones to be more accurate than fitness tracking wearables when it comes to counting steps, calories and distance.
With global lockdowns seeing three times as many people take to the pavement, we take a look at three of the most innovative step counting apps that are going the distance.
If burning calories is part of your step quest, look no further than the StepsApp Pedometer. Free to download on iOS and Android (the paid version is ad-free) it’s a tad more complex than most. Boasting similar functions to that of a smartwatch, apple lovers will delight as it features apple watch connectivity and allows wearers to synchronize with Apple health. Priding itself on six slick coloured interfaces, it enables users to earn awards, analyze trends and spot activity patterns.
If you’re a lone walker who takes pleasure in visuals rather than numbers, this is for you. Similar to most other step apps on the market, it utilizes GPS. A more unique feature, however, is its ability to track wheelchair pushes instead of steps, promoting exercise for everyone, everywhere.
Priding itself on bringing communities of people together and giving something back, StepTribe, which is available on iOS and Android, aims to encourage users to go the distance for the greater good. Boasting a colourful, yet simple interface, this app is all about finding your tribe (family, friends or even someone you simply want to impress) who can help you cross and celebrate passing the finish line together. The best part about it, however, is its connectivity.
Through StepTribe users can create a step challenge and complete it together with avid walkers from anywhere in the world. It also features the option to raise money for a charity of your choice. The app, which is built in Flutter, utilizes Google maps to track all challenges. Speaking about StepTribe, Founder and CEO Simon Smallbone said, “The great thing about StepTribe is that everyone’s steps count to completing the challenge. This is designed to motivate the least active to be active. We want physical activity to make a difference to the lives of our users through being healthier but to also impact others less fortunate than ourselves.”
A trusted favourite, MapMyWalk does exactly what it says on its interface. Impactful for both beginners and more advanced pavement pounders, it’s available to download for free on iOS and Android. It also has sister versions, MapMyRun and MapMyRide, each of which utilise GPS filtering technology to achieve step counting accuracy.
Very much an app for both the lone-walker and group stroller, MapMyWalk records distance, duration, speed and calories burned, which you can then share with friends or other walking communities. Giving it an edge is its innate ability to help you navigate local routes and exercise courses nearby. It also provides audio feedback on your performance, so you can be sure you aren’t lagging behind (and getting away with it!)