Strava running app was the next shiny thing to attract my attention using Amazon Underground. I was nonplussed by Adidas’ Runtastic, and deleted ASICS’ RunKeeper as being redundant to Nike+ running but without the friends. I found no friends in RunKeeper space.
I tried UnderArmour’s MapMyRun but on install the app demanded to upgrade to a new version. Which failed. And then I could not log in. Deleted.
Using again the Amazon “Underground” app store for Android cell phones I installed one of the last independent mainstream running apps, Strava.
Knowing that my phone has limited capabilities, I ran a first test run with no pauses, no pictures. Nothing that might stall Strava.
I did not see a built in music controller such as Nike+ includes. The run included running under trees and ended in rain. I turned on auto-pause and voice options prior to the run. These options were not obvious as the settings appear only once one selects to start a run.
I was pleased with the post run data. Well laid out screens, logically located, with all of the data details. I had set voice to half mile notifications and was happy to see half mile split data. Nike+ provided only mile splits.
The Strava voice was quicker in cadence than Nike+, without the pauses I am familiar with in Nike+. I saw no voice choices, the default is female.
Elevation is notoriously inaccurate, but fun to see. And the continuous pace chart was noisy but informative.
I was impressed with the GPS track. The line was sharp and spot on.
I was shocked to see my ninety degree turn along the Spanish Wall basketball court. I do not recall any app catching that before.
My phone has limited resources. Nike+ uses 50 Mb while Adidas train and run uses 80 Mb. Thus seeing Strava only using 32 Mb was a pleasant surprise.
Strava, like RunKeeper, successfully posted to FaceBook, but then I did use FB as my log in for both, which I did not do with Nike+.
There are premium features for a subscription, but all of the basic run data is available in the free version.
If I run identical routes, Strava will apparently track the runs as “matched” runs.
I did see a few FaceBook friends listed in my Strava friends list, but nothing like the over one hundred friends I enjoy on Nike+.
Strava is intriguing enough to keep on my LG P715 Android phone for now. Still, Nike+ is where my friends are, and that is a big plus.
My own sense is that over the longer haul only the apps backed by major corporations will survive – Nike, Adidas, ASICS, UnderArmour. Strava too may one day be acquired, but for now its independence is attractive.