MapMyRun SmartPhone App In Depth Review

 

For those of you just joining us, we are on a continuing journey to learn more about heart rate monitors, and the best way to choose the right one. Our website covers all types of electronics and tech stuff, but overwhelmingly, triathletes and runners come to our site to check out heart rate monitors and GPS watches. We have had so many questions about using smartphones as a heart rate monitor device, which smartphone heart rate monitor straps to buy, and which apps to use that we decided we should start reviewing the the heart rate monitor straps, and the smartphone apps that work with them. Today, we are reviewing the MapMyRun and MapMyRun+ apps for smartphones. 

Before we get started, we should tell you a little bit about us and how we perform product evaluations. We have a group of 4 people who do the evaluations of all of the stuff. One person is the lead on a piece of gear, but everyone gets a chance to evaluate the product. We have 2 guys and 2 ladies, so it’s a good mix of people. It gives us better insight, and we get a better review overall. Everyone has an input to the review, and if there is a major disagreement, we will note it in the review. If you want to know who these people are, check out our About Us page. Four of us are seasoned triathletes, and 2 of us are are also full time Pilates instructors. Jennifer Lynn, who is a guest blogger, is a full time Pilates/spinning instructor. All swim, bike, run, do Pilates and Yoga, and use all of the gear on a daily basis. Many of you have read the FitnessElectronicsBlog disclaimer, but here it is in case this is your first time reading one of our reviews. For the record,  we are in no way connected with MapMyRun any of the companies whose gear we review. We remain disconnected, in large part, because we love playing with the latest technology, and we couldn’t keep our hands off this stuff if we tried.  We downloaded and purchased MapMyRun and MapMyRun+  from the iTunes store. No give-us-gear for a favorable review, or anything like that. We call ‘em as we see ‘em. It keeps us honest. Typically, if we like the product, we will buy it to have around, use, and be able to check out software updates and answer questions.  So, enough with the babble. Let’s get to the review.

The first question we usually get is, which phones work with MapMyRun?
  • iPhone 3G, 3GS, 4, 4S, iPod touch, iPad with the optional Wahoo Fitness Pack
  • iPhone 4S with an optional Bluetooth 4.o Low Energy HRM strap like the Polar H7
  • Android Phones
  • BlackBerry Phones
As far as other sensors are concerned, here is the compatibility of ANT+ sensors with the Wahoo Sensor Key:

So what are the features?

Here are the features of the free app:

  • Pace
  • Live Route Map
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Elevation
  • Nutrition
  • Friends (live map, and activity feed)
  • Stats (Heart Rate – requires purchase of accessory)
  • Voice prompts give you updates on your progress as you go
  • Post your runs and records to Facebook and Twitter
  • All of your info syncs securely with your free account on www.MapMyRUN.com.

Plus version has all the features of the free app plus:

  • iPod music integration
  • GPS Camera
  • No ads

 

Using the app

Here is the main screen of the app. Before using the app, you will want to set up a few of the basics. If you want to use any of the sharing, friends, or storing features, you will need to create an account. It’s easy and free, and only takes a minute. Once you have done this you can go into the main screen:

 

Check your Profile from this page, and add in the needed information:

Once these are correct, go back to the main screen and click on Settings. There you will see an number of options. If you want to connect and post your workouts to Facebook and Twitter, click on the Settings buttons and fill in the required information:

If you have a heart rate monitor or other sensors, click on the sensor settings and and pair your devices:

Once you have paired your devices, your Sensors screen should show the sensors connected:

Now, head back to the main screen. You can see you routes that you have run by clicking on Routes:

You can also see nearby routes that other people have run:

From the main screen, you can add friends, and invite others to join you by sending them an invitation:

You can also check out and log your daily caloric intake:

Finally, you can track you friends live, and see where they are working out:

 

Going on a run

From the main screen, press Record Workout. The Workout screen is displayed:

Before you start your workout, you may want to get your music set up. This is one of the features of the paid version, MapMyRun+. Pressing Music allows you to set up your music and playlist inside the app. You can still play music using the iPhone Music app:

So now you’re ready to go. Press Start, and your workout is started:

That’s it! You are logging your workout. On the paid version, you can see the camera in the above image. This allows you to take a picture with attached GPS coordinates. This is useful if you want to see where along the route you took a picture, or if you want to go back at a future date, or if you want to share it with others.

What’s online?

Once you are done with your workout, you can view it online. Just log in, and you can view your workout, including distance, time, and elevation:

You can also get more features with pay programs, which you can get training plans and printed maps:

You can also find workouts in your area by click Routes, and clicking search runs:

 

 

Thoughts, Opinions and Summary:

Pros:

  • The app is very easy to use and configure
  • It has all of the features that most people request
  • Has Facebook and Twitter capability, which many users liked
  • Nice online logging capability and views
  • You can get training plans online, but this will cost you extra
  • MapMyRun claims 26 million routes to discover, and 5 million users
  • If you also hike, walk or bike, there is also MapMyBike, MapMyWalk and MapMyHike. This allows you to use similar software, and the same online user interface

Cons:

  • Would be nice to be able to create workouts online, and download them to the phone

Overall, we liked like this app. It works well, and works with most phones. Would we recommend it? The answer is yes. We use this app, and feel that this is one of the top 5 workout logging apps. MapMyRun is free, and MapMyRun+ costs $2.99 in the iTunes store.  If you don’t care if you have in app music (you can still listen to music outside of the app), don’t care if you see ads, and you don’t care about the picture taking feature with tagged GPS coordinates, the free version is great. Otherwise, get the paid app.

As an FYI, iTunes gives the current version of MapMyRun a rating of 4.5 out of 5 star rating, and MapMyRun+ a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. MapMyRun also won the Best Running App 2012 Reader’s Choice at About.com.

As always,

Happy Training

 

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  11 Responses to “MapMyRun SmartPhone App In Depth Review”

  1. Does anyone know what brand of strap-on heart rate monitor is offered by Map My Run when you pay $49.99 to upgrade to MVP? I think it then costs $29.99 per year for the MVP so using my math skills, hmm, that’s $20 for the HR monitor.

    Their ad says, “Bluetooth® Smart Heart Rate Strap*” but there is no brand on the heart monitor, e.g. Polar, Wahoo, or Jarv.

    Thank you.
    Don

    • Don,

      When we reviewed the app, we were unable to review the heart rate monitor strap. I looked at the strap on the MapMyRun site, and it is Bluetooth 4.0 (SMART). For $20.00, I would give it a try. Many of the straps are made by the same manufacturer in China, so you might be alright. Check and see if you can return it if you are not satisfied.

      John

    • Hi Don,
      I would be interested to know your experience of the heart strap. Did you buy one? I had the same question as you.
      Many thanks.

      • Fiona, I’ve been pleased with the monitor although you will have to run with a bluetooth enabled phone strapped on. I use an arm band. Good luck.

  2. Thanks for the great review. I would definitely give it a try. I do have a question or two: what is the battery life for each device? I have been using the MapMyFitness on my iPhone 4S and it gives me about 50% battery usage for a one and a half hour ride. That’s with Bluetooth turned off.

  3. I would not recommend the strap. It only seems to work with the MapMyXXX apps and I could not get it to pair with the phone otherwise (iPhone 4s / Galaxy Note 3). My Garmin HRM is more comfortable as well. I would try one of the other BT straps that work with multiple apps.

  4. Hi guys,

    Where does the app store pictures? How can I see them? My phone died in the middle of my workout and the camera feature was on, I just locked the screen and kept on hiking but when I finished my workout the phone was dead and now Im unable to find my pictures, although it saved the workout route and info

    Many thanks

  5. It doesn’t log your heart rate unless you buy the 5.99 MVP subscription !! :-p

  6. Has anyone used the turn by turn navigation of the MVP MapMyRun? I have existing routes, but cannot get the app to notify me when/where to turn??

  7. I am unable to start using app on my android phone. Following error while trying to sign up

    Unexpected server error. please try again latter.

    Please help.

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