The Android Market has more than 6,300 applications and continues to expand every day. If you need an application for a specific task, chances are there's one available.
Recently, I set out to find a fitness application to use while running. CardioTrainer is one of the most popular fitness applications currently available in the Android Market. It maps your workout using GPS, automatically uploads your workouts online, plots various statistics of your workouts, and has an integrated calorie calculator. I chose to try the app based on recommendations from friends, its "Race Against Yourself" feature, and its affordable price (free).
CardioTrainer requires little setup. I only needed to enter my body weight so the integrated calorie calculator could report how many calories I burned with each workout. After that, I began recording my workout and was off and running (literally). CardioTrainer quickly gained a GPS lock, but it also has an accurate pedometer to record your progress when no signal is available.
The app uses the built-in music player, so you have access to all your playlists while you exercise. As you run, a voice output integrates with the music to report on your progress. You can change the interval and notification type, or you can disable it completely.
When you complete a workout, CardioTrainer will record the results and upload them to its server. A Facebook plug-in is also available to share your results with your friends. There's no need to register or create an account because all records are uploaded anonymously with an automatically generated code. You can use a personal code in the settings menu to view your workouts online.
In addition to running, you can use CardioTrainer for biking, walking, skiing, rollerblading, and a host of other physical activities. The app allows you to pick which activity you are recording so you can filter the results later.
My favorite CardioTrainer feature is the "Race Against Yourself" add-on, which is available in the Android Market for $2.99. It allows you to select any of your previous race tracks and try to beat your best time. Just like the normal mode, it uses voice cues to report on your progress. By default, CardioTrainer will report every 30 seconds on how far ahead or behind you are. The feature works well and I found myself running harder to best my recorded times.
On the whole, I've had a positive experience with CardioTrainer during my first week of use. The easy-to-use interface is polished with big buttons that work well with the touch screen. It helped motivate me to exercise and added a new competitive edge to my running. And like most Android apps, it is actively being updated with new features and enhancements.
If you want to test out CardioTrainer on your Android phone, I have two suggestions for you. Get an armband or holster to secure your phone when running. You don't want your phone swinging around in your pocket, and holding it in your sweaty hands is not an option. Also, make sure that you have a set of headphones for listening to your music and the voice cues. The ear buds that came packaged with the