Awesome iPhone apps: RunKeeper.

Posted: November 17, 2010 in Software, Technology
Tags: , , , , ,

We all know that since Apple released its first version of killer smartphone, the iPhone, Humanity has changed the way we think of handheld devices. Nowadays, iOS and Android based handsets aren’t the cellphones we used to have back in mid-2000’s. Today, they can provide you with more than just the ability to call, text and take pictures with a camera. Modern smartphones have come to a point when we use them to enhance our interaction with the World, helping us to solve a whole range of different domestic problems.

I always thought that Apple App Store was one of the primary reasons why such revolution in IT has become possible. It’s because of all the thousands and thousands of unique and trustworthy applications that you can find in one place in a few clicks/taps. Thanks to Apple’s business strategies, we can now find a solution to almost any imaginable domestic task that is resoluble by the means of software.

Today, I just want to talk about one app that I personally find uber-awesome. The name of this application is RunKepper.

As many of you might know, most of the modern smartphones are equipped with GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers. GPS was developed back in 1970’s by American military engineers for the purpose of missile navigation as a part of defense system against Soviet Union.   The theory behind the technology is that a certain number of satellites (around 20) that happen to be in an adequate range in relation to GPS receiver constantly transmit a signal to the receiver and to each other, measuring all the distances and calculating three-dimensional coordinates of that GPS receiver. As the number of satellites in medium Earth orbit has grown from a few hundreds to tens of thousands in the last couple of decades, GPS has become available for other, non-military, commercial uses. I think that it was somewhen in mid-1990’s when someone figured out how to use this technology for navigation on the roads. It was back then when all the big IT-companies started to digitalize all the maps of our cities urban regions and make them available for ordinary users.

Today’s Google Maps has an extraordinary database off different satellite imagery and transport networks that grows every single month. In symbiosis with GPS, modern software developers can utilize all this data to provide truly amazing services.

The RunKeeper app uses iPhone’s (or Android based phone’s) inbuilt GPS receiver to measure your dislocation within space and plot it against the data from Google Maps. In that way, it can tell you your travel routs, how long did it take you to travel and, subsequently, calculate the speed of your dislocation. This application is so fun to use for running! You can track your training sessions, see if you have any improvements in your average speed over time, etc. You can upload your results online, post it on Facebook and do whatever you want with them.

My today's run with all the data.

Of course, you can regulate your privacy settings, choosing what kind of data you want others to see and what should remain within the memory of your handset only.

My today's running route.

The app is free. You can get a premium version for, like, $12 or so, which will remove all the ads (which I don’t see in free version anyway) and provide you with some additional features, which aren’t so useful. So, the free version of RunKeeper should be decent enough.

It’s so geeky and so fun. Definitely a must have iPhone app.

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