Apple’s Workout app is perfect, except for one thing [Runner’s Week: Day 6]

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Apple's Workout app is the best watch app for runners by far. But...
Apple's Workout app is the best watch app for runners by far. But...
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week It’s Runner’s Week at Cult of Mac. All this week, I’ve been reviewing the best Apple Watch running apps. So far we’ve looked at Nike+ Run Club, Runkeeper, Strava, Runtastic and MapMyRun.

Today, it’s time to put Apple’s built-in Workout app through its paces. Let’s see how it measures up against the competition.

MapMyRun has some catching up to do [Runner’s Week: Day 5]

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Runner's Week Day 5 - MapMyRun
MapMyRun still lacks support for Series 2 built-in GPS
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week It’s Runner’s Week at Cult of Mac. Every day this week, I’m reviewing a different running app for Apple Watch in an effort to help you decide which one you want to accompany you on your sweaty asphalt-pounding sessions.

Yesterday I reviewed Runtastic. Today, it’s MapMyRun’s turn.

Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod brings fitness tracking to your pocket

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The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13 Today in Apple history July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sports Kit, which combines a portable music player and a smart pedometer.

The product marks Apple’s first step toward the kind of mobile health-tracking initiatives the company will investigate in the following decade — most notably through its iOS Health app and the Apple Watch.

Runtastic running app squanders an early lead [Runner’s Week: Day 4]

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Runtastic running app uses color to show the intensity of your workout.
The Runtastic running app uses color to show the intensity of your workout.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week It’s Runner’s Week at Cult of Mac. Every day this week, I’m reviewing a different running app for Apple Watch in an effort to help you decide which one belongs on your wrist to log all your sweaty miles.

Yesterday I reviewed Strava. Today, it’s Runtastic’s turn.

Strava’s Apple Watch app is not just for cyclists [Runner’s Week: Day 3]

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Strava is better known for cycling than running.
Strava is better known for cycling than running.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week It’s Runner’s Week at Cult of Mac. Every day this week, I’m reviewing a different running app for Apple Watch in an effort to help you decide which app belongs on your wrist to log all your sweaty miles.

Yesterday I reviewed Runkeeper. Today, it’s Strava’s turn.

Runkeeper app brings innovation and minor glitches [Runner’s Week: Day 2]

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Runkeeper is one of the best running apps for Apple Watch, but it's not quite perfect.
One of the most innovative running apps for Apple Watch, Runkeeper is not quite perfect.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week Choosing an Apple Watch running app can prove exhausting. So let Cult of Mac Runner’s Week help get you off the starting blocks.

Every day this week, I’ll review a different running app for Apple Watch. Yesterday I reviewed Nike+ Run Club. Today, it’s Runkeeper’s turn.

Which Apple Watch running app deserves to log your sweaty miles? [Runner’s Week: Day 1]

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It's Runner's Week at Cult of Mac
It's Runner's Week at Cult of Mac
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Runner's Week It takes a lot of effort to go running with Apple Watch, and not just because it gets you all sweaty. The hard work starts before you even put on your running shoes. Simply choosing which running app to use is an exhausting task.

Even if you don’t install any of the plethora of third-party running apps, the Apple Watch Nike+ model comes with two preinstalled options to choose from. So this week, to help get you off the starting blocks, we’ll be reviewing six of the best running apps for Apple Watch.

It’s time for Apple Watch to get serious about fitness

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Here's how Apple could improve watchOS 4 for fitness buffs.
Here's how watchOS 4 could improve Apple Watch for fitness buffs.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple puts fitness front and center in its advertising for Apple Watch Series 2, even going so far as to claim the device is a “superior sports watch.” But in reality, it is not a sports watch at all. It’s a smartwatch. And that’s a massively important distinction.

Sports watches, like the TomTom Runner or Garmin Forerunner, are cheaper and more reliable at logging workouts, while smartwatches are jacks of all trades, which usually means they are masters of none. Or at least, not masters of fitness.

The sad fact is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, it’s mostly the software that is letting Apple Watch down. That’s why I’m hoping that with its next major software update, Apple will finally get its smartwatch into shape for fitness fans. Here’s what I want to see in watchOS 4, which Apple will likely unveil at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Nike+ Run Club is borking my runs, and I blame Apple Watch

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Nike Run Club on Apple Watch Nike+
Does the Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch Nike+ go the distance?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At the most essential level, a running app should provide a reliable way to log your workouts: when, where, how fast and how far you run. Fancy features are all very well and good, but let’s be honest — if an app doesn’t get the basics right, it sucks.

Nike has been busy adding new bells and whistles to its Nike+ Run Club app recently. Which is great if you want stuff like photo sharing and news feeds. But all I want is to log my runs, and thanks to my Apple Watch Nike+, that critical function has become pretty unreliable.