Runbot is a free unobtrusive application for Android devices that you can use to track activities such as walking, jogging, cycling or in-line skating.
I spend most of the time in front of the computer on my desktop thanks to the awesome job that I have. I have started to walk everywhere I need to go -- in reasonable distance -- as a counterweight to all that sitting and working on the computer.
For that, I was looking for a tracker that would help me keep track of how many meters/kilometers I'd walk each day. Combined with my goal to walk at least 10,000 meters each day, it would help me stay fit despite the job that I have.
I have tested and tried many tracking apps and gadgets, from basic steps trackers to sophisticated applications for Google Android.
While most worked, they were not overly accurate most of the time and many apps required that many privileges that I could not convince myself to run them.
Then I found Runbot and it quickly turned out to be the application that I was looking for all along. The application requires access to two permission groups: Location to make use of GPS to track the movement, and Photos/Media/Files as it may play audio cues for you.
The application itself is basic when compared to many other apps of its kind but that is not necessarily a bad thing as it offers all the features that you'd expect from a tracking app.
It uses GPS to keep track of your movement which means that you need it enabled before you can make use of it. It ships with a setting to modify the accuracy which can improve battery usage if turned down a level or two.
The application itself is easy to use. All you have to do is select an activity, either one of the preset ones or an unspecified activity, and hit the go button in the interface when you are about to start.
Runbot will track where you go and display information about the current speed, total distance, time and the calories burned so far in the interface.
You can turn off the screen and it will keep tracking your movement.
As far as options are concerned, there are quite a few that may come in handy. The app can inform you about time, distance as well as the current or average speed and pace using audio cues. These can be time based, for instance every 10 minutes, or distance based, for instance every kilometer.
Besides audio cues, it can also stop the recording when you are not moving, change the batter usage/accuracy, the units preference, and change the personal data used to calculate the calories burned during the activity.
It provides you with statistics after an activity, displaying the average time per kilometer, and how much time each individual kilometer took.
Runbot may not be a fancy app with data synchronization or great visuals, but it is highly accurate and works as expected. Battery drain is quite good for an application of its kind, and since you can reduce it further by modifying the accuracy, it should work well and last long on most Android devices you run it on.
Update: Runbot is not available anymore unfortunately. It is unclear why that is the case. We suggest you check out alternatives such as Runtastic Running & Fitness, RunKeeper or Endomondo Running Cycling Walking. Please note that they all offer in-app purchases.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.