Runbot is an excellent steps tracker for Android

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 10, 2014
Updated • May 13, 2015
Google Android

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.

runbot steps tracking app

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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  1. Albert said on August 18, 2023 at 1:49 pm

    Thanks for the tip Martin.

    It is for these kinds of posts that I follow GHacks.

    1. Mike Williams said on August 26, 2023 at 8:55 pm

      What’s up with the generic comment, are you a bot?

  2. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:23 pm


    Where on the planet is that still in use? I was forced to give up using my RAZRV3 years ago because 2G was phased out by AT&T.

    1. arbuz said on August 20, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Everywhere 3G has been turned off and you don’t have LTE coverage, and believe me there are many developed countries where this is the case and if it weren’t for 2G you wouldn’t even be able to make a phone call.

    2. Doc Fuddled said on August 31, 2023 at 5:55 pm

      Maybe I missed it, but I don’t believe tha term “2G” is in the article. Perhaps you are referring to “AGM G2”??

  3. Tachy said on August 18, 2023 at 3:27 pm


    Your website has gone insane.

    When I the post button I then saw my comment posted on a different article page. When I opened this article again, it is here.

    1. Martin P. said on August 31, 2023 at 4:39 pm

      @Tachy @Martin Brinkmann

      ” Your website has gone insane. ”

      Same here. Has happened several times.

      1. owl said on September 1, 2023 at 3:42 am

        @Martin P.,

        For over two weeks now,
        I’ve been seeing “Comments” posted by subscribers appearing in different, unrelated articles.
        For the time being,
        it would be better to specify the “article name and URL” at the beginning of the post.

  4. Anonymous said on August 18, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    @tachy a lot of non-phone devices with a sim in them rely on 2G, at least here in europe.
    Usually things reporting usage or errors/alarms on something remote that does not get day to day inspection in person. They are out there in vast numbers doing important work. Reliable, good range. The low datarate is no problem at all in those cases.
    3G is gone or on its last legs everywhere, but this stuff still has too much use to cancel.

    Anyhow, interesting that they would put that in. I can see the point if you suspect a hostile 2G environment (amateur eavesdroppers with laptop, ranging up to professional grade MITM fake towers while “strangely” not getting the stronger crypto voip 4G because it is being jammed, and back down to something as old ‘stingray’ devices fallen into the wrong hands).

    But does this also mean that they have handled and rolled out a fix for that nasty 4G ‘pwn by broadcast’ problem you reported earlier this year? I had 4G disabled due to that, on the off chance that some of the local criminals would buy some cheap chinese gear, download a working exploit and probe every phone in range all over town in the hope of getting into phones of the police.

  5. Andy Prough said on August 19, 2023 at 3:04 am

    >”While most may never be attacked in stingrays, it is still recommended to disable 2G cellular connections, especially since it does not have any downsides.”

    The downside would be losing connectivity. I spend a lot of time way out in the countryside where there’s often no service or almost none. My network allows 2G, and I need it sometimes. I have an option on the phone to disable 2G, I may do that when I’m in the city and I have good 5G connectivity, but not out in the country.

    I would imagine that the stingray exploits, like most of the bad things in this world, are probably things you will run into in the crowded big cities.

  6. owl said on August 21, 2023 at 3:40 am

    I stopped using it in a mobile (Wi-Fi line) environment, so I’m almost ignorant of the actual situation,
    But the recent reality in Japan makes me realize that “the infrastructure of the web is nothing more than a papier-mâché fiction”.

    It is already beyond the scope of what an individual can do.
    What we should be aware of is the reality that “governments and those in power want to control the world through the Web”, and efforts to counter (resist and prevent) such ambitions are necessary.

  7. Anonymous said on August 26, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Why do you want people to disable the privacy features? Hmmmmm?

  8. Anonymous said on August 27, 2023 at 2:30 am

    Now You: do you plan to keep the Ads privacy features enabled?

    I’d like to tell you, but apparently if you make a post critical of Google, you get censored. * [Editor: removed, just try to bring your opinion across without attacking anyone]

  9. Tachy said on August 27, 2023 at 5:15 am


    You website is still psychotic. Comments attach to random stories.

  10. John G. said on August 28, 2023 at 2:46 pm

    @Martin please do fix the comments, it’s completely insane commenting here! :[

  11. ECJ said on August 28, 2023 at 5:37 pm


    The comments are seriously messed up on gHacks now. These comments are mixed with the article at the below URL.

    And comments on other articles are from as far back as 2010.

  12. Naimless said on August 29, 2023 at 12:57 am

    What does this article has anything to do with all the comments on this article? LOL I think this Websuite is ran by ChatGPT. every article is messed up. Some older comments from 2015 shown up in recant articles, LOL

  13. Paul Knight said on August 31, 2023 at 3:35 am

    The picture captioned “Clearing the Android Auto’s cache might resolve the issue” is from Apple Carplay ;)

  14. Anonymous said on August 31, 2023 at 9:57 pm

    How about other things that matter:
    Drop survival?
    Screen toughness?
    Degree of water and dust protection?

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