The Bottom Line
SportyPal is a handy tool for tracking your workouts, especially if you enjoy recording your route and seeing graphic representations of speed and distance. But watch out for shortened battery-life on long rides, and for incoming phone calls and texts that will interrupt workouts in progress.
- Easy-to-use interface.
- Great mapping tool - see your route after your ride.
- Track time, distance, elevation, speed, etc.
- Post ride performance results to the web.
- SportyPal app pulls too much battery power to last for long rides.
- Phone calls and incoming texts will aborts workout tracking.
- Tracks postion, movement, distance, tempo and calories burned while running or walking.
- Performance and route information plotted post-ride on maps and graphs.
- Store ride records on phone as well as upload ride data to web and/or post to Facebook and Twitter.
Guide Review - Review: SportyPal app for iPhone
The SportyPal application for the iPhone is a free tool that helps track your cycling (or running or rollerblading, etc.) workouts. You simply activate SportyPal on your phone when you start, and turn it off when you finish. The program then plots your route on a map, shows max and average speeds, total distance, total time, calories burned etc. The SportyPal app will also produce graphs representing different aspects of your performance.
When your bike ride is done, details of your workout remain stored on your phone as long as you want and can also be accessed from the web. Sharing options include making your workout information public or private, or even posting your performance results to Facebook or Twitter.
It's a nifty program, and one that you'll enjoy using, but not without a few snags. First is that when SportyPal is activated, it basically takes over your phone. Incoming texts or phone calls will abort a workout, as will any navigation within your iPhone that makes SportyPal no longer the primary screen. It is a frustrating occurance to really be booking along, trying to set a new personal record for a ride and to have your workout tracking be interrupted because someone tries to send you a text.
A second problem is that having SportyPal active means your phone can never go to sleep. That may not be complication for an hour-long ride, but on a longer jaunts, that will be problematic as your phone will not have enough juice to track the whole ride. You'll only get a portion of it plus be stuck with a dead phone. In this test, we ran SportyPal on a full century ride, not least for having an accurate record at the end of our route plus speed and distance measurements. But due to the battery level dropping to 10%, and me not wanting to be without a phone, I turned off the SportyPal app after 50 miles.
All-in-all, SportyPal is a decent tool, at best. I liked having my route plotted for me as well as ride data instantly available upon completion of the ride. And the graphs that show different aspects of the ride data are nice too. But SportyPal is not the best choice for a long ride because of the battery drain and it is unreliable if you are counting on this for serious tracking of your performance when exact details are important when a single call or incoming text can abort the recording of a workout.