Nona's iPhone App Picks for Walkers

Apps for Walking

My walking buddy Nona is an iPhone newbie and is happy to share her discoveries of apps that are useful for fitness walkers and for those who just like to roam.

MapMyWalk / MapMyRun

MapMyWalk. MapMyFitness, Inc. - Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

MapMyWalk / MapMyRun is the granddaddy of online mapping apps. You can take their walk-mapping with you. Use your iPhone or Android to map and track your walks, or find a walking route to enjoy. You can upload your walk to your free MapMyWalk account, share it with friends via Facebook or Twitter, or let friends live track you as you walk (a nice safety feature). You get GPS distance tracking, time, pace, splits, map and voice feedback. You can integrate a heart rate monitor. It is a free app. There is also an iMapMyWalk+ paid app that provides an ad-free experience, music controls within the app, and an integrated camera for pausing to take photos. The difference between MapMyWalk, MapMyRun, etc. is that the routes you find will be those tracked by the users, so you will find walks rather than runs, bikes, etc. But you can use any app as a walker.

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Dark Sky

Dark Sky App
Dark Sky App. Jackadam - Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

What a walker really wants to know about the weather, they get from the Dark Sky app. It gives you a hyper-local weather forecast. It shows you exactly when it's going to be raining, how hard, and when it's going to stop. It is extremely accurate within the hour and very accurate over the course of the day. You also can see temperatures by the hour, wind, humidity, and UV index. It connects to an Apple Watch app as well. Although it is most useful for your current location, you can view the details for other locations.

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AroundMe App
AroundMe App. Flying Code Ltd. / Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

When you are out on a walk, it's good to know what is nearby. This app includes categories such as bank, hospital, restaurant, supermarket, etc. You get a list of those nearby and directions, plus they are pinpointed on a map. There is also a Nearby category so you can explore everything that is nearby. You might find something worth a detour! Cost: Free.

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SitOrSquat: Bathroom Finder

Sit or Squat App
Sit or Squat App. Densebrain / Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

As a well-hydrated distance walker with a small bladder, I am the queen of bathroom-finders and porta-john spotters. Now there is an app for that. Their database has been growing steadily. You can view all nearby restrooms on a map or in a list sorted by distance. They include open hours so you can see which are open when you need them. There are reviews, ratings, and photos for some facilities! And you can be a part of this wiki and add your own discoveries, reviews, and photos on-the-go. Cost: Free.

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Your phone can come in handy in case of a medical emergency. But you can give any medical responders faster access to your important information with an ICE - "in case of emergency" app on your home screen or your lock screen. This app was 99 cents and let me pick three of my contacts, add in allergies, medications, and medical conditions. Similar apps can cost more but may have more features.

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PaceDJ App
PaceDJ App. Pacing Technologies LLC - Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

I've suggested this one to Nona. PaceDJ analyzes all of the songs in your iTunes library and then lets you build a playlist based on the pace of the music. I found this extremely helpful for building my race pace playlist. Cost: $1.99.

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Azumio Instant Heart Rate

Azumio Instant Heart Rate App
Azumio Instant Heart Rate App. Azumio Screen Capture by Wendy Bumgardner

Turn your iPhone into a pulse monitor with this handy app I've suggested to Nona. I often don't want to wear a chest band heart rate monitor, but I also hate trying to take my pulse via fingers on the carotid artery and a watch. Instead, this app uses your iPhone camera to take your pulse. It works best with iPhone models that have a flash but works OK in daylight with models that don't. Cost: $0.99.

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OnTheFly Screen Shot
OnTheFly Screen Shot. Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

Nona must be tired of me regaling her with my walking trips to that castle in France, Jerusalem, and Switzerland. So she's dreaming of her own vacations with OnTheFly, which lets you shop for airfares around the world. It is a comparison engine only, you can't buy the itineraries it shows you. But you do get airline-by-airline comparisons for the best deals. Then you would need to go to the airline website or other travel booking site to purchase. Cost: Free.

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U.S. Traveller

U.S. Traveller Screen Shot
U.S. Traveller Screen Shot. Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

As you're dreaming of those globe-trotting walking vacations, take a reality check with the U.S. Traveller app. For 200 countries you can learn about local laws, entry/exit requirements, currency, language, crime data, medical insurance, US Embassy locations and other essential data for travelers. You can view the current official government Travel Alerts and warnings. But also, on the non-scare-you-to-stay-home side of the equation, there are overviews of the history, culture and peoples of each country. Cost: $1.99

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swackett Screen Shot
swackett Screen Shot. Screen Shot by Wendy Bumgardner © 2011

What should you wear on your walk? SWeater, Coat, jaCKET? swackett is a weather app with clothing suggestions based on the forecast. The swackett cartoon people appear with shorts, sunglasses, water bottle, sunblock if it is going to be sunny and warm. In cold weather they put on hats, coats and boots. Rain? rain jackets and umbrellas. It's a fun weather app that is practical, too. I can't tell you how often I've headed out before dawn and forgot my shades. For weather junkies, you get weather timelines, animated satellite and radar images, wind, humidity, and "real feel" temperatures. Cost: Free.

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Walkmeter Icon
Walkmeter Icon. © Abvio

This one comes from my walking buddy Krista. It costs $4.99 and does much of what iMapMyWalk does. It maps your walk and you can view time, speed, distance, and pace. I especially love viewing the altitude profile of my walks.

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Pedometer Apps

Man checking smartphone
© PhotoAlto Agency RF/Getty Images

If you are looking for apps that give you step count totals and help you reach a goal such as 10,000 steps per day, check out these apps. No pedometer required, just your mobile device.
Pedometer Apps

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