Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Nokia Sports Tracker

One of the best apps I have downloaded since acquiring my Nokia 5800 XpressMusic is Nokia Sports Tracker (NST). A Nokia GPS enabled phone is a requirement, and while currently Nokia don't officially support the 5800, Version 2.05 works perfectly on my phone.

After some basic setting up, and entering your NST account details, you choose your activity (walking, running, cycling, skiing and other), wait for the phone to find satellite connections, and then hit start. Touch screen is supported. On the phone screen you'll see your activity time, pace and distance covered. It's not the best UI I've ever seen, but the numbers are big and clear enough. Admittedly, the 5800 screen is hopeless in direct sunlight.

If selected in the options, the block in the top left can incorporate a map, but obviously this will mean using a fair amount of data. On conclusion of your activity, you have the option to upload your workout to the net. After logging in to Sports Tracker, you will see the dashboard, which looks something like this:
The routes taken on all your workouts are colour-coded, and shown on the map beside the summary. Selecting one of the workouts presents you with more detail:
The map, courtesy of Google Maps, is now zoomed in to show your route in detail, with your points of highest and lowest altitude, as well as fastest and lowest speeds indicated. As usual with Google Maps, you can switch between map and satellite modes.

To the right of the map is the profile, showing speed and altitude against time. As you can see, heart rate is also accomodated for owners of the Nokia N79 Active, which comes bundled with a Polar Bluetooth chest strap. To my knowledge these are not available separately, which is a great pity, and a huge oversight.

One of the best features of NST is the ability to upload any photographs taken along your route. The location of each photo is indicated on the map by the camera icon, and clicking it opens a larger view. A great addition!

There is also a nice social aspect to the program, and you can choose to share your workouts with friends, create groups, comment on other people's workouts, and so on.

I'm still pretty new to the service, so there are many features that I haven't touched on here. I already have a very comprehensive cycling computer/heart rate monitor, but it'll be really great to record some of my regular routes to share with friends, and I have already started a group for my local cycling club.

Of some concern, unfortunately, are comments from TheGuru over at symbian-guru.com, that Nokia have lost interest in the service. This would be very disappointing - to my knowledge Apple don't offer anything like this for the iPhone! You can read his blog here.

Thanks for reading.