alphaRunner for BlackBerry Review

CrackBerry Idol - Josh
By Kevin Michaluk on 30 Jun 2010 04:23 pm
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Use your BlackBerry to track your runs! alphaRunner Review

For avid runners and beginners alike alphaRunner by Eppisoft could be the app for you. When running on a treadmill you have the advantage of a computer tracking your distance and calories burned. Where the treadmill falls short is on scenery and enjoyment of the outdoors. alphaRunner tracks your run using GPS and displays the data in real-time. It records the time, speed, distance and calories burned during your workout.

Alpha Runner

Once you open alphaRunner it is non-functional until the GPS satellites connect. The average time varied depending on surrounding conditions. Typically it took no longer than a minute to connect. Once connected you are able to start your workout.

Alpha Runner

The GPS accuracy was usually within 3-10 meters and was extremely responsive during the run. You are able to start, pause and restart your run. These functions are available as many times as you need them (during my review I had to pause my workout a few times to...well, catch my breath).

One of the immediate things you will notice when opening alphaRunner is the lack of custom settings. You are not able to enter your age and weight to more accurately track calories burned. If you are tracking this information on a website such as thedailyplate.com this may not be the best option for you.

Another non-option is the inability to save workout data. Once the End button is clicked or the app is closed all workout data is erased. Like I mentioned above if you are tracking this information elsewhere you would have to keep alphaRunner open until you are at a computer and can enter the workout information. This could be an inconvenience if being near a computer is not in your immediate future.

Alpha Runner

I was not overly impressed with the application, nor was I under-impressed. It does exactly what it claims to do and it does it well. It is compatible with both touch and non-touch Blackberry devices and is available for both 4.7 and 5.0 OS.

Conclusion

For quick and easy run tracking this is the application to use. Besides running I found this also works to track your biking workouts. When used with biking calories cannot be considered. If you are looking for a more robust application that allows tracking - Running Log by Collaber Solutions may work better for you. Running Log, however, does not connect through GPS.

Ratings

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Accurate GPS connection

Cons

  • No custom features
  • No historical tracking

More Info / Download

** This review was written as part of the CrackBerry Idol 2010 competition. Click for details. **

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3922 (articles) 3285 (forum posts)
16 comments

Kevin Michaluk

Kevin (aka Ryan Seacrest): Wickedly done video there Josh. Good beats, good editing. Loved watching that. I also love that you picked a fitness app to review without knowing in advance we'd be launching our 60 day fitness challenge this week. Nice timing! Let's see what the judges have to say about your review.

CrackBerry Idol Judges

Dieter: Dawg, I like the risk you took here. For your CrackBerry Idol app review you chose an app that is very narrow in scope and rather limited in terms of the features offered. That means not *that* much to work with for a review. You could have picked something feature-packed and sexy but instead you picked this basic app. But you took it to the road and put it to the test and gave us a straight-up review. And it worked. Great video. As for the written portion, dawg, I'll let the other judges handle that.

Georgia: The video was a good length, just under 2 minutes. You spoke well and had good camera presence. Thanks for telling us about the pros and cons of the application, in the video as some people will not read the review. The use of editing and video clips kept me engaged, nice work on that! The written review was ok but left me wanting a more dynamic writing style. All in all, I enjoyed it.

Craig: It was a pleasant video. Quite well produced and even though you seemed a little uncomfortable on camera, it wasn't too distracting. The camera definitely likes you so just own it. Another video or two under your belt and you will be completely rocking it. Your writing needs more work though. The review was short due to the nature of the app (not your fault - though you did choose the app to review), but even so your style here made it a tough review to read. You'll need to work on your voice and improving readability for your next review. Before you submit it, proofread it well and have some other friends/family read it too for feedback.

hotgeekness

Video won't load.

edit: Works now, could have been a temporary issue only. Good job, I liked the video too and the review was great!

Xopher

Nice to see an unbiased review of an app. Too often, reviews get to be touting some piece of software as the greatest thing around, even though there may be flaws. Very balanced review.

don.new

Looks great but runners use minutes per mile, not miles per hour. Maybe there can be a choice, because bikers will want the MPH. Thanks

cbresciani

will give you your minutes per mile. At least you can get a rough idea of how many minutes per mile you are running. 6 miles an hour is a 10 minute mile.

fatpockitz

You have to check out roadrunnerGPS. It's a much better app for joggers!!

Dave Peckens

Hey Josh. In my opinion you have a real shot at winning this thing. I agree with what Craig wrote about your video editing being engaging, but you (personally) need a bigger, maybe more insane persona on screen. I'd also suggest a tighter crop and better lighting if it's just you narrating.

Sure the written review was short, but who really enjoys reading all that anyway?

Also, fatpockitz is right, the RoadRunnerGPS app is worth looking into.

Crack on!

BryanTheRed

Josh, I completely agree with Dave here you've got a real shot at this. Great video and review. I hope we are all having this same conversation next round!

wolosyks

Everything alpharunner isn't. It is customizable, keeps all ur activity history, calculates calories burned, AND allows you to export your kml file so you can see your run loop on an app such as Google Earth...

Wished you'd had reviewed that and you would have had more to write about...

ScottWo

kingb71

Will this still work if your GPS is locked like some carriers like to do?

MR.GRANDBERRY

I like that he got out there and ran but simplicity is sometimes best. I would like to see him use the BlackBerry in his hand more than standing there talking and showing screenshots..Zzz

trjnberry

I look forward to reading the Crackberry Blog as a showcase to find exciting apps, accessories, and of course, Blackberry news. If I am curious about some basic app, I'll either look to the forums or read customer feedback in the App Store. So, I was disappointed with your choice of app. Your review clearly shows that this app is short on features and I question whether it is better suited for a discussion in the forums rather than being featured on the blog.

As for your review, it was decent for what you had to work with. I like the picture of the screen shot in the corner of video. I found myself wishing you had used that Picture-In-Picture feature to showcase some of the screen shots while the app was in progress, as you stood in front fo the camera explaining the features. I found your vocal presentation to be very good. I like how you pointed out some shortcomings that real users may come to expect like how lack of height and weight settings impacts accuracy of calories burned. Your written review was short but it covered the main features of this basic app, althhough I do agree with Georgia the need to be complete in your written review. It may be a good idea to keep in mind that some will watch the video only and others may read only, depending on their circumstances when reading the review. I also liked your suggestions for alternative apps. I wish you good luck in the competition.

Scarlett

As Craig pointed out, make sure you have someone proof and give feedback of your review. I would take it one step further. Have someone who has a BlackBerry proof since they will be more likely to recognize the correct spelling of "anything BlackBerry related". I would have a BlackBerry user and non-BlackBerry user read it and give feedback. The reason for both is obviously the BlackBerry user would know more how the app would work and perform on a BlackBerry. The non-BlackBerry user could provide feedback on context and what they could or couldn't understand as a novice.

Iron_Hide

Good job, Josh.

I thought I would chime in and point out another fitness oriented App that I literally stumbled across while looking for a decent App to track my walks and runs.

It's called Sportypal and it ROCKS!!

You can download the App from their website: sportypal.com, where you also set up an account. The App itself is very professional-looking and more importantly, easy to use while on the move. When you start the App, you set up a profile with your height, weight and name. You then choose your activity between walking, running, cycling, blading and freestyle (freestyle allows you to choose between 13 different activities, from Skiing to swimming, even flying!!!). Once selected you allow the App to lock on to the GPS satellites (normally takes about 10 - 15 secs), hit Start and away you go!!

During the activity, you can track your speed, distance traveled, avg speed, time and cals burned.
When you are done, you end the workout and the App will ask you if you want to save or delete the record. If you save it, the App will then prompt you to upload the workout to your account on their website.

This is where I was really blown away; when you access your account on their site, you have access to your entire history and can track total distance covered, cals burned, etc. You can even view your workout track from within the App using Google Maps! VERY cool!

The App has a very active social community and you can even share your workouts with your friends via Twitter, FB, etc.
All in all, a VERY impressive App and one I will be using for a very long time. The App is available for all the major Smartphone platforms and the best part.....IT'S FREE!!! :-)

Just in case you are wondering, I am in NO way affiliated with this App or the Company, just a very happy user.

I was astounded that an App of this quality was out there and I have never seen it mentioned here at CB.

Check it out folks, I think you'll like it as much as I do.

nimocone#CB

I don't watch video reviews unless I'm ready to buy the app, then I want to know everything. I thought the written review was perfect and it didn't go on too long.

arrago

Hi Josh great review, you should be given entrance to the finals as you know what it takes and you know what it means to be a crackberry reviewer.

Great review, you do have some areas to improve but i'm sure after watching your own video a few times you will figure those out.

You blew everyone else out of the ball park

great job