Unique among mobile applications, Trimble Outdoors' AllSportGPS turns your phone into a remarkably powerful and compact stopwatch, trail mapper, GPS tracker, and exercise log all in one. The program is targeted toward the outdoor enthusiast, and it has specific modes for runners, bikers, walkers, and even skiers. It requires a GPS-enabled handset; we used a RAZR on the Sprint Network. Select LG, Motorola, Samsung, and Sanyo models are also compatible.
Getting the program up and running was easy. You turn AllSportGPS on, and the program asks which sport you want to track. Then the GPS system locates you. When you click the Start button, the app will track your time, pace, and trail. You can flip your phone closed and pocket it, but the program keeps running until told to stop.
The app calculates calories burned and even lets you do splits for timing laps or legs within a larger journey. At any point you can switch from the stopwatch into a map of your location and even an elevation graph of the inclines and declines you have traveled. And because the GPS tracking knows when you start and stop, the program can tell you afterwards where and for how long you rested. Apparently, there is no cheating when the big eye in the sky is watching.
When you click Stop, the AllSportGPS program not only provides a map and graphs of your circuit, but it also communicates back to a personalized Web account at www.allsportgps.com, which maintains a log of all past activities. You can create routes to download to the phone, use Google Earth to view your routes, and even annotate the routes with notes and images to share with others. Our test jogs registered immediately back at the site, and we quickly accrued a diary of workouts, so we could compare times and paces to chart our progress.
The main weaknesses of AllSportGPS are its lack of polish (crude typefaces and maps) and not enough explanation of the Web site's available features. Once users get their arms around the functionality, however, they'll find this program a novel and valuable tool for outdoor exercise.
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