smartphone running apps

Smartphones are already an incredibly useful accessory for hiking and trail running, but the big mobile manufacturers seem to be moving further down the road of health and fitness as an added benefit for their technology.

Not only are upcoming handsets such as the Samsung Galaxy S5 launching with a well advertised fitness benefits as part of their sales pitch, but the area of wearable technology is expanding this even further. Last week, Google posted a blog post about Android Wear, and one of the highlights was:

“The ability to better monitor your health and fitness. Hit your exercise goals with reminders and fitness summaries from Android Wear. Your favorite fitness apps can give you real-time speed, distance and time information on your wrist for your run, cycle or walk.”

No doubt wearable tech – smartwatches being the most obvious example – are far more useful than having to keep checking your phone while out running, and as it’s Android, it’ll be up to manufacturers like LG and Motorola to make the wearables that plug into the tech.

But does that mean iPhone users are out of luck? Not necessarily if the rumor mill is to be believed. Some Apple news sites believe that the iPhone is going to launch Healthbook soon, which will use cards to track bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, activity, blood sugar, sleep, weight, oxygen saturation and blood pressure. Some of this is already trackable through apps, but if the rumors are true, other parts would require some kind of wearable too – like the long rumored iWatch.

Whether or not this comes to pass, there’s no doubt that health and fitness is the direction technology seems to be heading. Does all this technology seem useful to you, or is it just a gimmick when out on the trail? Let us know in the comments.

Photo: Maridav/

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