Runners rejoice! The new wave of Facebook Timeline apps built in open graph provide fitness aficionados with the tools they need to literally stay on track of their fitness goals. Here’s what makes these fitness apps great:
Whether you walk, run or cycle, Endomondo tracks your distance, duration, calorie consumption, and route using your smartphone’s GPS. You can see what other users are up to as they’re exercising and post your recent workouts on Endomondo.com. Most of Endomondo’s features are found on their website, but the program is also integrated with Facebook via its open graph Timeline app.
Users can get the app by going to www.endomondo.com and logging in with Facebook. Users will be prompted to install the app and grant one-time authorization, giving the app permission to post on the user’s behalf and access their basic information. Then, every time the user uses Endomondo to log a workout, it will appear in multiple places on their Facebook Timeline. Endomondo app users will also be able to list recent workouts with statistics, such as distance, duration, speed and calories burned, as well as monthly and annual summaries of their workouts:
(Image via http://venturebeat.com/2012/03/12/3000-facebook-timeline-apps-later-foursquare-the-onion-vevo-and-more-hit-the-scene/)
RunKeeper is similar to Endomondo but is specifically designed for runners. The app can be downloaded on www.runkeeper.com by logging in with Facebook, at which point the user is prompted to grant a one-time set of permissions, which include allowing the app to post on the user’s wall on their behalf. Here’s an example of a story RunKeeper will post to your Timeline after a run:
(Image Via http://www.johnhaydon.com/2012/01/facebook-timeline-applications-ultimately-about-mobile/)
With RunKeeper, users can challenge their friends to beat their running times and distances, making the app even more social. Publicizing activities to Facebook can give runners the motivation they need to complete their fitness goals. Completing a challenging run can earn them bragging rights and encouragement from friends and family.
MapMyFitness allows runners, walkers, hikers, cyclists and triathletes to track their different fitness activities all in one place. This app is especially useful for those who like to switch up their routines. MapMyFitness also allows users to record gym workouts, which can be helpful if you prefer to exercise indoors.
What do all these fitness apps have in common? Each fitness tool has its own website, which is external to Facebook, as well as a mobile version of their app for GPS-enabled smartphones. They all take advantage of Open Graph’s “frictionless sharing”, which means that the app user isn’t prompted for permission to post on their behalf every time a fitness activity is completed. Since many fitness app users work out several times a week, Open Graph’s ability to aggregate recent user actions into one box keeps users’ Timelines from becoming cluttered with constant updates from the same app.
Have you used fitness apps for Facebook Timeline? Which one is your favorite, and why?