ViewRanger is a big, complicated app which links to a confusing website. Luckily, the mapping provides plenty of value on its own. There is no need to take any notice of all the social media nonsense. So, no mention of POIs and geocaching here. Instead, I’m using ViewRanger to provide authoritative measurements of the distance I ran while assessing two other apps and two devices.
ViewRanger’s endless 1:25,000 scrolling is brilliant for route planning and, in the field, the app is also useful for detail, such as putting names to coastal rock features. I must look out for the Scholl next time I’m aiming for Noss Head.
Withings Go relies on accelerometers and is claiming that today’s run was 3.2 km (2 miles) further than ViewRanger states. However, ViewRanger explains what GPS readings it has recorded – 387 in 10.5 km, which is one every 27 metres – and so it’s distance is far more likely to be reliable (albeit an underestimate as I wasn’t running in straight lines).
For the record, these are the distances claimed by each of the apps for today’s cross country run.
ViewRanger: 10.5 km
ISmoothRun: 11.32 km
Wahoo RunFit: 11.01 km
Withings app: 13.71 km
Apple Health: 10.9 km
The Withings Go’s accelerometers can distinguish between a fast walk and a slow run but appear unable to cope with a stride shortened by tussocks and bogs, hence the inaccuracy of the Withings app.
Note that ViewRanger has imported the heart rate and paces from Apple Health. Health says I took 12223 paces during my run whereas the Withings app has only recorded 12112 paces so far today. It seems wrist accelerometers and accelerometers in a chest pocket record movements differently.