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The best pedometer apps and step counter apps for Android
Tracking exercise is a lot easier than it used to be. Back in the day, you needed a notebook, there was a lot of estimating, and it required your full attention. These days, apps and devices can keep track of that stuff for you and all you have to do is enjoy the exercise experience. That includes step counting. There are a bunch of apps to count steps and many of them do the job amicably. You won’t get the precision of a fitness tracker, but it’s good enough to give you a general idea.
Smartphone app vs fitness tracker accuracy
Before we get into the best pedometer apps for Android, let’s touch on the accuracy of smartphones and fitness trackers when it comes to step tracking.
Right off the bat, you need to understand that step counting isn’t an exact science for wearables or smartphones. While both devices use built-in accelerometers and gyroscopes to translate your body movement into what they think could be a step, there will always be an error margin. This isn’t a big problem, provided you understand these limitations. The real reason to count your steps is to encourage movement and a daily progression of fitness goals. Pedometer apps and wearables will both aid you on this journey.
Now, here are the best pedometer apps and step counter apps for Android.
The best pedometer apps and step counter apps for Android
Google Fit is a good start for step counter apps. It keeps track of a lot of stuff, including steps, time active, and more. The app also supports all Wear OS smartwatches as well as Xiaomi Mi Bands. Additionally, the app integrates with other apps, including Runkeeper, Strava, MyFitnessPal, Lifesum, Sleep as Android, and many others. Google Fit does a relatively decent job of being a pedometer. It makes some mistakes. However, it’s nothing that you won’t also see in other apps as well. Pedometer apps in general just aren’t as reliable as you get with hardware. In any case, Google Fit is completely free with no in-app purchases or ads. Again, it’s a good start.
Leap Fitness Step Counter
Price: Free / $2.99
Leap Fitness Step Counter is one of the simpler pedometer apps. It works well for the minimalists out there. The app requires no sign-in, no cloud service, and also no GPS tracking. It just counts your steps with the sensors on the device. Some of the other features include themes, report graphs, and optional backup to Google Drive. All of the features are usable in the free version. However, the pro version goes for a very reasonable $2.99 and it should remove any advertising. It does have the occasional problem, but most seem to like it. We did too.
See also: The best health apps for Android
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $49.99 per year
MyFitnessPal is one of the most powerful step counter apps. It also does a whole bunch of other things. Most people use the app for calorie counting, macro tracking (as in, how many carbs one consumes daily), fitness tracking, water tracking, and, you guessed it, step tracking. It tracks steps via other apps. Thus, you’ll need something like Google Fit to track the steps and then MyFitnessPal overlays that data with other stuff.
Head to head: The top calorie-counting apps compared
Pedometer by ITO Technologies
Price: Free (with ads)
Pedometer by ITO Technologies is another simple pedometer app. This one also works best for planned workouts. The app has a start/stop button. Thus, you can use it for that run or walk you planned on taking. The app also keeps track of things like burned calories, distance, walking/running time, and speed. This one may not work as well as a 24/7 step counter like you see with fitness bands or other apps. That said, the app is completely free (with advertising) so it’s a little difficult to complain too much about a lack of features. It’s definitely good for what it does, though.
Price: Free / $4.99 per month / $29.99 per year
Pacer Health’s Pedometer and Step Counter app is one of the more popular step counter apps. It lets you tweak the step counter sensitivity in a lot of ways. Thus, it has a good chance of being accurate for your needs. The app also features GPS step tracking (optional), a no-login experience, and support for both Fitbit and MyFitnessPal. The premium (read: subscription) version includes some additional features like workout tools and coaching. Thankfully, the subscription price isn’t overly bad. Other than the occasional hiccup, the app also works pretty well.
Price: Free / $9.99 per month / $39.99 per year
Runkeeper is one of the most popular pedometer apps. In fact, tracking your runs and walks is the whole point of the app. The app features workout-tracking, goals, fitness routines, progress reports, and more. It also includes community challenges, exercise rewards, and other little things for motivational purposes. The subscription version also includes better workout support, better progress tracking, and live tracking support. The free version should work for most people mostly because the subscription price is a little much for what it provides.
Zombies, Run! and The Walk
Price: Free trial / $5.99 per month / $39.99 per year / $89.99 per year
Zombies, Run! and The Walk are two very popular fitness apps. They try to add some fun to the proceedings. Players walk, run, or bike while they listen to a story. Their distance progresses them through the story. Thus, in order to hear the next part of the tale, you have to keep going. Of course, if you don’t keep going, you lose the game. The games don’t necessarily keep track of every individual step. However, they do keep track of your overall distance. Zombies, Run! has a free trial with the first several missions included. The full version goes for $3.99 per month or $24.99 per year. The Walk is free with a $4.99 pro version. Neither price is unreasonable for what you get.
Your fitness band’s app
Most people going for fitness end up buying a fitness band or fitness tracker of some sort (like Fitbit, for instance). Most of these fitness trackers have their own apps. The apps keep track of everything your hardware records, including steps, sleep, calories burned, stairs climbed, and how active you are. In some cases, they even track your heart rate. This is an optimal solution for those with fitness trackers. Those with hardware fitness trackers should definitely try out the apps that come with them first. They’re almost always free, are usually at least somewhat customizable, and work best with the hardware they were designed for.
See also: The best cheap fitness trackers
OEM pedometer apps
Many smartphone makers have integrated fitness tracker apps as a part of their package, like Samsung’s popular Samsung Health app. These range from being fairly decent to fairly poor. Thus, you’ll want to test them for yourself to see how they work. When they do work, they make acceptable free step counter apps. Of course, if you’re here, you’ve likely already tried that anyway. In any case, the pedometer apps that come on your smartphone are worth a look before going with a third party. They were, after all, designed by the same company that made the phone. Sometimes they just work better on those devices.
If we missed any great pedometer apps or step counter apps, tell us about them in the comments below! You can also click here to check out our latest Android app and game lists!
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