Best Sports Apps | Report & Table – Winners & Losers of 2020

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Best Sports Apps – Winners & Losers | 2020

2020 saw big changes in my annual sports ranking tables. Unsurprisingly, the best sports app winners from 2020 include Zwift and Tacx/Garmin. Some of the other winners include Samsung, Huawei, Peloton, Relive, Google FIT and several Couch-to-5K apps. The most notable loser was UA Endomondo…which was 4th in the table last year and now ceases to exist.

What I Do

The specific measures that I look at are the NUMBER of reviews and AVERAGE RATING. I think these are a good proxy to assess both the magnitude and quality of the interaction that we have with our apps-of-choice.

I’ve included app links so you can find out more about any apps that might be new to you.

Historically I looked at Google Play and recently added in some of Apple’s app store data, starting in Jan 2020.

 

Headline Differences & Trends

What stands out the most to me is that Apple App Store apps invariably have significantly higher ratings than their Android counterpart. Either the iOS apps are better engineered or the average iPhone user is a more forgiving, positive person.

Clearly, the biggest trends of 2021 should reflect an increase in indoor equipment training with the likes of Peloton, Tacx and Wahoo plus an increase in outdoor activity being recorded on generic sports apps like Nike RC that do not necessarily require a GPS sports watch.

The number of reviews on Android apps are normally much higher than those for the equivalent iOS app probably, in part, reflecting a larger user base.

Biggest Movers & Shakers

  • Android: Samsung Health storms up the Android charts to take the #1 slot, leaping over adidas and Nike RC. Huawei is up 5 with Relive & Polar Beat both up 4. From a low base, Zwift rocks up 10 places.
  • iOS: adidas, Wahoo Fitness, RwGPS and Google FIT all take a hit in their positions table, whilst everyone still loves Nike RC, Peloton and Alltrails.

Watch Out: Almost every app grew Android reviews by over 20%. Those that did NOT achieve that growth rate include Asics Runkeeper and Trainer Road. Alongside that are those who have low review ratings like Fitbit, Suunto, Tacx, Rouvy & Stages. In the past, low reviews have foretold bad things that came later.

Of the iOS apps that I have year-on-year data for, Suunto is growing notably less than all the others.

Crème de la Sweat

Apps deserving a thumbs up because of stellar approval ratings include these on Android adidas/Runtastic, Garmin Connect, UA Map my Walk/Ride, Relive, Komoot, Osmand, Final Surge and Pumatrac Whereas, on iOS a list of the many top-performers includes adidas Runtastic, Nike RC, Strava, Asics Runkeeper, UA Map My Run/Walk, Zepp and several others too (sorry I didn’t mention you by name).

This Year’s Results Tables

Here we have two similar tables, one for the Google Play Store and the other for Apple’s app store followed further below with some interesting points and commentary.

Android Results

The image above is of the same data but the colour coding on that image aids readability.

Android App Name Android Reviews +/- % vs year ago Rating Rank Jan-20 Rank +/- vs a year ago Link
Samsung Health 1,137,750 131% 3.9⬇️⬇️ 1 2 Link
adidas Running by Runtastic 1,062,551 112% 4.6⬆️ 2 -1 Link
Nike  Run Club 1,003,340 110% 4.5 3 -1 Link
Fitbit 746,995 128% 3.7 4 1 Link
Strava Running & Cycling GPS 641,956 124% 4.4 5 2 Link
Garmin connect 623,170 138% 4.6⬆️ 6 2 Link
Asics Runkeeper GPS Track Run Walk 567,669 105% 4.3 7 -1 Link
Huawei Health 426,639 285% 4.2⬆️ 8 5 Link
Google Fit 413,616 123% 3.9⬆️ 9 0 Link
UA Map my Run 301,035 134% 4.4 10 0 Link
Zepp (Amazfit) 248,587 167% 4.1 11 2.5 Link
UA Map my Walk 246,848 132% 4.6⬆️ 12 0 Link
Sports Tracker 222,090 103% 4.3⬇️ 13 -2 Link
ReLive 189,326 245% 4.7⬆️ 14 4 Link
Komoot 175,594 163% 4.6 15 0 Link
UA Map my Ride 162,110 127% 4.6 16 -2 Link
Polar Flow 126,408 127% 4.2 17 -1 Link
Geocaching 102,339 122% 4.4 18 -1 Link
OsmAnd 96,900 145% 4.6 19 0 Link
Withings HealthMate 79,882 146% 4.1⬇️ 20 1 Link
Couch2 5K 53,315 106% 4.4 21 1 Link
Polar Beat 45,740 130% 4.2 22 4 Link
Jawbone Up 44,704 101% 3 23 0 Link
AllTrails 44,553 125% 3.9 24 1 Link
WikiLoc 43,949 116% 4.5 25 -0.5 Link
ViewRanger 43,174 110% 4.3 26 -2 Link
Locus Maps 37,852 113% 4.8⬆️ 27 0 Link
One You Couch to 5k 29,954 200% 4.7⬆️ 28 7 Link
LG Health 27,963 113% 3.7 29 -1 Link
Couch Potato to 5k 26,163 146% 4.8 30 2 Link
Suunto App 25,333 138% 3.3⬇️⬇️ 31 0 Link
Zombies Run 22,757 119% 4.5⬆️ 32 -3 Link
Training Peaks 19,967 124% 4.6 33 1 Link
Suunto Movescount 19,235 101% 3.6 34 -4 Link
Wahoo Fitness 16,893 202% 4.4 35 3 Link
Couch to 5k RD C25K 16,397 101% 4.4 36 -3 Link
PumaTrac 15,929 203% 4.6⬆️ 37 2 Link
Couch to 5k 14,690 108% 4.4 38 -2 Link
Couch to 10k 12,486 106% 4.2⬇️ 39 -2 Link
Ride with GPS 9,016 167% 4.3⬇️ 40 0 Link
Tacx Training 8,839 396% 3.4 41 4 Link
Zwift 7,902 1154% 4.3 42 10 Link
Peloton 6,451 331% 4.0⬆️⬆️ 43 4 Link
Elite HVRV 5,640 122% 3.8⬇️⬇️ 44 -3 Link
Couch to 5k and 10k 4,286 139% 4.3⬇️ 45 -3 Link
TrailForks 3,668 188% 2.1⬇️⬇️ 46 2 Link
Trainer Road 3,031 108% 4.2⬇️ 47 -4 Link
Bkool 2,804 145% 3 48 1 Link
Gpsies 2,374 105% 2.3 49 -5 Link
IpBike 2,374 106% 4.1 50 -4 Link
Elite my Etraining 2,135 181% 3.8⬆️⬆️ 51 -1 Link
Epson Pulsense 898 102% 2.6 52 -1 Link
Rouvy 767 169% 3.1⬇️ 53 1 Link
HRV4Training 757 131% 3.9 54 -1 Link
STRYD 377 140% 4.1⬆️⬆️ 55 1 Link
ithlete 349 107% 3.8 56 -1 Link
FinalSurge 150 146% 4.6⬆️⬆️ 57 1 Link
BioforceHRV 115 103% 2.9 58 -1 Link
Xert 91 121% 4.1 59 0 Link
StagesLink 77 275% 2.1⬇️ 60 1 Link
TodaysPlan 63 154% 3.7⬆️ 61 -1 Link
Sporty Go 27 270% 4.3 62 1 Link
Strive.ai 17 142% 3.8⬆️⬆️ 63 -1 Link

 

 

iOS Results

 

iOS App Name iOS Reviews +/- % vs year ago Rating Rank Jan-21 Link
AllTrails 516000 172% 4.9 1 Link
Peloton 429600 4.9 2 Link
Nike  Run Club 370800 126% 4.8 3 Link
One You Couch to 5k (NHS England App – Free and Good) 236000 4.8 4 Link
UA Map my Run 132400 204% 4.8 5 Link
Strava Running & Cycling GPS 90100 138% 4.7 6 Link
Garmin connect 81000 192% 4.3 7 Link
UA Map my Walk 65600 219% 4.8 8 Link
Asics Runkeeper GPS Track Run Walk 51900 161% 4.8 9 Link
Withings HealthMate 44100 142% 4.5 10 Link
UA Map my Ride 39400 266% 4.8 11 Link
Fitbit 23600 141% 4.1 12 Link
Polar Flow 15500 139% 4.6 13 Link
Couch to 10k 14800 4.8 14 Link
ReLive 13800 185% 4.8 15 Link
ViewRanger 13700 180% 4.6 16 Link
adidas Running by Runtastic 12700 529% 4.7 17 Link
Tacx Training 10000 4.4 18 Link
Couch2 5K 7300 178% 4.6 19 Link
Geocaching 6800 159% 4.8 20 Link
Wahoo Fitness 5700 359% 4.6 22 Link
Polar Beat 5300 168% 4.6 23 Link
Zwift 4900 4.6 24 Link
Trainer Road 4100 4.9 25 Link
Samsung Health 4000 200% 4.4 26 Link
Zombies Run 3800 141% 4.8 27 Link
Training Peaks 2500 133% 4.7 28 Link
Komoot 2300 231% 4.8 29 Link
Zepp (Amazfit) 1500 287% 4.8 30 Link
WikiLoc 1400 155% 4.7 31 Link
Ride with GPS 1100 246% 4.6 32 Link
Suunto App 1000 109% 4.1 33 Link
Google Fit 749 524% 4.3 34 Link
PumaTrac 583 ? 4.7 35 Link
Huawei Health 572 275% 2.4 36 Link
Sports Tracker 549 107% 4.8 37 Link
OsmAnd 151 629% 4.4 38 Link
HRV4Training 146 3.7 39 Link
TrailForks 86 195% 3.5 40 Link

If I’ve missed an important sports app please let me know and I will add them provided they have more than 1000 reviews or if they are noteworthy.

 

Source: the5krunner.com, iOS/Android app stores

 

Notes, What’s In and What’s Changed?

  • I added a lot of newer apps into the table of results last year and this is partly reflected in the movements shown but some gaps remain.
  • Samsung’s growth appears to be due to a reported surge in sales of its equipment due to political restrictions placed on Huawei by the USA.
  • The listed apps include those which support GPS hardware as well as the more generic apps that typically record a workout on a smartphone with no external GPS hardware. The key players in the latter of these categories seem to have all been bought out by sporting apparel companies who want to jealously guard ‘their’ data – 3rd party developers will find it hard to get access to data from the likes of Nike.
  • The demise of Endomondo shows that many of these apps are simply not profitable despite vast numbers of downloads & reviews
  • Some apps that fill a specific need are included in the table of results even if they don’t meet the 1,000 review threshold eg STRYD
    • Even though STRYD has a total of less than 400 reviews, the number of active Runners with Power is around 100,000 globally, though not all with STRYD (>10,000 STRYD installs on Android). This low level of user feedback could simply reflect STRYD not asking you for it.
  • Some ‘well-known’ Apple Watch 6 apps like iSmoothRun are only available on iOS
  • Some apps are also a proxy for device sales. You might assume that a 400% year-on-year increase in reviews for Tacx probably reflects a similarly large increase in the sale of indoor bike trainers.
  • adidas Running (by Runtastic) has 1,062,551 reviews and this will correspond to Android downloads of over 50 million (yep, 50x greater).
    • Whereas Garmin Connect has well over 10 million Android installs and Polar Flow is now just over 1,000,000 installs. You might surmise that the number of Garmin devices is at least 10x that of Polar and you would be right; it is AT LEAST 10x…probably a lot more 😉 That said, you could still correctly deduce that Polar has sold millions of sports watches/devices.
    • Strava has 641,956 reviews and “over” 10million downloads (download figures are imprecise). By my guestimations, the active number of STRAVA users is currently at a high but well below 20 million.
  • Suunto is still migrating from Movescount & Sports Tracker apps to the Suunto app. In next year’s chart, these will likely rationalise down to only one app – the Suunto app
  • I believe that the average Play Store rating is time/version-limited in some way by Google eg a 2/5 rating one year might be ignored 2 years and 2 versions later when a 4/5 rating is seen.
  • This data is probably genuine. I would imagine that 5-figure numbers of ratings are hard to fake. I would also imagine the risk of trying would be great!
  • If I’ve missed any popular apps out then please let me know. If you are the app developer and just want your app included in the list then, sorry, it will need to have at least 1,000 Android reviews and be sport-focussed – but feel free to identify yourself in the comments section and plug your app there…I won’t delete ANY such sports app links.

Predictions for 2021

  • Impossible for new apps to get anywhere near the upper end of this table in the space of a year, although I wish I had recorded the Peloton stats better a year ago!
  • The trend for sports apps to innovate first on iOS will continue. Why? Many reasons, including that it is easier to pair 3rd party sensors on Apple and Apple’s user base is assumed to represent generally wealthier people.
  • Double-digit growth expected across the board.
  • I also suspect that some apps will wither and die soon but maybe not in 2021.

Last Year’s Results – here

Sports Apps 2020 Report & Table – Winners & Losers of 2019 – Best Sports App

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Best Sports Apps | Report & Table – Winners & Losers of 2020

  1. I’m still trying to find a good app that can give insights about my recovery and training ( not only for running but also for strength training) ,based only on my chest strap that is not sportwatch dependant. Something like oura ring

    1. that’s a good question with a complex and unsatisfying answer. Question for you: how do you expect a chest strap to quantify your efforts in the gym? perhaps, for example, your HR gets up to 110-bpm when doing a few calf raises. Yet your hr could be 170bpm over an entire 5k. But you intuitively know that those calf raises must affect your recovery for running.

    2. I would like to have an app similar to apple health that can aggregate data from mulțime sources and give you insights about your performance and recovery. For recovery hrv changes during the night could be useful. All brands offer a solution but keep you trapped inside their ecosystems.
      All the platforms already available are more tailored to runners and cyclist. For other categories like strength training and cardio there isn’t any useful metric ?

    3. hi you cant aggregate the cumulative impact of strength training. You can perhaps see the effects later with something like Elite HRV.
      a ring could be a good one-off early morning measurement device.

  2. Hi there, thanks for the great work! Feels like Running Heroes should feature in this list. Running Heroes has a strong user base in France, UK and Australia and has recently become available in Brazil and Romania. Cheers!

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