A note about methodology: When ranking these apps, we took into account a 2015 study from health researchers at the University of Florida, which compared free (and only free) fitness apps against exercise recommendations from Applause, an app analytics company that crawls ratings and reviews in the App Store.
We skipped over apps designed to pair with fitness trackers, since they’re dependent on hardware besides a smartphone.
(You’ll need to upgrade to the paid version to go ad-free and play the sounds in the background.) *Rock My Run Best Music Apps for Working Out: Rock My Run (rockmyrun.com) Free or “Rockstar” (from .99 per month); Android and i OS Rock My Run is solid choice for streaming upbeat music to accompany your workout, with mixes from celebrity DJs and artists like Zedd, Afrojack, and David Guetta.
But what really sets this app apart is the paid (and ad-free) “Rockstar” membership, which unlocks the my Beat syncing technology.
The app is free, but you'll have to pay to access specialized routes like Tuscany, Tibet, Sequoia National Park, Death Valley, and even the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon.
Rather than solicit a trainer’s opinion, the app adjusts each routine depending on how difficult each exercise is according to how users rate it, from “too easy” to “way more brutal” than expected. *Simple Steps Best "Get Off the Couch" Apps: Simple Steps (simplestepsapp.com) Free; Android and i OS Rather than bombard you with workouts from the get-go, Simple Steps drops you hints to make little changes designed to grow into healthy habits.*C25K Best "Get Off the Couch" Apps: C25K (c25kfree.com) Free or Pro (.99); Android and i OS The premise behind C25K is simple: Go from a couch potato to a 5K runner in 8 weeks (hence the name, an acronym for Couch ‘2’ 5K).