Expo: Big changes promised in upcoming Abvio fitness app updates

The next version of Abvio’s family of iOS fitness apps not only provides runners, cyclers, and walkers a new method of comparing their workout times to their friends’, it also gives them an avenue to find more friends with which to connect.

Abvio was at Macworld Expo this week to preview version 5.0 of its trio of iPhone apps. (Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter offer the same features, but are branded to different forms of exercise.) The 5.0 releases have been submitted to Apple for approval; Abvio co-founder Steve Kusmer told me he expects the update—which he bills as the biggest in the company’s history—to be available at the App Store in the coming week.

Abvio’s trio of fitness apps use the GPS capabilities in your iPhone to track your workouts, charting the course you take and how fast you went along the way. The apps monitor your progress, giving you audio feedback about your pace, distance covered, and other customizable data points. You can also share maps of your workouts via e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter and export workouts in GPX, KML, and CSV files. Family, coaches, and friends can offer you words of encouragement via Twitter and Facebook, too, which Abvio’s apps relate to you via text-to-speech technology.

Version 5.0 of Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter expand the apps’ social networking reach by partnering with dailymile.com, a 200,000-member social network for fitness enthusiasts. Dailymile integration means that Abvio app users can share workouts in real time with the Website and get messages of encouragement from dailymile friends during workouts.

The dailymile link-up also comes into play with another major addition in the 5.0 updates—advanced data import capabilities and a new Virtual Competition feature. The latter addition lets Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter users import a route with a friend’s time and progress. When you go for a run, walk, or bike ride, the app will let you compare your pace to how your friend did. The data import enhancements also let users import data from previously recorded workouts and social fitness sites.

Abvio’s apps include a preinstalled voice that speaks distance, time, speed, elevation, and other audio feedback. (Text-to-speech has been an in-app purchase.) Version 5.0 of the three apps will introduce new voice options—16 in all—as $1 in-app purchases.

Other enhancements in the upcoming Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter updates include a stopwatch you can configure with more than 40 different data displays, the ability to enter notes before a workout, and the option of displaying energy burn in kilojules.

Runmeter, Walkmeter, and Cyclemeter each cost $5 at the App Store.

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