Walk Away the Pounds With Android and iPhone Step Counters

Use your smartphone as a pedometer with built-in and third-party apps

Fitness trackers are excellent devices for reaching personalized health goals, but you don't have to use a separate wearable device to count steps, calculate distance walked, estimate calories burned, and more. Most iOS and Android mobile devices have built-in health apps that act as your personal fitness tracker, while third-party apps can boost your mobile fitness-tracking functionality.

Here's a look at the top iOS and Android step-tracker apps.

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Google Fit: Health and Activity Tracking (Android and iOS)

Google Fit Android app acts as a pedometer and more
What We Like
  • Built into many Android phones, and downloadable for iOS.

  • Heart Points system helps you keep your heart healthy.

  • Track workouts from your phone or Wear smartwatch.

  • Track and monitor steps with your Steps Goal.

  • Detects your activity and adds it to your Google Fit journal.

What We Don't Like
  • No way to compete or coordinate with friends.

  • Users report inconsistent distance numbers.

  • Doesn't track less popular exercise forms.

Google Fit comes included with many Android phones, and if it's not included, it's easy to download from the Google Play Store for free. The app is also available as an iOS download from Apple's App Store.

Track exercises such as walking, running, or bicycling, and set activity goals by day, week, or month. Earn Heart Points for moderate and intense activity and try to get to the American Heart Association and the WHO's recommended guidelines for heart health.

Want to boost your walking pace to improve your all-around health? Google Fit features Paced Walking, which adds a subtle background beat for you to keep pace with. Vary the beat's intensity for a better workout. Paced Walking background beats work with whatever music or content you're listening to. After you pick up your pace using Paced Walking, you'll earn additional Google Fit Heart Points.

Google Fit also works with data from other fitness trackers, so you can get a more complete overview of your fitness, progress, and goals.

In 2021, Google began rolling out a Google Fit update that measures heart rate and respiration using the front and rear cameras of supported Android devices, such as some Pixel models. If your device supports this feature, you can get one-off heart rate readings by placing a fingertip on the rear camera or get a breaths-per-minute reading by aligning your torso in front of the front camera.

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Apple Health (iOS Only)

Apple Health App screens
What We Like
  • Input and track cholesterol, blood glucose, nutritional information, body fat percentage, and more.

  • Analyze sleeping patterns.

  • Import and view personal records from healthcare providers.

  • Sync data with compatible third-party apps and fitness wearables.

What We Don't Like
  • The app can seem intimidating at first, since there's so much going on.

  • No Android version.

Apple's Health app is preinstalled with iOS, so if you have an iPhone or iPad, you can get started immediately. Apple Health lets users monitor activities, set goals, and list food and water intake. As with other fitness and health apps, it prompts you to input personal details. For example, your height helps the software more accurately calculate the distance traveled by steps and activity, and your weight, age, and gender help calculate the total calories burned based on the recorded distance and activity.

The Apple Health app acts as a hub, so it recommends downloading different apps based on the activities you want to monitor. For example, if you're a runner, you can find running apps to download. View your progress over time via Health's charts and graphs.

Apple Health can seem a little intimidating at first, so spend some time getting to know its features and configuring your dashboard.

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Samsung Health (Android and iOS)

Samsung Health app for step tracking
What We Like
  • Android and iOS versions available.

  • Built-in trackers for many exercises and activities.

  • Track diet and weight goals.

  • Includes free exercise programs.

  • Compete with friends.

What We Don't Like
  • Users report that the GPS doesn't register some activities well.

  • Features get lost in frequent updates.

Samsung Health is included on most Samsung smartphones and is available for download for other Android phones from the Google Play Store. There's also an iOS version.

Set up your profile and goals, and Samsung Health monitors your steps, heart rate, and other settings. Get rewards as you make progress toward your goals, and use the app's community features to compete and coordinate with friends.

Samsung Health syncs up well with other apps, such as MyFitnessPal, allowing you to import your meal and calorie data and view your overall daily progress.

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C25K 5K Trainer (Android and iOS)

C25K app for iOS and Android for step tracking
What We Like
  • Highly-rated beginner's app.

  • Community features add inspiration and encouragement.

  • Audio coach.

  • MyFitnessPal integration.

What We Don't Like
  • You need to upgrade to a paid subscription to unlock more features and remove ads.

Ready to step up your game? C25K by Zen Labs Fitness aims to train former couch potatoes through successfully finishing a 5K run. The app is easy to use, ideal for first-time runners, and offers a mix of programs that help gradually build strength and stamina.

C25K is free to download for Android and iOS, but you need to upgrade to a pro version or paid subscription to remove ads and use more features.

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Map My Walk (Android and iOS)

Map My Walk app for step counting and fitness tracking
What We Like
  • Set and reach walking goals.

  • Log activities from 600 different sports.

  • Monitor pace, distance, calories burned, and more.

What We Don't Like
  • You need a paid upgrade for a personal walking plan.

If you want to start with the basics and move up from there, Map My Walk is a great choice. The app uses your phone's GPS to help you track and view your route, offering full stats on pace, distance, calories burned, and more. Customizable voice feedback helps spur you on, and then save and share your favorite paths with community members or find new paths to explore.

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Pacer Pedometer (iOS and Android)

Pacer Pedometer step-counting app screens for iOS and Android
What We Like
  • Tracks walking, biking, running, and more.

  • Connects to Apple Health, MyFitnessPal, and FitBit.

  • Set up walking groups with friends.

What We Don't Like
  • For workouts and weight-loss coaching, you need to pay for a premium version.

Pacer Pedometer is a great app if your walking goals are part of a desire to lose weight. In addition to tracking activity, it lets you input weight and BMI, allowing you to correlate health and body changes with activity. Social connectivity helps keep you motivated, no matter what your goals are.

Pacer Pedometer is free to download and use, but you need to upgrade to a subscription to unlock more weight loss and coaching tools.

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ActivityTracker Pedometer (iOS Only)

ActivityTracker Pedometer iOS step-counting app
What We Like
  • Clean interface makes it easy to see your key stats.

  • Doesn't drain the battery.

  • Apple Watch and Health app integration.

What We Don't Like
  • You need to upgrade to a paid version to access additional features.

  • No Android version.

If you want core features without unnecessary frills, ActivityTracker Pedometer is a great app to get started with. The app tracks all your daily activities and display the results in colorful, easy-to-read graphs. The app promises low battery usage so your iPhone can last all day.

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Argus: Calorie Counter & Step (iOS and Android)

Argus Calorie counter and step tracking app
What We Like
  • Huge social-fitness community.

  • 24/7 step pedometer.

  • Log food with a barcode scanner.

What We Don't Like
  • You need a paid subscription to use some of the app's best features.

Argus: Calorie Counter & Step is a great app if you want to start quantifying all aspects of your health, from food intake to exercise and BMI. It tracks a variety of activities, but it also lets users count calories with its built-in food database. Combined with personalized weight loss plans and workouts, look forward to a fitter, healthier you.

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