The Pedometer++ App Is Essential For Anyone Who Loves Walking—Here's Why

Just glance and go

  • Pedometer++ now shows your progress on a watch map.
  • You can import any GPX file to follow its route.
  • The app is still as amazingly simple as ever.
Person hiking on a snow covered mountain checking their smartwatch.

Halfpoint Images / Getty Images

If you just want to go for a walk and not get lost, most GPS apps are overkill—but not this one.

You know the problem. You want to go for a hike and use that nice route you found on a favorite app, like Wikiloc, Komoot, or similar. But maybe you don't want to deal with all of the app's post-hike reminders to save and rate the route. Or you just don't want to keep digging your phone out to find the GPS app has reset itself, and you need to start over. Pedometer++, perhaps the simplest step-tracker on the iPhone and Apple Watch, just got an update that changes how you will use tech in the wilderness or just in town. 

"While there are apps out there that can track some aspects of your physical activity, like Strava or even Google Maps (depending on the location settings on your phone), Pedometer++ promises to be even easier to use than these apps and offer more features for dedicated hikers including detailed analytics, goal setting, and the ability to tag photos of your hikes to specific locations," Kyle MacDonald, VP at GPS tracking company Mojio, told Lifewire via email. 

Simple Step Tracking for Your iPhone

David Smith's Pedometer++ has long been the best simple step-tracking app on the iPhone. If you follow the developer, you'll know that you can trust the app not to track you in any creepy way, and if all you want to do is track your steps on your iPhone (and Apple Watch), then it doesn't get any easier. In fact, Pedometer++'s simplicity might be its biggest feature, and while the new update adds some massive changes, it is still as simple and as focused as ever. 

Screenshots from Pedometer++.


The Pedometer++ app now has maps on both the iPhone and the Apple Watch. And not just static maps, but fancy maps. "I didn't want a simple, static map, I wanted a fully interactive, rich experience everywhere: on your wrist, on your lock screen, in your Dynamic Island, and on your iPhone," writes Smith on his blog. 

Among several new features (workout tracking without a watch and support for Live Activities on the iPhone 14 Pro, for example), the new app now lets you load in your own GPX files. GPX is kind of like the PDF of GPS apps, a fairly universal file format for sharing routes. 

The app will save the route, download the required amp tiles for offline use, and display that route on a map. This means that you can just forget about the iPhone and just glance at your wrist occasionally to make sure that you are on the right track. The app even displays a dimmed version of the map—with updating location—on the Apple Watch's always-on lock screen. 

Finding Your Way

In a blog post, David Smith explicitly says he wrote the new features to fit his own hiking preferences. If this doesn't fit you, there are other options for simple route tracking and route-following without needing to use your iPhone's battery or even bother using your phone. 

Complex apps often use a lot of power, which can drain your battery quickly.

One way is to use a dedicated GPS route-finder device, which would be wrist-mounted and likely to have a much better battery life than an Apple Watch. 

"One benefit of using a simpler GPS route-finder is that it is often more accurate than more complex apps. This is because complex apps often rely on a variety of data sources that can sometimes be inaccurate. GPS route-finders, on the other hand, rely solely on satellite data, which is much more reliable," Ken Adams, CEO and founder of FullOfSports, told Lifewire via email. "Using an easy GPS route-finder can also help you conserve your phone's battery life. Complex apps often use a lot of power, which can drain your battery quickly. If you're planning on being out all day, you'll want to make sure your phone lasts as long as possible. A simple GPS route-finder won't put as much strain on your battery."

But for me, Pedometer++ looks like the perfect solution. I will typically plan a route ahead of time, and all I want to do while hiking or biking is to be able to glance occasionally to check I haven't strayed off course. If I want to check out a detailed, big map, I will dig out my phone, but having this on the wrist is just perfect for simple tracking.

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