Walk the Tube was already a popular app for those looking to keep fit whilst exploring central London, but with Daley Thompson now on board, it sparkles with Olympic gold.
In a Nutshell: Avoid cramped and sweaty tube travel by walking above ground, seeing the sights of the capital and keeping fit at the same time.
Why We Like It: With the London 2012 Olympics in full swing, it's depressing for many of us to realise we'll never be world-beating athletes. But for residents and tourists, the Walk the Tube app is a great tool for exploring the city in a way that improves your health and fitness.
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Harry Beck's famous map of the London underground is aesthetically astounding but geographically lacking. The tangle of coloured lines gives no clear indication how close together stations sometimes are. For example the distance between Leicester Square and Covent Garden, two of the most popular stations on the Piccadilly Line, is a mere 300m.
The Walk the Tube app remedies this by providing a tube map with numbers indicating the average distance in footsteps between stations. After selecting the two stations you want to travel between, you are taken to a map that details the route, lets you know where you are along it, and provides info on not only how many steps you have taken, but how many calories you have burned in the process.
Launched seven years ago by insurers PruHealth, the rebranding of the app is designed to tap into the global focus on sport in the capital thanks to the London Olympics. Daley Thompson, a two-time winning gold medallist in the decathlon, is the new face of the app, and spoke exclusively to the IBTimes UK of why he wanted to become involved.
"I think that a healthy lifesytle is great for everybody. I think it makes you feel better and hopefully you'll live a little longer, and with the PruHealth app it just provides you with another tool to do it, and it's quite a fun way of seeing the town (London). It's important that people try and get a little healthier and live a little longer and this is one of the great ways to do it."
The info provides a great tool for those who plan to stay active whilst travelling across the capital, but it's also useful in an emergency. Those familiar with the London Underground will know it's prone to suspensions and delays on an almost daily basis, and the Walk the Tube App is well prepared for such a scenario, providing real-time details on how each line is running.
Until Transport for London designs a solid app this feature alone is worth the download, but the ability to work out at a moment's notice if it would be quicker to walk to get to where you need to be makes it a brilliant resource for commuters.
There are a couple of issues that detract from the overall experience. The footstep and calorie tracker are not completely accurate and suffer from the usual difficulties in measuring movement with your phone. If you shake the phone the number rises wildly, whilst if you dawdle it sometimes does not measure your movements at all.
These are minor niggles, as the app's features really are very useful for getting about the city, and unlike the public transport, it's free!
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