Since then a whole range of apps have been designed targeting the avid rower and rowing coach. The top five most popular rowing apps on Android are currently:

  1. Stopwatch for coaches – keeps time on up to four stopwatches at the same time.
  2. Talos Rowing – rowing training app with stroke rate, speed, distance and time.
  3. Rowing BoatCoach – Displays stroke rate, stroke count, distance, speed, time and heart rate.
  4. ergLog – tracks a Concept2 ergometer
  5. Stroke Rate Counter – stroke rate calculator

Apple produces a list by order of rowing “relevance” rather than popularity:

  1. Rowing SPM – rowing strokes per minute counter
  2. Erg Buddy – Concept2 ergometer information.
  3. RowActiv – indoor rowing ‘personal trainer’
  4. Speed Coach Mobile Free – on-the-water training tool, giving data on the workout.
  5. Rowing In Motion – Boat Lite – speed, acceleration and stroke rate data.

All of these apps are free.

Apps, or application software, are designed to do a specific task and more recently have been designed specifically for mobile devices.

These apps often carry out one very specific function. For a rower or a coach apps can be useful as they offer a way to carry information in a portable form, on a smartphone.

Rowperfect’s Jonathan Lewis notes that taking a laptop out rowing or in a coaching launch is not convenient and could end up getting damaged.

“A phone is much smaller and for the data the rowers look for, has all the processing power they need. If you look at the list of apps above most are simple timers or counters of some description with perhaps a formula or two to show average speed, etc.,” says Lewis.

The range of apps also covers rowing areas away from training needs like Sir Steve Redgrave’s app (on Apple) of a river adventure game:

The list continues to expand.