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There is no ‘Tinder of running apps’ — is that a problem?

Bad design and/or missing features are common, Lauren Goode and Kara Swisher argue on Too Embarrassed to Ask.

Auckland Marathon Sandra Mu / Getty Images

There’s a huge number of apps out there aimed at helping you get in shape — but which one is right for you?

On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, The Verge’s Lauren Goode and Recode’s Kara Swisher discussed why “none of them” may be an acceptable answer.

“What I’d like is for it to be as easy as Tinder,” Swisher said. “It should just be click-click-click.”

Instead, Swisher and Goode agreed, running apps today are often beset with confusing designs or missing features. Swisher vented that Nike used to have the best-in-class solution with Nike+ Running, but that an unpopular redesign earlier this year dragged it back into a pack of mediocrity.

“The new one is full of glitches,” Swisher said. “I’ve called Nike to complain many times and gotten all the way up the top. But they don’t seem to be fixing it or focusing on it.”

Later in the show, the duo shared fitness app recommendations from our readers and listeners and wondered if gamified experiences like Pokémon Go and Zombies, Run! are the solution.

“It is really funny, when you first start it,” Goode said of Zombies, Run!, which encourages users to pretend they’re escaping the zombie apocalypse. “There’s some [person with a] British accent in a helicopter being like, ‘Oh, hello! You’re going to be running from the zombies today! I hope you make it, mate!’”

Have questions about running apps that we didn’t get to in this episode? Or have another tech topic on your mind? You can tweet any questions, comments and complaints to @Recode with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed. You can also email your questions to, in case Twitter isn’t your thing.

Be sure to follow @LaurenGoode, @KaraSwisher and @Recode to be alerted when we're looking for questions about a specific topic.

If you like this show, you should also check out our other podcasts:

  • Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher is a weekly show featuring in-depth interviews with the movers and shakers in tech and media every Monday. You can subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • Recode Media with Peter Kafka features no-nonsense conversations with the smartest and most interesting people in the media world, with new episodes every Thursday. Use these links to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.
  • And finally, Recode Replay has all the audio from our live events such as the Code Conference, Code Media and the Code Commerce Series. Subscribe today on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn and Stitcher.

If you like what we’re doing, please write a review on iTunes — and if you don’t, just tweet-strafe Kara and Lauren. Tune in next Friday for another episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask!

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