Offline Tracking: The Benefits for Fitness apps and Remote Activities

Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
March 29, 2023

If the World Baseball Classic has taught me anything it’s that you can track, well, baseballs. From Ohtani’s 100+ mph fastball pitches to Trea Turner's home run hitters, it’s impressive how much data can be collected during America’s pastime (and Japan’s). You learn so much about the performance of a player and team by simply tracking the ball. It has an impact on the way people watch and understand the game.

Offline tracking parallels that impact with fitness apps and remote activities.

Our mobile phones and smartwatches have changed the way we track our exercises and achieve our fitness goals. We can monitor various metrics during activities. These include our cadence, heart rate, and VO2 max. This allows us to gain insight into our performance and make improvements.

People are tracking their activities more and more. This creates a lot of challenges for apps that support these activities as they must keep up with their users' fitness goals.

It’s difficult to imagine a fitness app working optimally without an internet connection to track it. You might be thinking: well you still have GPS? Yes, you do, but nowadays a device may use GPS to get an initial location fix, then use WiFi and cellular network data to refine the location estimate. This helps deliver more accurate location data. But unfortunately, reliable internet access is not always guaranteed.

Lost data during remote fitness activities because unreliable internet access dampens the user experience. Offline tracking helps solve this network connectivity problem, and I’ll walk you through why.

The definition

Offline tracking is the ability to track and store location data without a connection to the internet.

This is how our location SDK performs offline tracking: when offline, the device can use its built-in GPS to determine its location and track its movement. The location data is stored on the local database of the device. When the device regains an internet connection (either by WiFi network or cellular data network), the location data can be uploaded to a server.

The file is merely a couple of kilobytes so it will not affect the device and storage speed too much. Once the device is back online, the stored locations collected during the offline period will be published in batches while the live location tracking resumes. 

Benefits of offline tracking

Well, the glaringly large elephant in the room for this one is, no internet connection is required. Given that location data takes up very little storage space on a user’s device, you could track someone’s entire offline activity and have it published once they have a connection to WiFi or cellular data. This leads to another great benefit, conserving battery. In the case of remote activities this could be crucial for two reasons:

  1. Saving battery life is always important for emergency situations. Offline tracking helps with battery efficiency so users always have enough battery on their phone should the occasion arise. 
  2. Longer activities. Users won’t have to worry about long remote activities and battery drainage when the fitness app they use can track their location whilst offline. They can also pack lighter because they won’t need an extra powerbank at hand to charge their phone as it tracks their activity. 

The net benefit for all of this is an improved user experience. Your app allows them to continue to track a wide range of activities in even the most remote areas without having to worry about losing data or battery drainage. In fact, let’s dive deeper into the details. 

Impact of offline tracking on fitness

Offline Tracking can have a significant impact on fitness tracking and individuals who enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking, running, or cycling. Fitness apps that use offline tracking will allow individuals to continue accurately monitoring their progress and achieve their fitness goals, whilst keeping them safe.

Hikers and runners often venture into areas with no internet connection but with a lot of nutrition bars. Monitoring their progress is one thing, but keeping them safe is another. This is particularly true when they’re running or hiking in unfamiliar territory. It will be useful for them to continue tracking their location in case they find themselves unfamiliar with a place like Gandalf when he enters the Mines of Moria. Tracking offline allows hikers and runners to keep safe whilst keeping an eye on their progress.

Monitoring progress is essential for anyone who wants to achieve their fitness goals. With Offline Tracking, individuals can track their activities, set goals, and monitor their progress toward those goals. This can be incredibly motivating, providing the necessary feedback and encouragement to keep pushing forward.

Lost data can disrupt a person's ability to track their fitness goals. Rocky Balboa montage videos can only motivate someone so many times. Having a comprehensive view of their progress can help them stay on track, regardless of their location.

Impact of offline tracking on remote activities 

Not everyone who needs offline tracking is a fitness fanatic. You know the kind. The ones fully stocked with nutrition bars trying to hike or run up every single hill or mountain range they see. Some people need it for more leisurely but remote activities, like when they are on holiday. 

Travelers or adventurers who venture into remote or unfamiliar locations could need offline location tracking for the same reason as hikers and runners. Staying safe. Some people use fitness apps like Strava to keep track of their location and make sure they’re in the right location in case of an emergency. 

With Offline Tracking, individuals can accurately track their location, monitor their progress, and share their location with others, enhancing their safety and allowing for more efficient rescue operations in case of emergency.

It’s clear why tracking location can keep people safe. Remote activities can be risky, particularly if an individual gets lost or injured. Offline Tracking provides a reliable way to track location and monitor activities, making it easier for individuals to stay safe and quickly alert others if they need help. We’ve already got one 127 Hours film, we do not need a Marvel cinematic universe of them. 


Offline tracking is a valuable tool for fitness apps and remote activities. 

It offers increased safety, accuracy, and battery life while allowing users to continue to track their progress even in unfamiliar terrain. Offline tracking allows individuals to track a wide range of activities in even the most remote areas without losing data or worrying about battery drainage. Fitness apps that use offline tracking improve the user experience. In addition, it can enhance safety, allowing individuals to share their location with others and providing for more efficient rescue operations.

Overall, offline tracking technology has a significant impact on improving the user experience for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers alike.

Thank you for reading! If you’re interested in developing a mobile app with offline location services and want to power it with reliable and accurate location tracking, check out our location SDK. It offers customizable tracking modes, always-on tracking, offline location tracking, and mock location prevention. With low battery drain, your app can offer top-notch location tracking without draining battery life. Check out our location SDK page to find out more.

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Marc Kranendonk
Marc Kranendonk
Content Manager
March 29, 2023