Cyclemeter GPS Bike Computer for Road & Mountain Biking by Abvio is a popular and flexible cycling GPS app that we reviewed a few weeks ago.  I was called by one of its developers yesterday, Steve Kusmer from Abvio LLC, to tell me all about the year’s largest update.

This final update for 2011 includes three main additions: intervals, zones, and wireless communication between your iPhone and ANT+ devices (wireless digital equipment).

There are many theories on how to exercise most effectively, but one of the most popular is that interval training is the best way to lose excess weight. In this form of exercise, you alternate between periods of high and low intensity physical activity (or outright rest, depending on what you’re doing).

Cyclemeter can now help. By going into the Activities menu in the “More” section, you can tailor or create an interval-based routine with both a warm up and cool down. For example, you may choose a warm up of five minutes, have 10 minutes of fast cycling, five minutes of slower cycling, repeat this three times and then have a cool down of five minutes.

The intervals don’t have to be the same all the way through and can be based on something else such as distance. Plus you can manually create new intervals using the lap data to, for example, see how many calories you’re burning at the bottom of a hill compared to how many are being burned at the top. A lot of data is recorded for each interval that can be viewed at any time afterwards (through the “Routes” section) including ride time, distance, and average speed.

If there is a certain zone of activity you’re aiming for such as a range of speeds, you can set this information up in the new Zones menu in the “More” section. You can also aim for zones in heart rate and bicycle cadence. But how?

Cyclemeter has incorporated use of Wahoo Fitness (purchased separately) which allows your iPhone to wirelessly communicate with any devices that “fully comply to [sic] the ANT+ standards.”

Hate having to focus on a stopwatch or mess around with your iPhone during exercise? Me too. Text-to-speech announcements will let you know when each new phase of your interval routine has begun or when you have dropped outside of or returned to your desired zone.

If you prefer walking or running, you might want to consider Walkmeter or Runmeter which have been made by the same developer. They are essentially the same core app, but with preconfigured settings tailored for those particular activities. Any of the three will do, however, since the apps are so configurable.

Cyclemeter focuses heavily on making use of real time data to improve your workouts. It’s now more useful than ever and continues to be developed. You will be hard pressed to find a better app for outdoor exercise.