Runkeeper's new native Apple Watch app tracks runs without iPhone

in Apple Watch edited October 2015
The team behind popular fitness app Runkeeper on Thursday launched a hotly anticipated native Apple Watch companion app that lets users track runs without lugging around a paired iPhone.

The all new Runkeeper app for Apple Watch has been completely rebuilt from the ground up to support a bevy of new features that capitalize on the strengths of watchOS 2, one of the most important being untethered operation. Being a truly native app, Runkeeper grants Apple Watch users access to performance data, tracking tools and software options previously restricted to iPhone.

The latest version also taps into Apple Watch's heart rate sensor to deliver measurements while on a run or plotted out on a post-workout summary chart. Users can change the type of fitness activity directly on Watch, while a UI tweak pauses runs with a quick Force Touch or right swipe gesture.

After a run, users can query Runkeeper's music analytics function to break down exercise playlists by pace per song. The feature is compatible with iTunes, Spotify and Runkeeper DJ.

Untethering does have its drawbacks, however, as the app is unable to tap iPhone's GPS module for mapping out a run's route in the activity summary. Split times and pace charts are also deactivated when running without an iPhone, though post-workout summaries do provide detailed accounts of average run distance and duration.

Runkeeper version 6.2 requires watchOS 2 and is available now from the iOS App Store.


  • Reply 1 of 11
    latifbplatifbp Posts: 544member
    I guess there aren't many runners on this site...
  • Reply 2 of 11

    Originally Posted by latifbp View Post

    I guess there aren't many runners on this site...



    But now that you mentioned it, all of the "runners" will come out in full force and comment.


    ....or not.

  • Reply 3 of 11
    knowitallknowitall Posts: 1,648member
    So, this wasn't running.
  • Reply 4 of 11
    ecatsecats Posts: 272member
    As a person who uses heart rate tracking during workouts, I'm pretty happy to see alternatives coming about. Apple's is ok, but for whatever reason it's got a very sluggish operation, only made worse if you decide to also use the watch for music playback.
  • Reply 5 of 11
    multimediamultimedia Posts: 1,037member
    This app is Crap. Tried it today on my 16 mile bike circuit and more than half way through it stopped working, when I tried to start it again, it started REPEATING a "zero miles in zero minutes" speech by the voice coach until I had to force quit the app on my iPhone 6s Plus and return to Runtastic Pro for the remainder of my circuit. And happy to report that Runtastic Pro runs on the ?WATCH without the app open on the iPhone.????????

    Meanwhile in other ?WATCH exercise news, the Apple Exercise app has been destroyed by Apple in watchOS 2. It fails to pause for any significant length of time. Plus it spontaneously ENDS in the middle of a bike ride without a Resume option - only the option to Save or Discard.

    The whole exercise app scene - at least for cyclists like me - was wrecked ever since the release of watchOS 2. Can't find anything working correctly any more.????
  • Reply 6 of 11
    Runner here - 10k at least 5 times a week... I rely heavily on both Runkeeper and Runmeter for my workouts (one does miles, one does km)

    Whats not clear is if I can continue to use just the iOS App on my iPhone and read heart rate data on the fly. Runtastic requires you to start the workout from the watch (which bugs me).

    It does mention it can read from healthkit so I assume it can at least get data after the fact (better than nothing) but to be able to ditch my bluetooth heart rate strap was one of the huge factors in getting this watch. I would be nice if I could finally do so.

    Too bad I saw this after today's run as I'm guessing I'm going to have to figure this out on my own... Runkeeper doesn't monitor social media and/or answer questions.
  • Reply 7 of 11

    Okay well that's actually a reason why I should perhaps consider an Apple Watch after all, I do like Runkeeper on my phone. I'm getting some kind of running watch before the end of this year. But do you guys really feel that Apple Watch is that much better than the other watches out there specifically made for running? For example looking at these ones: They seem to have GPS tracking, barometers, compasses and altimeters etc, just like Apple Watch/Runnerkeeper. What is the reason for actually choosing the Apple Watch instead of them, when frankly it is a lot more expensive? 

  • Reply 8 of 11
    My issue with Runmeter so far is that it can't track heart rate using Apple Watch - I still have to use a chest strap. Allegedly that feature is coming soon... but for now the watch just provides a quick glance for info and basic controls.
  • Reply 9 of 11



    Good to see the Apple watch going this route - will make Garmin watches much cheaper to compete. Good to see Run Keeper be the first.


    But seriously, if you're not using Strava yet, then start! Strava's the best - end of story. It's segments feature basically changed my life. Any Apple person should find Strava appealing.


    Cyclists almost exclusively use Strava - but runners haven't quite caught on to Strava yet.  You should too!

  • Reply 10 of 11
    I’m not sure why anyone would trade in GPS-tracked runs for what’s, like the Nike+ before it, a glofified pedometer. And with decent GPS watches for $100 or so, I think the money, for a semi-serious runner, is *much* better spent elsewhere. Just run with your phone.

    Or am I missing something about this watch app?

    Until the Apple watch has a GPS, it's not a runner's watch. It’s, at best, a runner's phone accessory.
  • Reply 11 of 11
    multimediamultimedia Posts: 1,037member
    Runtastic Pro also runs natively without the app open on the iPhone. I am happy to report it works perfectly now.??????????????
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