Just moved from NRC to iSmoothRun - Quick Thoughts

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by ftaok, Nov 5, 2017.

  1. ftaok macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #1
    After 6 years of using NRC (and the previous versions all the way back to Nike+iPod), I've finally made the move. Nike users from the early days will recall how much more reliable the old apps were, but as they've added more and more features, they've sacrificed app stability. Plus the website has been a mess for a long time, but at least it isn't written in Flash anymore.

    I've been slowly migrating my Nike data to other locations over the last year using SmashRun and RunGap. Recent updates to wOS has also improved 3rd app integration to the Apple Health/Activity.

    What I've been looking for is a decent running app that has iPhone and AW apps that work together. I also wanted a developer that isn't interested in locking my data onto their servers. Lastly, I didn't want to deal with a subscription service for features that are included in NRC (so that eliminated endomondo).

    A little research lead me to iSmoothRun. It's a $5, one-time purchase. It has auto-export of run data to the services I use (Nike and SmashRun). It seems to be developed by runners and/or fitness folks. And most of all, the apps works seamlessly between the iPhone and AW.

    I went for my first run this morning. I had a little glitch in the beginning when I was starting off. It started/paused a few times as I think I was double hitting the buttons. Eventually, I got it going. The GPS accuracy is dead-on ... at least it's consistent with the distances I've gotten with NRC. The AW screen display is simple, clear and readable. Auto-pause will take a little getting used to and I've got it set to the lowest time (5 seconds), but I think the pauses were accounted for correctly.

    Post run, I didn't have any issues exporting the run to SmashRun. It just showed up. The export to Nike was a little more eventful. It took about 5 minutes for the run to show up on NRC (and Nike.com). The map, HR, splits, etc. all came over as expected and accurately. But then NRC (on the iPhone) crashed and it would re-open. Killing the app didn't help. Re-booting didn't help. I had to update the app to get it to reopen.

    After reopening and looking and adding info to the run, it crashed again. It took a delete, reinstall of NRC to get it back working.

    I figured out what was causing the problem. Changing the shoe assignment does something to the data that causes a discrepancy between the app data and the server (at least that's my theory) and prevents the app from opening. So the moral of the story is to not mess with the shoes after the run is imported. Kinda a pain, but iSmoothRun tracks shoe mileage, so it's not lost data.

    RunGap doesn't import data from iSmoothRun, but it can get data from Health and NRC. The data from Health doesn't include the map (which is consistent with NRC and I'm guessing other 3rd party apps), but Nike does. The only thing is that you have to wait for the run to import into Nike before RunGap can access it. I suspect that I won't have to rely on RunGap anymore for exporting data, but RunGap does have a nice feature that will compare runs that have the same GPS map so you can easily compare the pace between runs.

    Anyways, after one use, I think I'm fully ready to stop using NRC to record my runs, but I'll still use it to keep my data and badges. SmashRun will by my primary repository for data.

    Hope this is informative for others that are looking for other app options for running.
     
  2. Resqu2 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #2
    I like the ghost feature in ismoothrun and the intervals is great but I can’t use it on a certified High school track as it’s just not accurate on the distance at all. Any other apps are dead on .25 mile per lap but Ismooth is way way off. Now on my trail runs it’s dead on accurate but I got it for intervals on the track. I just went back to Runkeeper for everything and a stopwatch for track intervals.
     
  3. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #3
    I'm in a similar situation as you have been - extremely frustrated with the Nike system. If I could just use the build in app on the watch and export to Nike I would stay, but that doesn't seem to be the case. It's just too damn buggy and has been for a long time.

    I have a ongoing challenge with a friend on the Nike system that really keeps motivation on a high level, so I will need to persuade him to switch systems as well.. Going to take a good effort I think... I have thought about Strava - Sounds like a lot of people love it and the TomTom watch he has supports that as well.
     
  4. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #4
    Hmm, that's weird. I would think that all apps should be close to each other on distance. Maybe iSR is doing something with the data that messes up the distance.

    As for the ghost run feature, I can't wait to use it. The time I put in yesterday was pretty good, but I'll see if I can beat it next time.

    I think there is a workaround for using Nike and the built-in AW apps. It involves RunGap to be able to export the AW-Workout run data and then importing into NRC via a website.

    https://www.awsmithson.com/tcx2nikeplus/

    I confirmed that the above website can upload GPX files and everything comes over. Here's a snapshot of the run I did yesterday on iSR. Initially, iSR uploaded the run to Nike automatically, but stupidly, I deleted the run from the Nike website by accident. So I uploaded the GPX file using the tcx2nike site and it came back.

    Capture.PNG
     
  5. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2005
    #5
    I've used iSmoothRun for a long time now and overall it's the best running app. Lately however I've been using the native Workout app as it has a few advantages over iSmoothRun. First, it allows you to press the side buttons simultaneously to pause/resume a run. I don't use auto-pause on iSmoothRun (as in my experience auto-pause gets triggered accidentally at times in the heavily wooded areas I tend to run) and this is a big improvement over the on-screen presses iSmoothRun requires. The developer responded positively to my request for him to add this feature, however. The bigger issue I have at the moment with iSmoothRun is how it handles the data transfer from the Watch to the app. When you end your run on the Watch you get no confirmation the run has been saved. You don't get an immediate re-cap, and it doesn't immediately show up in the weekly stats it displays. You have to manually open the app on the phone to get it to transfer, and in my experience it doesn't do that transparently or reliably. So far it has always done it eventually, but sometimes it requires a bunch of fiddling on my end. With the phone app this all happens automatically including the export to 3rd parties, but on the stand-alone Watch app much of this remains unfinished.

    I presume these issues will be fixed soon and at that point I expect to switch back.
     
  6. xDKP macrumors 65816

    xDKP

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Location:
    Denmark
    #6
    Actually very interesting - might take a closer look - Should be a lot easier though
     
  7. smack090 macrumors newbie

    smack090

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    #7
    well this thread is the closest i think i'll be.

    I've been running with AW 4, for about 2 months. Read and saw everything about ismoothrun before i got it and was impressed at first. But a few runs in i found out that the gps tracker is ****. The distance is accurate, but the gps tracking is way off.
    I can't use it for my segment runs for strava, cause it's never hits the right spot for the gps tracking. Last time i had to do intervalls at the same segment to even record 1 or 2.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Location:
    Scotland
    #8
    I don't believe that the app itself is at fault here. I believe that the Watch itself deals with the GPS data and that the apps can access it. But my understanding is that the apps themselves do not get a say over the GPS data. So your run would look identical in any app. Perhaps @cfc can confirm this.

    I've had similar issues with Strava segments not getting picked up due to inaccurate GPS, but that's down to the Watch. I have no reference to compare the accuracy of the Watch too. I don't know if Garmins are any better or what.

    Map below. I was doing intervals up a cliff path (shown in yellow). You can see how far off it was. Capture.PNG
     
  9. smack090 macrumors newbie

    smack090

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    #9

    Well i thought about that to. It should be the same data. Apple workout app is within the line almost every run. (sure it does cut some corners. But as soon as i switch to ismoothrun it's inconsistent. always run without my phone so it's the watch own gps collecting.
    Can it be that apple doesn't feed all the metrics to third party apps?

    I've measured the clock on several runs against polar watches and garmin watches and during a 10km seeding race, and during a half marathon amongst the runs.

    1.Strava is consistent to drop meters during the run. Result on 10 seeding race was about 9.8km (dropped 200m during 10k) witch disappointed me, cause i didn't ge the PR for 10km.
    2.Apple workout is spot on during a run in pace. But it records a couple of meters extra. half marathon ended up being recorded as 21.45km so additional 300m over 21km. Sucks the other way, cause you don't get the right split times and pacing to view afterwords.
    3. Ismoothrun have i found that it's the most accurate for distans, don't know about the pacing.
    But the lack of gps tracking is a big NO NO, since it's a big part of strava cummunity an so on.
    i do love the app for the programming off runs and other choices and i would love to use it more frequent.
    Going to try ismoothrun vs apple workout tomorrow morning. one on the phone and one on the watch.
     
  10. ftaok thread starter macrumors 603

    ftaok

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2002
    Location:
    East Coast
    #10
    In theory, when you use the Workout app on the AW, it will use the GPS on the iPhone. By default, if you use iSR on the iPhone, it will use the GPS of the iPhone.

    Therefore, both runs should use the same exact data and this will give you the best representation of how each app uses the data.

    ... in theory.

    Good luck!
     
  11. Akrapovic macrumors 6502

    Akrapovic

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Location:
    Scotland
    #11
    I do not believe that is the case. If you have an Apple Watch with GPS then it will use the Watch, not the phone.
     
  12. smack090 macrumors newbie

    smack090

    Joined:
    May 27, 2019
    #12
    It didn’t use the same data, since I turned on airplane mode on the phone and used the aw own LTE and GPS.
    The phone did record the run even in airplane mode and gave me all the info I needed afterwards. :)
    Hadn’t got the chance to fairly compare the runs yet.
     

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11 November 5, 2017