RunKeeper for iPhone: a GPS-based Training Assistant

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
48,646
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Heirborn391

macrumors newbie
Jul 11, 2008
26
1
Sounds cool, but I wonder how accurate it really is, considering that the iPhone's GPS can't even give turn by turn directions... yet.
 

Small White Car

macrumors G4
Aug 29, 2006
10,906
1,186
Washington DC
Sounds cool, but I wonder how accurate it really is, considering that the iPhone's GPS can't even give turn by turn directions... yet.
I got the free app "Speed" that just shows you your speed.

It's only accurate above 15-20 mph, so I doubt this thing will show you your current speed as you walk.

BUT, I've found the GPS to be pretty accurate as to WHERE you are. It's just that it only updates every couple of seconds, so small changes in speed don't register, only big changes. This means that this excersize program should be able to tell you your average speed for the total walk or run.

It knows where you started and where you ended and how much time it took. Even though it can't say how fast you're going at this exact instant, it can give you an exact average by the end of the trip.

Note that I've never used this program. These are just my guesses based on how I've seen other apps use the GPS.
 

gyumilly

macrumors member
Oct 3, 2007
90
3
If you know the distance and the time, you can calculate the avg speed. the bar-to-bar speed might not be accurate, but the avg should be accurate as GPS does a great job to locate where you are. I think this is a pretty cool app. But since iPhone is not as light as ipod nano, I'm not sure how many will buy.
 

BVGuitarPlayer

macrumors regular
Jan 14, 2006
100
0
Ugh, I just had a nasty thought. The iPhone doesn't allow background apps from the AppStore. What does this mean for you? Means your iPhone's LCD will be on the whole time, and you'd better not hit that home or power button.
 

Diode

macrumors 68020
Apr 15, 2004
2,386
55
Washington DC
Ugh, I just had a nasty thought. The iPhone doesn't allow background apps from the AppStore. What does this mean for you? Means your iPhone's LCD will be on the whole time, and you'd better not hit that home or power button.
You can have the screen locked and still run a application. I know pandora works in this manner and I'm sure this app will too.
 

TheOrioles33

macrumors 6502
Apr 3, 2008
296
0
Ugh, I just had a nasty thought. The iPhone doesn't allow background apps from the AppStore. What does this mean for you? Means your iPhone's LCD will be on the whole time, and you'd better not hit that home or power button.
It also means you cant listen to tunes! :(
 

MrFrankly

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2006
110
0
One of the reason I wanted an iPhone was because I thought it would be good in combination with Nike+ (which I was sure would get an iPhone release). However, now that I got my iPhone, and played around with it, I realize that the device is simply too big to comfortably run around with. I'm not a small guy, about 6'5" and not exactly skinny, but I just can't see myself running around with the iPhone on my arm. Obviously the same goes for this program - which I am sure is well made, but the iPhone is just not for running in my opinion.

I'll just wait for the new iPod nano and purchase it especially as a running device.
 

TalkAboutApple

macrumors regular
Jun 6, 2008
103
8
No reason it shouldn't be extremely accurate. Turn-by-turn limitation has nothing to do with the GPS hardware.

My only concern is that, if you were listening to music, would you be able to use the music player's functions without quiting this app? So far it seems that all the apps, at least the ones I have, give up instantly when the home button is pressed.
 

jossshr

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2007
29
0
If you watch the video, it explains that you can listen to music while this is going. It automatically disables screen lock in order for the program to keep running. If you manually lock the screen then it pauses the route. I'm guessing the GPS only works if the screen is not locked.

Overall looks like a pretty good program, but I'm waiting for some reviews first. Also it says that battery life is only 3 hours while using the program (since both GPS and the screen are on always) so no marathons.
 

Scooterman1

macrumors 6502a
May 15, 2008
939
12
Houston, Tx
Sounds like a good app; but, Path Tracker looks great at only $.99 I grabbed that one before the price goes up..... just in case it does.
 

gilesrulz

macrumors member
Jun 17, 2008
70
1
That's a pretty unfortunate name.

also it seems like you could listen to music, because the ipod will operate in the background while you run other software, you'll just have to start the music first.
 

tys

macrumors 6502
Jan 3, 2008
371
61
Why can't apps run in the background? This ruins the GPS for me.
I've carried my iPhone while cycling for the last year and had high hopes for the new GPS to track my mileage. I've tried the iTrail app and the speed and location jump around quite a bit. I guess that, unlike the internet, the iphone's gps is a "watered down" version of gps. Still, it's reasonably accurate for total distance and average speed, but the problem is that I can't use the iPhone for anything else during my ride. If I get a call, want to listen to music, send a text, take a photo, check the weather radar, etc, I'll lose my data. Might as well have a separate gps or bike computer. Is there a real reason why a gps tracking app can't run in the background, or is it just an arbitrary limitation imposed by Apple?
 

bretm

macrumors 68000
Apr 12, 2002
1,951
27
One of the reason I wanted an iPhone was because I thought it would be good in combination with Nike+ (which I was sure would get an iPhone release). However, now that I got my iPhone, and played around with it, I realize that the device is simply too big to comfortably run around with. I'm not a small guy, about 6'5" and not exactly skinny, but I just can't see myself running around with the iPhone on my arm. Obviously the same goes for this program - which I am sure is well made, but the iPhone is just not for running in my opinion.

I'll just wait for the new iPod nano and purchase it especially as a running device.
That's funny. Considering we used to run with CD Players and Sony Walkman tape players. All of which were 3-4 times larger and heavier. Strap the iphone to your arm and there you go.

I have a big wrist gps called the forerunner. The first version. $99 at REI at the time. It does more than this app, but doesn't integrate with the web for a map of what you've done. I'd rather have the iPhone app for sure. Also, the forerunner needs a clear view of the satellites. It's GPS is probably small and simple like iPhone. Go in the woods and it gets real spotty.
 

happydude

macrumors 65816
Sep 2, 2006
1,056
418
a gasping dying planet
i just can't see myself running or biking with my iphone. if i have an ipod, i want it for music, with the iphone, i can't have this program running and listen to music.

basic problems
- iphone is too clunky to have it strapped to me during any running or biking
- can't manage ipod while this program is running

not worth it. i'll just stick to my good ol' stopwatch, known mileage routes, and my shuffle.
 

jossshr

macrumors newbie
Jun 18, 2007
29
0
You CAN listen to music with this program. Look at your settings for the home button. you can set it so when music is playing, you double click the home button and a little popup comes up to control the music regardless of the program (may not work for games with music, but haven't tried). Plus you can always use the control on the headphones while running

If anyone buys this, will you post a review?
 

bytethese

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2007
2,693
99
Wow, maybe I SHOULD buy the 3G...

This app would be awesome. I am training myself for speed at 1.5mi, this app would help. Would also be nice to know how far I went biking too. :)
 

Stephman

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2008
5
0
Runkeeper FAQ

Here's some info from the FAQ at
http://www.runkeeper.com/faq/

Can I listen to my music while using RunKeeper?


Yes, you will be able to listen to the iPod in the background while you run, as well as change songs. You will not, however, be able to use any third party apps like AOL Radio, as Apple prevents you from running two third party applications at once. This is a current limitation of the iPhone platform and something we hope Apple will address in the future. We recommend you start the iPod application before RunKeeper so that the music plays in the background. You will be able to change tracks by either double clicking the headphone button or double tapping the home button on the iPhone.


What happens if I exit out of RunKeeper while tracking my route?


Your route will be automatically be paused the moment you exit RunKeeper, and when you return, you will have the option to resume where you left off. Any distance accumulated while the application is paused is not added to your total distance.


What happens if I receive a call while I am running?


If you ignore the call or dismiss it, RunKeeper continues tracking. If you answer it, RunKeeper automatically pauses your route and you have the option to resume it when your call is completed.
 

Cubsfan

macrumors member
Jun 19, 2007
83
4
I bought it. Still not sure how much I'll like it. Only have done a couple of routes on my bike (plan to use it for running).


Good:
- GPS seems pretty accurate (on each bike ride, plotted me on the correct side of the street I was on)
- Interface is pretty good
- I like to have the web integration.

Bad:
- So far, can't export data.
- Website is pretty minimal. They should have lots of data, but it's not really accessible on the web. Only time/distance, and a plot of your route. No advanced graphs, etc...
- Doesn't seem to record (or at least expose) altitude data. This can be important for people who want to record what kind of elevation gain they're going over.


Still not sure if this will be my final running application. I'm hoping that it'll develop more in the coming weeks. To be honest, I'd have no problem using it if it could export the data so that, if I decided to change to something in the future I could take my data with me. Didn't use my headphones, but to me it really needs voice prompts like Nike+ has. I like to hear when I've hit a mile marker, 1/2 way, etc...

Not a bad buy for $10 anyway. Lots of potential here, but I think they need to develop a few features before it gains a lot of popularity.

If you have any questions let me know.
 

Nicky G

macrumors 6502a
Mar 24, 2002
881
338
Baltimore
This is so funny, I was just trail-jogging my regular route this past weekend, and was thinking someone ought to write an app. just like this! I am definitely going to nab it.
 
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