RunKeeper for iPhone: a GPS-based Training Assistant

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Podophile notes that RunKeeper [App Store], a $9.99 training assistant, has been posted to the App Store. RunKeeper allows you to track your running or biking by keeping GPS track of:
    Due to the GPS requirement, the app will only work on the 3G iPhone. A video demo is available from the developers.

    Article Link
  2. Heirborn391 macrumors newbie

    Jul 11, 2008
    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.
  3. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
    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.
  4. mtor82 macrumors newbie


    Jun 15, 2008
    wow i have to say this is actually a pretty good app. I'd buy it if i jogged a lot. :(
  5. gyumilly macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    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.
  6. BVGuitarPlayer macrumors regular

    Jan 14, 2006
    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.
  7. Diode macrumors 68020


    Apr 15, 2004
    Washington DC
    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.
  8. TheOrioles33 macrumors 6502

    Apr 3, 2008
    It also means you cant listen to tunes! :(
  9. MrFrankly macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2006
    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.
  10. TalkAboutApple macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2008
    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.
  11. Santa Rosa macrumors 65816

    Santa Rosa

    Aug 22, 2007
    That is what I read the first time round!! :rolleyes: was like WTH lol :)
  12. jossshr macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    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.
  13. Scooterman1 macrumors 6502a


    May 15, 2008
    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.
  14. gilesrulz macrumors member

    Jun 17, 2008
    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.
  15. tys macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    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?
  16. bretm macrumors 68000

    Apr 12, 2002
    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.
  17. dwman macrumors 6502


    Nov 15, 2007
    San Francisco
    The background apps issue is supposed to be fixed with the 2.1 update sometime next month.
  18. happydude macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2006
    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.
  19. jossshr macrumors newbie

    Jun 18, 2007
    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?
  20. twoodcc macrumors P6


    Feb 3, 2005
    Right side of wrong
    this app does look nice, but i'm waiting on nike+ compatibility
  21. bytethese macrumors 68030


    Jun 20, 2007
    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. :)
  22. Stephman macrumors newbie

    Jul 21, 2008
    Runkeeper FAQ

    Here's some info from the FAQ at

    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.
  23. Cubsfan macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2007
    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).

    - 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.

    - 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.
  24. ogdogg macrumors 6502

    Jun 26, 2008
  25. Nicky G macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC
    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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