Treb's Running/Sports Apps Reviews

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by Trebuin, Oct 4, 2016.

  1. Trebuin, Oct 4, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2016

    Trebuin macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #1
    Hello all,
    As I'm constantly training to run, I'm building this series of threads to actually break down how different apps interact with the watch with features such as on watch GPS, pace, audio cues, and display. I currently have the series 2 and am very close to returning it due to the lack of audio cues to help me pace and not knowing what apps actually use GPS vs motion sensors for distance.

    definitions
    Onboard audio cues: App can provide pace, heartrate, time, and other information without connection to the watch
    Uses S2 GPS: short for uses the watch's built in GPS
    ***Note: if you use GPS, it will burn through your battery like a kid through candy***
    If it's not listed next to the app, I don't have the answer yet.

    no phone needed, but still testing:
    Workout (included /w Apple Watch): Functions without phone connection; no onboard audio cues
    Runkeeper: Functions without phone connection; no onboard audio cues; does not currently use S2 GPS, GPS start point can be significantly off until it gets locked on. Auto pause does not work.
    No phone needed and still testing:
    Nike+ RunClub: Can function without phone connection, does not have independent audio cues, gives only average pace, auto pause is currently not working correctly.
    Pear - Personal fitness coach: audio cues works. According to their support, it uses "triangulation." I've had issues with my bluetooth headphones receiving the cues at times.

    Currently does not function without phone connection-
    MapMyRun:
    Runtastic:
    Running (aka Weightless):
    RunGo:
    5K Runmeter:
    iSmoothRun Pro GPS: expect end of 2016
    Starve Running and Cycling GPS: appears to load, but everything runs on the phone
    Runtime:
    Runmeter:

    Haven't tested yet for anything:
    RunGap
     
  2. Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #2
    The Pear Sports app uses the Series 2 GPS and gives audio feedback without the phone. The only caveat is the audio feedback stops music playback and you can only restart it from the music app. They say they are working on that.
     
  3. gr4z macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2010
    Location:
    England
    #3
    I have use Runmeter for the last 5 or 6 years so am very interested in any progress here.
     
  4. chrixtopher macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2016
  5. cmbauer macrumors regular

    cmbauer

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2016
    #5
    irunsmooth is an awesome app. Audio cues you can customize and a great app for the watch
     
  6. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #6
    I'll encourage everyone to send the developers of their favorite apps a request for the features you want. Runkeeper responded to me saying they were caught off guard by the built in GPS but also loved the idea of an onboard audio cue so they forwarded that one. This thread will help show who has it first.
     
  7. wx4olf macrumors regular

    wx4olf

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2010
    #7
    Plus it's got a great workout builder function where you can build all kinds of interval workouts and then during the workout it tells you when to start/stop an interval, speed up/down, and other useful statistics. I do export all my workouts from irunsmooth to Strava for the social and logging aspects.
     
  8. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #8
    I finished with Strava and it does not work correctly without the phone connected.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 5, 2016 ---
    I also tried this iSmoothRun and it also needs the iPhone connected to start the run.

    The first fully functional app is Pear Sports. I'm sure more will fix their support and if I keep this up, I will update them as applicable.
    --- Post Merged, Oct 5, 2016 ---
    Thank you for bringing this up...this is the first app that I have seen with iPhone free audio cues!
     
  9. goat5570 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #9
    iSmoothrun said they hope to have the app working on the watch without the phone by the end of the year.
     
  10. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #10
    I could use more recommendations if anyone has more. Looking for Watch GPS and Watch Audio cues.
     
  11. goat5570 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    #11
    I don't think an app that does both exists. May have audio clues, but I think only the workout app uses the GPS on the watch. Most other apps are working on it.
     
  12. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    #12
    I currently use Runkeeper to track all of my runs. Since I received my Series 2 AW though I have been tracking in the Workout App and then using RunGap to transfer it to Runkeeper. It doesn't pull many metrics over though and no map is brought over. Would love a GPS and Audio Cue from the watch that integrates with Runkeeper!
     
  13. Bob190, Oct 11, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016

    Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #13
    I got this from one of the Pear support people too .. I find it hard (in fact impossible...) to believe since I have run in areas that would have no WIFI, but still had mapping with my Series 2 and no phone.

    Another support person said it does use GPS. Here is their response to a question I had:

    "Make sure you set your privacy settings to show "Always" show location for the PEAR app. That setting will allow the Apple Watch Series 2 to access the watch's GPS in stand alone mode and export it to the iPhone app when the workout is complete. If it is not set to "Always," then the watch will use steps to estimate distance, and may not be able to generate a map. If it does show a map, the data would be based on whatever information could be gathered from WiFi towers and hotspots."

    So I think it does use the GPS if you have the Series 2 .. if not, than it uses other methods. As a aside, I tried it with my Series 0 and got no mapping.
     
  14. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #14
    I'm going to do more digging because I actually think they do support GPS on the watch alone. I did a run Sunday at 2AM & cues didn't work. The start was off but after that, it shacked the track. I was also dodging sprinklers.
     

    Attached Files:

  15. Bob190, Oct 11, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2016

    Bob190 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 21, 2015
    #15
    The conspiracy theorist in me makes believe that they weren't supposed to release an app with Series 2 integrated GPS support just yet (per Apple prior to the big Nike Run Club update) and it somehow fell thru the cracks and now they are denying it has GPS.

    But the realist in me just believes the support person was just clueless. It is most certainly using the Series 2 GPS. There is no way WIFI triangulation could produce tracking this accurate. If Pear Sports cracked the code, DARPA would be buying them out. This map is from the Pear app.

    IMG_1085[1].PNG
     
  16. BlueMoon63 macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2015
    #16
    I believe the Nike + Watch was delayed so that Nike could get their integration to work and it will take advantage of the GPS without the phone. Just my gut.
     
  17. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #17
    Thanks for the map...There is no cell integration as it has no cell and I agree, wifi integration would only work if wifi is there...where I ran, there is no signal...it's the desert.

    I didn't think about Apple strangling GPS to give Nike the launch edge so as of now, I will not list it as "triangulation" to help the company out...but of course, we both agree otherwise. Thanks again for that map.
     
  18. avkam macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2014
    #18
    Not a running app, but Gymaholic runs fine with Apple Watch only and shows heart rate during exercise. Syncs to iCloud. Great app for AW.
     
  19. Trebuin thread starter macrumors 65816

    Trebuin

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2008
    Location:
    Okinawa, Japan
    #19
    Thanks, I will look into some gym apps soon. Personally, I use "Reps & Sets" but that has no apple watch functionality
     
  20. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    #20
    Not sure if you were part of the early OS3 beta threads, but there was quite a long one about location tracking *without* GPS with Apple Watch "series 0" i.e. the original Apple Watch. For the first two (or three?) betas of OS3, the original Apple Watch was fairly accurately tracking running, walking, and biking routes for users with the original Apple Watch. The little map would appear in the workout page in the Activity app once the data reached the phone.

    Most speculated that it was wifi triangulation in conjunction with the various motion sensors. By beta 3 or 4 Apple removed it. But it is possible, and was exciting there for a moment for those with AW0 :)
     
  21. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    #21
    I would be very curious to find out exactly how Apple (and possibly Pear) achieved this. I am not a developer so I don't know if this is even possible, but would someone be able to access the code from one of the early Watch OS 3 betas that did this on the AW0? I don't know if there would even be anything in there indicating how this was achieved. Again, not a developer so this might not be possible at all. Haha
     
  22. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    #22
    That's above my pay grade :)

    Here's the original thread. Starts off slowly (owed to confusion, mostly) but people really got into it, did all sorts of tests, etc. to try to figure out how it was working, before Apple pulled the plug on the functionality. My best guess is that the functionality is more or less a back up to GPS itself - another way to make sure the route tracking is as accurate as possible, but not *so* accurate that it could be released as a standalone feature. Plus, I might not upgrade to AW2 if my AW0 could do it!

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/native-route-tracking.1977951/
     
  23. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    #23
    Thanks for the link! Very interesting going back and reading some of those posts. Even one that mentioned a water droplet when the screen was locked! Very interesting how Apple sneaks the development of some new features into their betas for unreleased hardware. Also very interesting how accurate the non-GPS watches were!
     
  24. anthonymoody macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    #24
    No prob. And yup they're sneaky :) Probably either slipped through at first, or, they didn't think that people would sniff it out before they pulled the plug.
     
  25. Macaddict16 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2002
    #25
    Apple clearly underestimates the level of Apple enthusiasm here on MacRumors! Haha
     

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