Mate Hegyhati

So I've just uninstalled RunKeeper today. Here is why...

My friends know, that I am a huge supporter of RunKeeper: I've convinced many of my friends to use the app (or the database), observe their activities, comment on their achievements, I also wrote articles on their blog, and even supervise IT diploma works related to RunKeeper. Still, I decided to uninstall the app today. 

Our story started in March, 2013, when I decided to bring back some sport to my life. After a couple of years of break, I was really happy to find RunKeeper. Previously I had to manually edit my tracks to know how much I ran on Gmap-pedometer. These stone-age times were over, and I was off to my first morning run, where I immediately encountered some nice guys in the forest:


The audio-cue feature surprised me as well, and scared the deers away, but it was ok, I met them again a couple of kilometers later :-)

Anyhow, first I just used RK to track my runs, and later bike rides, skates, etc. Then, when I was in Morocco in the winter of 2014, I decided to manually enter my daily walks as well. As the time passed, I became more and more "professional" with the features of RK, and used it extensively in many different situations for almost 3 years. By extensively, I mean more than 1800 activities:


And I was happy with RunKeeper. It was not the ultimate flawless app I was longing for, but for me, it was still the best app on the market. In the beginning I was thinking about using Endomondo too, but RK won with its simple design, more serious attitude, and public API. When I bought my Pebble, using the app became even more comfortable. 

So what happened then?

Basically two things:

First of all, I bought a Garmin. Yeah... If You do sports so frequently, it is a reasonable investment. So now, I only use my Fenix 2 to track my runs, rides, swims, etc.

Secondly, I was a bit disappointed with the direction the application was developed. I wouldn't say it was a bad decision. I only mean, that the new features did not make me happier, and in many cases just more unsatisfied. So it is only a personal opinion. I know things like mandarin version, and good branding are important, but I don't care about that. I wanted to see new features and bugfixes

What I wanted to see:
  • gear tracking (afaik now available, but only o nmobile, not on the web interface)
  • normal interface for sleep tracking
  • fixed autopause / route problem (see the link above)
  • customizable Pebble interface
  • activity search
  • calendar view
  • daily step integration
  • fartlek workout sync
  • customizable audio cues
  • manuall adding of photos on the web interface
  • etc.
What we got:
  • New brand
  • Breeze (now dead)
  • New design
  • Stopwatch mode 
  • minimap view in activity list (rendering the activity list totally useless)
  • ranking of workout
  • another new brand
  • etc.
And again, I am not saying, these are bad developements, just not my taste. Also, I mostly don't use the application to check my stats, or view friends activities. I do that on my computer. What I want is a simple, lightweight tracker. But RunKeeper became a huge memory and storage eater. See the copmarison with AeroTracker Pro:




I know, the latter one is very simple, no audio cues, no photos, but that is kind of what I need. It works, it is fast, and does not load a lot of unnecessary things. Not the mention the customizable Pebble interface. 

So that's it, is it a final break up?

Definitely not. With all of its problems, Healthgraph is still one of the best databases for activities. Also, the RunKeeper web interface is pretty neat, I especially like the manual track editing feature. So I still use the RunKeeper database and Web interface. Everything I track with my Garmin is synced to RK with tapiriik, and that's my main database (although I sync everything to Strava and Garmin Connect too).

That's it, sorry for the long post, here is a running potato:

So, what about You? Which application, gadget do You prefer? Let us know in the comments!


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Mate Hegyhati

About Mate Hegyhati

Amateur fun runner, geek, hiker.