The best reason to buy an Apple Watch Series 2 is so you can track workouts without carrying on iPhone. The watch’s native Workout app logs runs, swims, and bike rides with help from built-in GPS, but if you’ve been tracking exercise with a third-party app for years, switching is a pain. Runkeeper just updated its watch app with support for the Series 2 so you can log your runs, no iPhone required.
Runkeeper’s Apple Watch app was already one of our favorite fitness apps. I’ve been using a beta version of Runkeeper’s Series 2 app for the past few days, and it’s better than ever. The app lets you choose to use it without a phone (in which case it taps into the watch’s GPS) or with in its settings. If you’re running sans iPhone, the app shows you how strong the GPS signal is so you’ll know how accurate the route calculation will be. I run outside on Brooklyn sidewalks and through Brooklyn parks and found Runkeeper’s data to be spot-on. If you go for a run without your phone, the app syncs the route to the iOS app after you’re done.
The upgraded app also displays your data in a new way, with a heart rate graph plotting your pulse over a 5-minute span to show you how intense your workout is. There’s also a target pace graph so you can see your actual pace plotted against where your pace should be. The watch app vibrates with haptic feedback when you hit each mile.
Runkeeper’s app is HealthKit-compatible, and workouts completed with the watch app count toward your activity goals. If you’re already a Runkeeper user, upgrading is a no-brainer. If you’ve never used Runkeeper before, this version could persuade you to abandon the watch’s native Workout app.