Runkeeper Pro 2.3 hands on

It’s the week for big releases. First, iOS4, then iPhone 4 and, then finally, the latest update to the Runkeeper Pro app.

The app reaches version 2.3 this week and the main feature is compatibility with iOS4 (including multitasking!). Many users of pre-release versions of the iPhone operating system have complained that the 2.2.X versions of Runkeeper don’t work with iOS. The Runkeeper team resolve this with the new release.

WARNING – Once you have installed iOS4, you will need to upgrade to RK 2.3 in order for the app to continue to operate properly.

This release also brings routes to the Pro app. If logged in, it’s possible to view a list of routes as defined at Runkeeper.com and then select one prior to commencing an activity.

List of routes

List of routes

Selected route with map and previous fastest times

Selected route with map and previous fastest times

The route is then presented on the activity map during the activity.

In addition, the 2.3 release makes sharing via Facebook and Twitter easier. Previously it was necessary to configure sharing settings via your account at Runkeeper.com. It’s now possible to do this directly within the app:

– via Facebook
– via Twitter

as shown below:

In app sharing settings

In app sharing settings

It’s also possible to set whether to share maps or whether to enable live tracking.

Finally, Runkeeper 2.3 enables users to add a post activity note once their activity is complete and for this note (or a truncated version) to form part of the activity stats post to Facebook/Twitter.

Post activity notes

Post activity notes

Overall, the update isn’t earth shattering. However, the Runkeeper team had to fix incompatibilities with iOS4 and have done this as well as add a couple of user-requested features.

The routes feature makes life a little easier in that it’s now possible to browse routes prior to an activity as well as automatically associating the selected route to the activity. However, for those hoping for one of the most requested features, ghost running, the app falls way short of providing this. It does prior the embryo for such a feature though and I, for one, hope we’ll see this in the next app version. With many competitor apps now providing ghost running in one form or another, Runkeeper must provide this to remain ahead of the pack.

One other thing that the inclusion of Routes shows is that Runkeeper are now supporting data syncing from your account at Runkeeper.com to your device. This should open up the opportunity for syncing back historic activities back to a ‘clean’ app install as well as the opportunity to manage training workout programmes online and have then sync’d back to the device. Hopefully these features are being considered.

In terms of improvements to the new features, here are a couple …

… For routes, the map needs to be larger so that the actual route can be seen properly. Also, the route description should be available along with the full route name.

For sharing, it should be possible to enable/disable the Facebook/Tweet associated with the start of a live tracked activity.

Other features that should be added include:

– target pace per interval
– shoe usage tracking

Today, many users will be eagerly awaiting the release of iPhone 4 with multi-tasking and improved GPS. Both features could make Runkeeper a real challenge to a GPS-enabled fitness device such as a Garmin 110/410 etc.

Also due for release in the next few days is Runkeeper’s new website nicknamed Kronos!

The Runkeeper team have announced that the Kronos website update should be available soon. Hopefully also this week.

Note that if you’re experiencing any problems with the latest RK update, it is recommended that you:

  • delete the app from your iPhone
  • delete the app from iTunes
  • reinstall the app via iTunes (you won’t need to pay again)
  • resync your iPhone with iTunes

Note that you’ll lose any activity history on the device but that’ll be safe in your account at Runkeeper.com

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