I could (and maybe I
will) write a long post about why I chose RunKeeper as my (main)
tracker application, and health database. I made this decision for
over two years now, and I still believe that RunKeeper
and its HealthGraph
is the most suited to me (although sometimes I use other compatible
apps for tracking such as AeroTrackerPro
This being said, there
are quiet a few features I miss, and bugs that annoys me. I present
a 6 item top list of them below, but please, keep in mind, that
despite the seemingly negative attitude, the purpose of this article
is to provide constructive ideas, suggestions. And why 6 not 5 or 10?
Because 6 is perfect.
#6 Fixed colors for activity types
Ok, this is a silly
one, just to kick of the list. I am obsessed with checking my stats
on the web interface of RunKeeper. If I see, that the column is not
high enough, it urges me to go out for a run, bicycle ride, or
something. You must always try to outperform the last month. Always.
The only thing that
annoys me is the color selection for the different type of activities
in the chart. The colors depend on the types of Your last activities.
The type of Your last activity will get green, the second last will
be yellow, etc. This is true for the order of the types as well. I
can understand the underlying idea, that the colors green, yellow,
and red should be used the most, but I would prefer a more consistent
chart. Implementing a chart that uses the same order and same colors
all the time would actually be much simpler too. Personalizing it
(colors, order of types) is not a must, but it would also be nice.
#5: Activity search!
Still just something that is not a must have feature, but it would
be very nice to have sometimes. Time to time I want to show an
earlier activity of mine to somebody else, or just look it up for
myself. The reason could be the route of the activity, the photos I
took abroad, comparison with an other activity, etc.
However, the only possible way of doing this at the moment is to
remember the exact date (or at least the month and the distance), as
RunKeeper does not provide any search functionality on their web
interface. RunKeeper folk, I would really love to be able to make
searches like this, so please make them happen:
#4: Auto-pause done right
is the first serious issue, that also affects “performance” not
just the comfort. Auto
seems to be a nice feature if You don't have a
, and You like to stash Your phone away during exercise,
but have a lot of stops due to traffic lights, water taps, etc. The
feature is simple, when You stop moving, the activity is paused, and
it is resumed when You start again. So far, so good. If You have ever
used this feature, You know that the audio cues for auto-pause are
being played a few seconds after the actual stop or restart. In my
opinion, this is acceptable, as RunKeeper, and all the other tracking
apps try to save battery by sparse GPS sampling, thus they definitely
need this time in order to make sure, You really stopped.
What I don't understand however, is why the track
looks something like this:
I believe, that when the app makes sure, that one
has resumed to running, it should include the GPS coordinates of the
stop as the starting point of the new section.
This little tweak would provide a much nicer and much more accurate
track after the run, and it would need only a few lines of code to be
implemented. Also, instead of
having e.g. landscape and portrait mode selection during an exercise,
it would be much more useful to be able to toggle auto-pause mode.
#3 Audio cue profiles
can be helpful or annoying, depending on the actual
activity You are doing. It is rather important, if You are having a
serious training session, but pretty much disturbing in case of
having a fun run with others. Moreover, one probably needs rather
different information during different types of activities: knowing
the split and average pace during running after each 5 minutes is a
nice thing to do, but it is meaningless in case of a 100 km bike
ride. In the latter case one may be interested in the split and
average speed after each 5 km or so.
Changing the audio cue settings in RunKeeper is
rather cumbersome, and I usually just mute my phone as a workaround
whenever I don't want to hear them. Especially, because this setting
can not be changed during an exercise. It would be really nice to be
able to create different audio cue profiles, and one could select the
most suited one before (and maybe during) an exercise the same way as
routes and workouts are selected.
#2: Routes made (more) meaningful
provide a nice tool for the comparing the performance on different
occasions with the same track. From the social point of view, one can
take routes from others, modify them, which can be helpful when
running at an unfamiliar place. Voting on routes could further
improve this feature, however, a much more important benefit of this
feature is available inherently: You can plan a track beforehand on
the map using the web interface, and follow it during the run. This
could be especially helpful if You are having a vacation in an other
I try to use this
feature plenty of times, but there is a very annoying
bug/misbehaviour to that: whenever I zoom to my current location on
the map view to find out, in which direction I should go, the view
does not remain put, it immediately zooms out when the next GPS
position is evaluated, so that the whole route should be visible.
Personally, I see no point to that, but it makes getting the
directions very troublesome. Also, having navigation in audio cues
like “take the next turn left on whatever avenue” would be
awesome, but maybe a bit overkill, and definitely a big job to
implement. However, it does not seem to be very complicated to give
an (optional) beep, whenever the user leaves the predefined route
farther than a threshold value.
I believe that many of You will
agree with me, that gear tracking is the most needed new feature for
runners. It doesn't matter if You run 100k a week in 3 different
shoes, or go out occasionally in the same one, it is always
important to have a rough idea, how much our shoes have been used so
far. Gears should be assigned to activities in the same way routes
or workouts are.
This is rather simple to implement and it could be beneficial for
skaters, cyclists, swimmers too. I would be very interested for
example, how many kilometers my skate wheels can endure, how many
times I've used (and washed) a certain pair of compression socks,
Do You agree with my
list? What else would You include? Let me know in comments
And as always: thanks
for reading, +1s and shares are appreciated.