Leave your iPhone at home: Runkeeper’s new Apple Watch app tracks your stats alone

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Apple Watch’s operating system update, Watch OS 2 lets wearers break free of their phones and load apps right onto the device. Runkeeper took advantage of this new freedom by updating its mobile app. Now you don’t need to bring your phone along to track your runs — all you need is your Apple Watch and the latest version of the app.

The Runkeeper app on your Apple Watch will be able to keep track of your running metrics, such as distance run, speed, time, and heart rate. It’ll also track cycling, walking, yoga, and crossfit workouts — you can even switch between activities on the go. During your run, you can listen to music stored on your watch, and see what music motivates you the most with post-run analytics.

Obviously, being able to leave your phone behind is a huge bonus for Apple Watch wearers who use the app. Having to strap your phone into its usual holster or slip it in a pocket every time you go for a run is a real bummer. It also reduces your Apple Watch to little more than a remote control — one that costs $350+. The addition of support for native apps like Runkeeper is great, but it brings us to the unfortunate reality that, since Apple Watch doesn’t have GPS, it’s not quite up to the task of replacing your phone completely.

Along with speed, distance, and time, Runkeeper’s phone app shows a map of your route. Not so with the Apple Watch app. Since it doens’t have GPS, Runkeeper can’t show a map of the path you took or elevation data when you run without your phone. A few other features are also limited for the time being. Luckily, pace charting and split times will be coming to the Runkeeper’s Apple Watch app soon.

You can download the latest version of Runkeeper on the App Store.

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