Health and fitness apps are a great fit for Android Wear smartwatches and two of the first out in the wild are the popular running apps from Runtastic and Runkeeper. Runtastic – in free and Pro versions – is available this very second in the Google Play Store with Android Wear support while Runkeeper seems to be in a more staggered rollout.

Runtastic was present at Google I/O so their plans to launch on Google's wearable platform were no secret. Now the doors have been officially opened, anyone who already has an LG G Watch or Samsung Gear Live on their wrists can download and take it for a run. Here's the top line on the Runtastic Android Wear application:

  • Start a run or bike session via voice command
  • Read your favorite stats from your wrist
  • Display your post-workout session details, including maps, on Android Wear

Runkeeper isn't showing an updated changelog yet, but if you're one of the lucky ones be sure to hit us up in the comments and tell us what's what. Download both apps at the links below.

Download: Runtastic, Runtastic Pro, Runkeeper


Reader comments

Runtastic and Runkeeper let loose their Android Wear apps


Excuse the ignorance, but do you still need your phone with you if you go for a run with these apps and an android wear watch?

Yeah I know, I just wondered if the watches had any kind of gps sensor built in. Would have been nice just to have the watch strapped to the wrist with no phone!


The Motoactv did it , no reliance on the phone. It connects to the phone via blue tooth for receiving messages and taking calls but you could still run or ride without the phone, and would sync once you got back. I still have use mine for that reason alone.

Exactly. I still use my MOTOACTV for running for exactly this reason and won't switch to an Android Wear for running if I have to take my phone with me.

You don't NEED GPS to get a pretty accurate approximation of speed, pace, or distance traveler... It can be accomplished with cheaper and less battery intensive sensors, just look at the vast majority of ~$100 fitness trackers. Whether these watches lack those sensors or not I can't say, but they all advertise a step counter...

Now if you want more precise tracking and/or route tracking then yeah, you need GPS. I don't think the average runner needs it tho... Wear does seem to be designed to depend on the phone for the most part tho but I'm sure that'll shift a little with time.

I am glad you asked this.

The reason I'd buy a smartwatch would be to run without my phone and then be able to sync data and music with my phone before/after a run.

Without that functionality, I don't see what value there is in having to take both my smartwatch and phone, especially when the apps give me audio readouts of my pace and distance negating the need to look at my phone.

I guess changing playlists/music can be difficult, but I tend to stick to the same playlist anyway.

The limitation is on the battery life, I honestly don't think it's possible to built a normal size smart watch and still take a hour run with GPS on, not with our current battery tech.
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The MOTOACTV isn't too much larger than the Moto360 and can do a marathon while listening to music via bluetooth with battery tech that was 3 years ago. I think it's possible.


Same challenge I look at, and as I don't normally where a watch (been ~8 years), I'm not seeing a value add for my lifestyle.
Glad it will work for others, of course.

You can do that with a $50 Fitbit Zip, won't show you GPS route if that's what you really want (I don't think any of the $100-150 fitness trackers do either) but it'll report distance/pace/time and syncs really easy after you're done. I got one just to try it out while I waited for Wear and decided to keep it for running, I'm still interested in Wear but not for the exercise aspect...

Wearing a fancy watch with a leather strap on long runs wouldn't be my first choice for an optimal form factor anyway. Down the road we might see a split in the market and more exercise focused watches, definitely doesn't seem to be the focus right now tho. There's a hole in the market there for sure....

Edit: Obviously the cheaper fitness trackers don't do music, but that's what my $30 SanDisk Clip Zip is for. Sounds better than most phones, has expandable storage (not that I use it), and it's cheap and lightweight enough that I don't care about trashing it or having to take two devices. Each Zip clips on one side of my shorts and is easily forgotten, more so than any phone/large watch.

If I were gonna run a marathon or I ran farther from home I'd probably want my phone on me tho, possibly hidden away in something like a Flipbelt (I've grown to despise arm bands that slip and disintegrate in months), which would have me looking at a Wear watch for easier access to music controls etc. There isn't a perfect fit-all solution obviously.

Checking my current pace with a glance/swipe at my wrist with RunKeeper would be the whole reason for smart watches for me. I hope that functionality is included in the new update.

This is awesome that so many apps are already releasing Wear component apps ahead of the official 7/7 release.

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How about the built-in heart rate monitor? Will it consistently be on and functional while running?

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I have contacted Runtastic several times with no response. I am an Runtastic Pro Gold member. It DOES NOT WORK. There is 0 information in their knowledge base for Android Wear. No instructions, voice commands, nothing can be found anywhere. Nothing happens when the app is opened and watch is synced, though the current app and update advertise it works with Android Wear. It does not.

There are problems with Android Wear and paidapps. There is also a workaround. I wonder if Runtastic devs ever read this
BTW - I'm Pro owner and it doesn't work for me as well