Runkeeper is killing its Wear OS app

What you need to know

  • Runkeeper will end support for its Wear OS app starting with version 9.13 of the app.
  • The app is being canned due to bugs, difficulty to maintain, and only a small portion of the community using it.
  • This is another sign Wear OS is struggling as a platform, and according to recent sales data, it has only a tiny fraction of the wearables market.

Recently, the popular fitness app Runkeeper (opens in new tab) began sending out emails that it is ending support for its Wear OS app. The app, which is developed by ASICS, helps you track running, walking, biking, and more with GPS.

Unfortunately, if you were hoping to track your workouts with a Wear OS watch, that option will no longer be available as of version 9.13 of the app. The email informing users of the untimely demise was recently posted by a Reddit use and reads:

Dear runner,Because you use the ASICS Runkeeper™ app on a Wear OS by Google device, we're writing to share some important news. As of app version 9.13 (coming your way in the next few weeks), the Runkeeper app will no longer be available on Wear OS by Google devices.We know this is disappointing, and we're sorry to have to make this change. Our team has been hard at work building innovative and high-impact training tools designed to keep Runkeeper users moving. We want to provide the best tracking experience possible to everyone who uses the Runkeeper app, and we're just not able to offer it on Wear OS by Google at this time.We are truly sorry for any trouble this change may cause in your experience using the Runkeeper app, and hope that you will continue to enjoy the app as usual on your Android phone. Feel free to reach out to support@runkeeper.com with any questions.Thanks,The Runkeeper team

As the email states, you can reach out with any questions, and Reddit user MyStuffBreaks did just that. In response, the Runkeeper support team further elaborated on the reasons for killing off the Wear OS app.

We decided to cease support for Android Wear because the integration didn't work well/work consistently for most users. It was a very buggy experience and difficult for us to maintain and fix. Additionally, a very small portion of the Runkeeper community actually used it.Because we're a small team with limited resources, and having done our research, we ultimately concluded that trying to maintain a partnership that wasn't working well would not be good practice for us. We hope you can understand.We offer sincere apologies for the disappointment.

As disappointing as it is for a popular fitness app to end support for the Wear OS platform, it's difficult to argue with ASICS' reasoning. Even with Runkeeper boasting "50 million users and counting", if the majority of your users aren't using the Wear OS app, there isn't much use of pouring more resources into it.

It's just another example of the sad state the Wear OS platform is in overall. Even the most recent data from Canalys painted a pretty dismal picture for the second quarter, where the most popular Wear OS brand, Fossil, only snagged 4.1% of the market.

With the recent release of the Gen 5 Fossil watches, it's possible we could see an uptick in the third quarter, but I won't be holding my breath. As for all you Wear OS fans looking to track your runs, it appears you'll have to switch to another app soon or start bringing your phone if you want to stick with Runkeeper.

3 Comments
  • I jumped to Android when my Windows Phone died, first thing I did was get a wear OS smartwatch to get used to the whole ecosystem. I feel like I'm back on a Windows Phone..
  • I'm a former WP user as well. The Gear S3, although a couple years old now, software updates have kept it as a formidable contender. The writing has been on the wall for Wear OS for some time now. There really is no need to have a Wear OS device to "learn Android". There are plenty of Galaxy watches that offer a variety of sports tracking. I think you'll be pleased with any of them.
  • As one of the people who actually used the RunKeeper WearOS app, I support this decision. First I changed to a Samsung Galaxy Watch a few months ago and have never looked back. This thing runs great, sips battery, and has a good app ecosystem. I've in fact been using the Strava app on it for running and hiking, and not only is it better than RunKeeper on WearOS, it's better than Strava on WearOS. I wish all these apps were more configurable (I'd like the stats that it displays on the watch to be selectable) but the Galaxy Watch and Strava have been working well together. Runkeeper on WearOS always had issues, and while support tried to be helpful, there wasn't much they could do. Oh well.