Runkeeper releases standalone Apple Watch app

I'm a fan of Runkeeper, even though I don't run -- I walk. But it's a perfect app for capturing the details of any of those sort of activities, providing stats on your distance, duration, and -- on the iPhone app -- even a track of your most recent run or walk. I've used the Runkeeper Watch companion app for a while just to launch the iPhone app, but today the company introduced a completely redesigned Watch app that works as a standalone.

Yes, that means that you can leave your iPhone at home now when you go out for a run. When you launch the app, you get a big "Start" button to push to begin your activity. While running, hiking, or walking, Runkeeper's Watch app now provides you with your heart rate and also sends the heart rate information to the activity summary screen on your iPhone.

If you start running and get winded, and decide to change to a walk, you can change the activity type on the Watch. When you're done with your activity, the app provides a succinct summary of the distance, duration, average pace and your average heart rate. 

The Runkeeper folks want you to run (or walk) a few times with both the iPhone and Watch so that the app can be calibrated to your stride and pace. In the midst of a run when you get stuck at a stoplight? No problem -- just do a swipe right or (even better) Force Touch to pause. 

Since your Watch doesn't have built-in GPS and you're going to be leaving your iPhone at home, you will not have a map on your Runkeeper activity summary. If that's important to you, then you'll probably want to keep taking the iPhone with you on your exercise jaunts.

Finally, would you believe that the Watch app provides music analytics? What that means is that it gives you a summary of your running playlist after your activity is completed showing your pace per song. That way you can prove to your running mates that listening to certain songs speeds you up!

To get the new Runkeeper app up and running (pun!) on your Watch, be sure to upgrade to watchOS 2.0.1 and download the Runkeeper 6.2 update onto your paired iPhone.