Runkeeper iPhone App Review

Pricey Runkeeper Pro Morphs into Free Runkeeper App

Photo of the RunKeeper app on two phones
N i c o l a / Flickr /CC BY 2.0

FitnessKeeper's original Runkeeper Pro, a paid app, morphed into Runkeeper, a free version that offers in-app purchases. Runkeeper is one of the most popular fitness downloads in the App Store, and one of the best running apps available. The app uses the GPS built into the iPhone and other iOS devices to track your workouts with audio updates as you run. Runkeeper is compatible with iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. An Apple Watch app is included for use with the iPhone.

The Good

  • Highly accurate tracking
  • Easy to use
  • Syncs with Pebble, Fitbit and other fitness devices
  • Includes Apple Watch app

The Bad

  • In-app purchases are pricey

The Price

  • Free, with in-app purchases available

What It's All About

Runkeeper uses your iPhone's GPS to track your run total mileage, calorie count, pace and speed. If you prefer to run without your phone, the included Apple Watch app does all the work and transfers the data to the iPhone when your run is over. If you don't have an Apple Watch, pair the app with a Fitbit, Pebble or other supported fitness device.

One of the best parts of the app is its clean interface. Once the app locks on to a satellite—a process that takes less than a minute in most cases—just tap “start run” to get going. Before you do that, you can customize your activity by selecting music from your personal playlist or from Spotify

If Runkeeper has problems getting a strong GPS signal, you’ll get a message saying “accurate location unavailable.” You can still start your run and hope that the app acquires satellites eventually, but your distance information won’t be accurate. You can also try walking to a different location—away from buildings or thick tree cover, for example—and tap “try again.” The GPS indicator turns green if you have a good signal; red means it’s not connected.

On the Go

Once you start your run, Runkeeper displays your distance and pace in large, easy-to-read numbers. Time, average time, and calories are also displayed. Swipe to the right and you’ll see your mile splits. The app also gives you customizable audio prompts that tell you time and distance every five minutes or every mile. If you find the prompts annoying, you can turn them off altogether.

When your run is over, you can share it on social media, discard it or save it to your history. That’s another benefit to Runkeeper—it doubles as a running log, saving all your data for each workout. The app displays each run in a list format. You can use an in-app purchase to sign up for an account at to get cumulative totals and more analysis. You can also view any of your runs on a map. 

In App Purchases

FitnessKeeper offers several levels of personal training as in-app purchases, beginning with Runkeeper Go and moving on to 4K and marathon training specialty programs. As a result, the app is popular with professional and dedicated runners. Runkeeper Go subscribers receive new workouts each week, tailored to meet their goals and schedule. A Runkeeper Go subscription adds weather insights, live tracking, progress reports and in-depth comparison of workouts to your app.

The Bottom Line

If you plan to run with your iPhone or a compatible fitness device, Runkeeper should be one of your first app downloads. Runkeeper is extremely accurate and easy to use. The clean interface is streamlined and easy to view during your runs. The app may have issues getting a reliable satellite signal depending on your location, but no more than any other GPS-dependent device.

What You’ll Need

Runkeeper is compatible with GPS-enabled devices including the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch. The app requires iOS 9 or later.