Runkeeper dropping Wear OS app due to ‘buggy experience’

Just last week, Fossil introduced the latest generation Wear OS devices with the newest chipset and 1GB of RAM. A boon to Google’s wearable ambitions on the hardware side, the ecosystem is losing Runkeeper in the coming weeks.

As the name suggests, the Asics-owned app tracks runs, walks, and jogs, as well as biking and other activities with GPS. Personalized routines help you meet your established goals with the service featuring a social competition aspect.

Runkeeper (via Android Central) emailed customers yesterday about how the app “will no longer be available on Wear OS.” Version 9.13 of the Android app — coming in the “next few weeks” — will remove the wearable component that allowed users to start tracking and monitor progress. It featured options to run with a phone or without, and included basic stats like time elapsed, distance, and pace.

One user followed up with customer support, which elaborated upon Runkeeper’s statement that it wasn’t able to offer the “best tracking experience possible” on “Wear OS by Google at this time.”

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.

It boils down to performance issues that resulted in a “very buggy experience” that was difficult to maintain. Runkeeper also notes how only a “very small portion” of its existing customers used the Wear OS app. On Android, the app has over 10 million downloads according to the Play Store listing.

Just as Wear OS is getting improved hardware, the loss of a major app does not help the ecosystem. Runkeeper did not specify whether developing on the platform was difficult or if the hardware was at fault.

Other apps like Strava and Runtastic are still available, while Google has been frequently updating Fit in recent months with new features. Meanwhile, Nest also killed its Wear OS (and Apple Watch) app due to a lack of users.

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