Bringing hackathon innovation into RunKeeper product

We’re very excited to have our new RunKeeper (@runkeeper) release out on Android now and iPhone soon!

Not only is RunKeeper now available in seven languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, and Japanese), but we’re also shipping our first internal hackathon-derived feature, personal fitness Insights for Elite users.

Here are some screenshots of Insights and other parts of the app in the various languages:
RunKeeper start screen in EnglishRunKeeper Me tab in FrenchRunKeeper Insights in JapaneseRunKeeper Goals in GermanRunKeeper Personal Records in PortugueseRunKeeper Activities tab in ItalianRunKeeper Settings in Spanish

Power tip: When you try out Insights, be sure and click on the different parts of the pie chart to change “focus” in the pace and distance charts. You can also change the time period and/or activity type under consideration via the settings icon at the top right.

I am particularly proud of how fast our team took Insights from hack to product-quality feature. This team never ceases to amaze me!

Enjoy and please let us know what you think!

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist & PM for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


RunKeeper hackathon recap

What happens when you give the RunKeeper crew two days to let imaginations run wild? A whole lot of awesome, I tell ya!

Our product team is always five steps ahead in terms of planning awesome updates to the app, but in the process, it seems each developer has some sort of other dream RunKeeper project they’d love work on if given the time. We decided to set two work days aside for engineers (and others throughout the company) to try to bring those to reality.

The community had lots of interesting ideas on what would make it into our first-ever hackathon, and many of the resulting hacks lined up with your hopes! There was a simple start widget for the home and lock screens on Android, much-improved data visualizations for your fitness reports, refreshed technology for GPS tracking, in-app strength training tracking, a pretty new website, and some ridiculously fun and motivating audio cues. And a few other things that are internal and top secret—for now :).

We’re cranking hard to turn some of these hacks into actual RunKeeper updates and features, so stay tuned! And in the meantime, the pictures and videos below are definitely worth (more than a) thousand words.

Kicking off some collaboration

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Jacked Jim gears up for his commercial debut in the RoidKeeper strength training promotional video

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This team gave a whole new meaning to the term long hours. (And garnished some awesome prizes in the process)

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Makers of the aforementioned awesome audio cues hack demo their goods

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A little hack to get some more real-time insights into our community

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Working to build the perfect GPS algorithm

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And this video really speaks to the need for that widget hack

One of our many rocking trophies

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Cross-posted from the RunKeeper blog.


Launch RunKeeper on Android

In my last post, I showed you how to launch RunKeeper from your iOS mobile app using some Objective-C URI magic.

I also promised a similar capability when we released our next update to RunKeeper for Android. And now the time has come, RunKeeper is ready on Google Play, and away you can go a’launching it from your own Android apps!

To launch the RunKeeper app on Android:

  1. Present the user with a button in your app that they can click to launch RunKeeper.
  2. When the user clicks that RunKeeper button, start the RunKeeper activity using the Intent com.fitnesskeeper.runkeeper.intent.action.MAIN
  3. If the user has an up to date RunKeeper release installed, the RunKeeper app should launch and they can begin tracking immediately.
  4. If the user has an older copy of RunKeeper, or hasn’t installed the RunKeeper app yet, prompt them to install the latest RunKeeper release from Google Play and then they can begin tracking after installation.

We’d love to hear from you and see examples of how you will use this capability, on Android and/or iOS. Please contact us in the comments if you’re doing so.

We might even feature you in an upcoming blog post or our new Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) “Best Practices” guide. And we’d love to hear your feedback on that guide, too!

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


Launch RunKeeper from your own iOS app

Are you a Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) partner with an iOS app of your own? And do you encourage your users to track their fitness activities using the RunKeeper (@runkeeper) app?

If you do and you want a way to ease their transition from your experience into RunKeeper tracking, we’ve got just the ticket!

We’ve added support for launching RunKeeper on-device from your app. To launch the RunKeeper app on iPhone (or iPad, if a user rolls that way):

  1. Present the user with a button in your app that they can click to launch RunKeeper.
  2. When the user clicks that RunKeeper button, attempt to open RunKeeper using the following Objective-C code:
                [[UIApplication sharedApplication] openURL:[NSURL URLWithString:@"RunKeeperPro://"]];
              
  3. If the user has an up to date RunKeeper release installed, the RunKeeper app should launch and they can begin tracking immediately.
  4. If the user has an older copy of RunKeeper, or hasn’t installed the RunKeeper app yet, prompt them to install the latest RunKeeper release from iTunes and then they can begin tracking after installation.

Here’s an example of how you might implement this, taken from our partner GymPact (@gympact; learn more about GymPact from this previous partner profile).

First up, notice how GymPact places a prominent RunKeeper button on their app launch screen once a user connects their GymPact account to a RunKeeper account (connection is a one time only operation per user).

Once the user clicks that button, GymPact loads this RunKeeper screen to provide additional context before starting the RunKeeper app.

Clicking on the “Connected – Get Running!” button on the screen above tells the user they’re about to open the RunKeeper app if they have it, or that they need to install the RunKeeper app if they don’t already have it installed.

From here they can grab RunKeeper from the App Store if need be and then away they go!

We hope this will be useful for many of our iOS app partners. Please give it a try and let us know what feedback and requests you have.

And Android partners, fear not, we have you covered too: Similar support is coming in our next Android app release. This will be supported via Android Intents. More details once that release is available in the Google Play store.

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


GymPact pays you for exercising with RunKeeper

GymPact (@gympact) from Health Graph (@healthgraphapi) partner Pact helps motivate your exercise with cold, hard cash. With GymPact‘s Health Graph integration, qualifying RunKeeper tracked running, walking, and biking activities can be turned into money in your pocket. Read on to learn how GymPact motivates healthy behavior using the Health Graph.


Bill Day: Please tell us about yourself and Pact.
Yifan Zhang: A classic dormroom to startup story, I co-founded Pact with my Harvard classmate Geoff Oberhofer. We were both fascinated by a behavioral economics principle that people are motivated much more by loss than rewards.

We decided to first tackle the specific problem of getting people to the gym more often, and launched GymPact on January 1st, 2012.

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use GymPact?
YZ: Do you pay for an expensive gym membership but can never find the time to use it? GymPact is an iPhone app that lets you earn cash rewards for checking in at the gym, paid for by non-exercisers!

You can make a Pact to work out, choose how much money you’ll put on the line to motivate you, and earn cash when you meet your Pact. Our over 45,000 GymPact users are 90% successful at getting to the gym on committed days.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?
YZ: Ever since we launched, our users have asked to count outdoor activities (runs, walks, bike rides) toward their Pact. The Health Graph platform has allowed us to easily partner with awesome products like RunKeeper to give our users a feature they wanted.

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting your business?
YZ: We announced our integration with the Health Graph a few weeks before the launch, and the response was overwhelming! We had over 1,000 people sign up for our beta list on the first day, and tons more likes/RT’s on social media.

BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?
YZ: Right now, we are pulling RunKeeper GPS-tracked activities from the API so that we can automatically count them toward GymPacter’s Pacts.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?
YZ: The integration was so simple! There were very few bugs, which allowed us to focus on the product and experience rather than the engineering challenges of integration. We see no changes needed for the current version of what we’re doing.

BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?
YZ: We would like to have verified activities marked specifically, since we would like to pull data from other Health Graph-integrated apps as well as RunKeeper.

BD: Can you share any future plans for Pact? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?
YZ: One big thing is that we have an Android app now in private beta! You can sign up for it on our homepage or here. Also, we’re looking to partner with other health apps to incentivize verified healthy activities. The Health Graph is huge for making those partnerships simple!

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


ShapeUp Club brings deep nutrition data to the Health Graph

ShapeUp Club (@shapeup_club), one of the top three teams from last month’s Health Hack Day in Stockholm, recently launched the integration of their popular calorie counter with the Health Graph (@healthgraphapi). Learn how users of RunKeeper, ShapeUp Club, and other Health Graph partner apps such as Withings (@withings) are all benefitting from the collaboration.

BD: Please tell us about yourself and ShapeUp Club.

ShapeUp Club: Hi! We are Tove and Martin, the founders of ShapeUp Club. We built the original ShapeUp Club app back in 2008 as a side project during our studies in computer science (Martin) and biomedicine (Tove). By combining our knowledge we created ShapeUp Club – an interactive calorie counter that you carry in your pocket. A winning concept when it comes to weight loss.

In the beginning we planned to run this project in parallel with work and school. But we realized pretty fast that wouldn’t work, ShapeUp Club demanded too much time. The hobby became our job (hurray!) and today we are a team of five people working fulltime on ShapeUp Club.

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use ShapeUp Club?

SC: ShapeUp Club is a calorie counter for iPhone, Android, and web. Get a personal weight loss plan, track nutrition, exercise, and weight. Get shaped up with ShapeUp Club now!

BD: Can you tell us a bit about your users? How many do you have? How active are they? What kinds of things do they do with ShapeUp Club?

SC: Our app has been downloaded more than 1.7 million times. We have achieved top 10 App Store-placements in countries all over the world. ShapeUp Club has more than 350,000 active users per month and we are growing with 5,000 new members a day.

Daily feedback from our users proves our concept: The average users loses about 9 lbs. We also have a lot of success stories about users who lost more than 100 lbs. (Wow!)

Based on body features (such as weight and height), age, and daily activity level, ShapeUp Club calculates a personal weight loss plan for each user. The user then follows this plan by tracking what they eat and how much they exercise every day. A color-coordinated calorie bar visually displays how many more or fewer calories the user should eat each day to reach their target weight. A yellow bar indicates you should keep eating (need more calories for your goal), a green bar indicates you’ve eaten the perfect amount for the day, and a red bar indicates you’ve eaten too much that day.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

SC: We attended Health Hack Day in Stockholm in May. Bill Day from RunKeeper was there to present on the Health Graph platform and serve as a jury member at the hackathon. We had already heard a lot about the API, and were excited to try it out.

During the hack we created ShapeUp Club Challenge, which would let the ShapeUp Club users connect, compete, and compare progress with each other. The API was super easy to integrate with our code, and we managed to create an app ready for launch in just twenty-four hours. The achievement placed us third in the competition.

A few weeks after the hackathon and our first encounter with the Health Graph, we are proud to announce that ShapeUp Club is now connected to Health Graph! As a first step we are letting our users import their RunKeeper and Withings data into ShapeUp Club, as well as upload their nutrition information from ShapeUp Club into the Health Graph.

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting your business?

SC: The combination of ShapeUp Club (nutrition tracking), RunKeeper (exercise tracking), and Withings (weight tracking) is perfect for people who wish to lose weight. Nutrition, exercise, and weight are the three key values people consider when trying to lose weight. By making the tracking of these three factors friction free we believe we are one step closer to the creation of the perfect and sustainable weight loss service. Our users have asked for this possibility for some time now, and we are so happy to finally be able to provide them with this.

BD: Which portions of the Health Graph API do you use, and why?

SC: We are one of the first partners who will share deep, personalized nutrition information with the Health Graph. We are also letting our users access weight and exercise information from other apps as mentioned above.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?

SC: The possibilities to very easily combine different services with your own service and health tool is perfect. The API is easy to use and fast to integrate. The only change we would like to see is more focus on the nutrition part of the Health Graph. There’s a lot of more information we could share with the Health Graph if some additional fields were included in the API.

BD: Can you share any future plans for ShapeUp Club? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

SC: We are planning integration and partnerships with other great Health Graph integrated services.

We also want to improve ShapeUp Club core features. Integration of social tools is a next step, bringing our users closer together, making it possible to interact, motivate, and share information with each other. We believe this will create a whole new weight loss experience. Challenges, recipes, and groups are other things we are planning.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or your application?

SC: If you are serious about losing weight, ShapeUp Club is the perfect tool to help. It’s knowledge, inspiration, and motivation in your pocket. Download ShapeUp Club now and join our fast growing community! For news and more information about us, check out our blog at http://blog.shapeupclub.com/.

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.


SleepRate uses heart rate and the Health Graph to teach you about your sleep

Our ongoing partner profile series features partners doing interesting and important things with the Health Graph API (@healthgraphapi). In this installment, we speak with Uri Keren, President & CEO of HypnoCore, about his company’s Health Graph integrated sleep solution SleepRate (@sleeprate).

BD: What is the “elevator pitch” for why someone should use SleepRate?

UK: Sleep is a crucial component in our overall health and wellbeing.

On average we spend a third of our lifetime sleeping, but not many people realize the enormous effect sleep has on their lives. People who suffer from poor sleep are at a high risk of experiencing tiredness, negative mood swings, difficulty coping with high stress activities, difficulty maintaining healthy eating habits, weight problems, and a general deterioration in physical and cognitive functions.

SleepRate is the only solution in the market that uses widely available sports heart rate monitor (HRM) devices such as Polar, Garmin, Zephyr, and others to accurately measure and help improve sleep.

BD: How did you get started using the Health Graph API?

UK: SleepRate targets healthy people that already measure themselves using smartphones and heart rate monitor belts. We provide these people with accurate information and tools to help them measure and improve their sleep. Improving sleep in turn helps them to improve their health, sports performance, and overall well being. Given our focus around passive data collection using widely available commercial sensors and our desire to allow our customers to correlate their SleepRate data with other kinds of health and fitness information, the Health Graph API, especially the sleep related portion which we are using today, seemed like a natural fit.

BD: How is using the Health Graph benefiting your business?

UK: The Health Graph puts information relating to sports, sleep, and weight together in one place. This helps our customers manage their overall health while learning about their sleep habits and how those habits influence their other health parameters.

BD: What do you like about the Health Graph? What would you like to see changed?

UK: We like the wide variety of health and fitness related data available through the Health Graph. We would like to see more tools to help connect sleep quality to sports performance and weight management.

BD: If you could request any new feature from the Health Graph, what would it be? How would you use it?

UK: We would love to see the following sleep parameters (important to athletes) added to the sleep portion of the Health Graph API: Mean heart rate, mean respiration rate, and stress level.

BD: Can you share any future plans for SleepRate? What’s coming next that your users will be excited about? Does the Health Graph play a role in that, and if so, how?

UK: We currently support iOS using Polar compatible HRM devices. We are launching ANT+ support for iOS using the Wahoo dongle and an Android version supporting Polar and Zephyr HRMs soon.

BD: Is there anything else we should know about you or SleepRate?

UK: SleepRate is based on our FDA/CE certified and medically tested software algorithms that analyze sleep using R-R time analysis. We are the only solution in the market that can measure sleep accurately based upon heart rate information acquired using consumer-oriented, non-proprietary devices. SleepRate is now live and FREE (click here to learn more from our web site).

Bill Day (@billday) is Platform Evangelist for RunKeeper where he helps developers learn about and use the Health Graph.