12

iPhone app that uses RA api? (Read 631 times)

    Eric - do you know if any of the iPhone apps that track runs with a GPS have taken advantage of the RA api to post data from runs to RA?  I see plenty that post to other sites, but don't want to go through all of them to find one that might already be linked to RA.  Thanks, John

     

    ps. This might be easier than building an iPhone app?


    And in the end...

      If you look at the RA import formats you'll see several apps... RunKeeper is a fairly well known iPhone app for logging that can import to RA, if that's what you're asking.  There's also TrainingPeaks, which I've used in the past.  You do have to export/import, though.

      ------------------------

      The GITM is moot.

        Hey thx for the reply. Am looking for an app that will post directly to RA without the whole export then import steps. Several of the apps will post to TP, Garmin, etc. But haven't seen one that posts to RA directly.

          John,

          There is currently no iPhone apps that connects to RA.  Occasionally, a user would volunteer to create an app but the project never gets too far.  I may have to eventually create one myself if no one steps up to the plate.

           

          eric Smile


          I'm back!

            A step to take before putting in the time to write an app youself -- if you have not already done this -- would be to write a rough desired spec for such an app. Potential app writers would be aided by knowing the scope of the project before they dive in.

             

            I think about taking this on from time to time, and it may naturally fall out of a larger project I'm working on, but someone else may well get there first.

              I'm taking the approach that any mobile app created by a developer is his/her intellectual property.  Just as I don't own Handy Runner, the developer has full control over the app.  I think that's best for all interested parties.


              I'm back!

                OK, that is great, but I think it would still be helpful to know what you think the biggest challenges would be, as well as a rough set of useful features. Maybe this is more a matter of customer demand, I don't know.

                 

                What do people care about? Uploading run data from mobile devices? Viewing / editing RA run data in a native app? Forums?


                Chasing the bus

                   What do people care about? Uploading run data from mobile devices? Viewing / editing RA run data in a native app? Forums?

                  Yes, pretty much in that order.

                  “You're either on the bus or off the bus.”
                  Tom Wolfe, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

                    There are some very robust and popular iPhone apps out there now. RunMeter, RunKeeper, TrainingPeaks, iRunner and MapMyTracks for example. All look pretty good and most will sync with one or more websites.  So we don't necessarily need an app, we need to get those app developers to include a function to push data into RA when a workout is done.  This is different than RA pulling data from a watch or a file into RA. So seems like we need documentation on the RA interface that the iPhone app will post to.  Then someone will need to write code, probably the iPhone app developer and work with Eric to test the "push" or post to RA. I suspect that Eric could use help with writing the API or web services if they don't exist. Then it is a matter of publishing it and coordinating with the iPhone app guys to use it, probably only Eric can do that?  The app user will need to enter and store their RA credentials into the app so RA will know which log to post to.  First thing would be to get workouts (runs or rides) posted to RA. If training plans can be downloaded to the app that might be second as it seems most of the apps have calendar functions. If the payload is .gpx compatible then I guess Eric is just going to have to make assumptions about the incoming activity record the way he does when an activity is pulled initially from a watch, the user will have to edit later on RA if anything needs to change, e.g. shoes worn, run type or any of the other options on an activity. Most of the apps or their website will export .gpx files, so they are familiar with the file/payload format.  Maybe before doing anything, Eric can contact some of those iPhone app teams and find out if they would do this if he did put in the effort to create and publish an API / web services?  Ok enough from me...

                      Ok maybe a little more from me. Seems like the real question here is what device(s) are we going to run / work out with in the near future. Are gps watches being overtaken by smartphones?  I believe that is the case because with a smartphone I can:

                      • get real time maps on a bIke ride or directions if I get lost
                      • get verbal updates at splits from the phone without flipping through or looking at watch screens, e.g. split pace, total time, distance covered
                      • call someone in an emergency or take calls with remote control headphones while running or racing 
                      • play music
                      • send text messages with remote control headphones and Siri without stopping my run 
                      • have my family track me real time during a race or workout with FindMyFriends
                      • take pictures if I want 
                      • integrate with heart rate monitors, foot pods, cadence sensors with Ant+ or Bluetooth 
                      • sync calendars and training plans with iCal format and interface 
                      • gps on smartphones is as accurate as a watch now 
                      • do advanced functions or workouts like intervals or race against a virtual partner or desired pace  
                      • get waterproof cases with extra battery power and bike mounts 
                      • post results directly to social sites like Facebook and twitter

                      So why carry a watch and a phone when a phone can do it all. Especially if I have a phone anyway and a watch is another couple hundred dollars. Like I posted before there are many apps that do this now, most are free.  Of course we can export from the app and then import from a file into RA.  This will likely be the default answer for a while. But is the fitness gear industry changing such that a more robust API may be needed by the websites to integrate better with the apps on smarter devices users are carrying with them?  Does anybody have any stats on how say Garmin sales are going over time, are they falling even as the number of runners is increasing for example?


                      Hangin' with Hal!

                        Hey y'all,

                         

                        I'm currently working on an app, presented the idea to Eric about a month ago. Since I'm doing it when I get time, it's a bit of a slow go so far, but I hope to have something out in the next couple of months. Smile Part of the plan is to import from some of these other apps. And I'm also planning on incorporating GPS functionality.


                        Feeling the growl again

                           Are gps watches being overtaken by smartphones?  I believe that is the case because with a smartphone I can:

                          • get real time maps on a bIke ride or directions if I get lost
                          • get verbal updates at splits from the phone without flipping through or looking at watch screens, e.g. split pace, total time, distance covered
                          • call someone in an emergency or take calls with remote control headphones while running or racing 
                          • play music
                          • send text messages with remote control headphones and Siri without stopping my run 
                          • have my family track me real time during a race or workout with FindMyFriends
                          • take pictures if I want 
                          • integrate with heart rate monitors, foot pods, cadence sensors with Ant+ or Bluetooth 
                          • sync calendars and training plans with iCal format and interface 
                          • gps on smartphones is as accurate as a watch now 
                          • do advanced functions or workouts like intervals or race against a virtual partner or desired pace  
                          • get waterproof cases with extra battery power and bike mounts 
                          • post results directly to social sites like Facebook and twitter

                          So why carry a watch and a phone when a phone can do it all.

                           

                          IMO you're premature on the death of the GPS watch.  Nobody I run with or know personally consistently runs with their phone.  As supplied smartphones had sweat liabilities, the GPS is not optimized for running use (last I tried one anyways), and most importantly you have to carry the dang thing, have a big pocket for it to bounce around in, or some other specialized carrying method.

                           

                          I'm sure one day we'll have Dick Tracy watches that do it all well and that will be great.

                           

                          But the app would be great, even for people like me that only run with a phone on rare occasions.

                          "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                           

                            True I don't think GPS watches are going away in 2013.  But I don't see them keeping up and most people will abandon them eventually.  I tried using MapMyTracks on a blackberry about 3 years ago.  It was very inaccurate (unless I was driving in a car for some reason) and I did drop the phone, so I stuck with the Garmin watches.  But today...

                             

                            Accuracy (at least on my iPhone 4s) is as good as the FR210 watch now.  And the phone can stay tucked away in a pouch or pocket and do all of the things I listed without having to take the phone out of my pocket.  Primarily because the headphones have a remote control on them which is just the generic headphones that come with the iPhone.  I can do everything without pulling it out and looking at it while I am running.  The phone also "talks to me" so I don't have to read a screen.  If I want to stop and take a picture I can and maybe I have to take it out then, but I'm not running any more so dropping it is less of an issue.  There are plenty of waterproof and drop proof cases for reasonable prices too.

                             

                            What annoys me about the watch now is that there never are firmware updates that give new functionality - even though it is several hundred dollars.  For example, I started with a FR110 - but then as I advanced as a runner I wanted to do intervals and I had to upgrade to the FR210 to get native support for them.  Used that for a while, now I'd like to try using a virtual partner or something to notify me if I'm keeping a desired pace or beating an older run on the same course, but I'd have to upgrade the watch to an FR410 or something just to get that feature.  Because the capabilities are tied so much to the physical device when it comes to watches - as you decide you want to try something new, you have to buy a new watch.  Another feature I would want now is auto-pause when I get to a stoplight - but again that feature is only on the upgraded watch.  Both of these features plus others I use on the FR210 are all available in several free apps.  Some have ads, some don't.  But for $1.99 or $4.99 I can get an ad-free app if they really bother me.  That's about 1% of a new watch.  I'm carrying the phone anyway just in case I need to make a call in an emergency too.

                             

                            With the apps, if something works they can improve it with a software update (and they are).  Or if something doesn't work or doesn't get used, remove it in an update - without having to buy new hardware.

                              Hey y'all,

                               

                              I'm currently working on an app, presented the idea to Eric about a month ago. Since I'm doing it when I get time, it's a bit of a slow go so far, but I hope to have something out in the next couple of months. Smile Part of the plan is to import from some of these other apps. And I'm also planning on incorporating GPS functionality.

                               

                              That's great - I'll be waiting to hear how it goes.  I'll give you one idea that might make your app unique from what I can see (Eric could put this in RA too).  All gps devices - watches and phones - tend to deviate a little if you look very closely at the maps.  You'll be on one side of the road, then another - in the end it averages out so it tends to be good enough and better than nothing.  But if you run in a city if you look closely you will see your run cutting through buildings, going off road, cutting corners, etc.  Certainly when we all create new routes we probably almost always "follow the roads" when we draw the route.

                               

                              So one feature I would love to see either RA and/or the apps tackle and provide is when an activity is finished - provide an option to "snap the activity to the roads" or "follow the roads" just like the option that is there when you draw or create a new route with RA.  There might be issues where a route might cut right through a block or a building and trying to figure out which way the runner actually went around the building or block, but I think some kind of defaults (which Eric or the mapping software api has when you click to create a new point on a new route) could be used.  Just think of an activity as a bunch of clicks that a user made, use the map api or whatever magic you are doing Eric - and just introduce the gps measured points one at a time and "redraw" the activity.  Not sure it's more complicated than that?  Certainly Eric has hundreds of thousands of posted activities that he could use for testing.  I believe this one feature would be a differentiator - might even be patent-able - could take out a lot or some of the error in the gps readings.  Think of this as very similar to the correcting GPS elevation that is already in RA and other sites, this is just correcting for "following the roads and/or trails".

                                True I don't think GPS watches are going away in 2013.  But I don't see them keeping up and most people will abandon them eventually.  I tried using MapMyTracks on a blackberry about 3 years ago.  It was very inaccurate (unless I was driving in a car for some reason) and I did drop the phone, so I stuck with the Garmin watches.  But today...

                                 

                                [snip]

                                 

                                With the apps, if something works they can improve it with a software update (and they are).  Or if something doesn't work or doesn't get used, remove it in an update - without having to buy new hardware.

                                 

                                I started tracking my runs with an app (RunKeeper), but switched to a watch once I was sure running was going to continue as part of my life. There is no way I will switch back to running with my phone. Luckily for me, the GPS watches will continue to innovate and improve just like phones will. The MotoActv was a glimpse of what the future will hold. Rumor is that a new version will be released at CES this week. That watch did have firmware updates (and I believe custom apps).

                                 

                                My prediction: 2013 will see some major advances in GPS watches for runners.

                                 

                                --

                                Nashville, TN

                                 

                                12