Runtastic, the popular iOS app that has long been among the top 10 fitness & health apps on the App Store, is looking forward to Apple’s new HealthKit platform and planning to support it in a future update. Like the other companies we spoke with earlier this week including Strava, RunKeeper, iHealth, and Withings, Runtastic is embracing HealthKit and thinks it will ultimately make its iOS app better for users. We spoke with the company’s CEO and Head of iOS development to get their thoughts on HealthKit…
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The big advantage for developers like Runtastic is the ability to easily tap into data from third-party apps via HealthKit that would have in the past required making specific partnerships with each individual company. The company also told us it’s pleased that Apple is focusing a lot on users’ privacy with HealthKit. Runtastic CEO Florian Gschwandtner said “only 10 to 15% of the population is engaged with the topic of “health & fitness” and that he thinks Apple’s Health platform will dramatically increase that figure:
“I think this is a great next step for consumers and fitness app companies, as well. Why? The health & fitness industry is getting more and more important and when Apple places focus on this topic, it confirms that it has the potential to become huge and go mainstream… At Runtastic, with more than 15 apps on iOS, we now have the chance to share the right data with Healthkit and also get important data from them (via 3rd party apps). I’m really looking forward to the first integration and it’s definitely a win for the end consumer.”
Head of iOS Development at Runtastic Stefan Damm told us that, “by focusing a lot on the users’ privacy, Apple made everything very transparent to the user – for example, which data is shared with which app.”
He thinks that will ultimately lead to increased sharing of data from users that will in return improve the experience in the Runtastic apps:
“Apple has done an excellent job with HealthKit. As developers, it allows us to easily connect with other apps… This builds trust and will certainly increase sharing. If a user is willing to share information, it is very easy to combine data from different proiders to get a better look at an overall health & fitness situation. I think we’ll be seeing a lot of apps that are going to take this data, analyze it and provide the user with suggestions on how to improve their lives.”
It’s interesting that all the developers we’ve spoken with have noted that they anticipate HealthKit and the Health app in iOS 8 improving the data and overall experience in their own apps. If true, it could make for a different and possibly better experience on iOS compared to Android versions of these apps, which are currently largely the same in terms of features.
Not only is Runtastic planning an update for its main Runtastic app, which is in the Top 10 charts for both free and paid health & fitness apps, but also the 15 other apps the company has on the App Store including a Heart Rate Monitor and various health & fitness tracking apps.