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Work / RunKeeper

When iPhone GPS Was Just a Rumor

RunKeeper first came to us to talk about building a website, but we thought it could be more than that.

The Challenge

The iPhone had already made a splash.

Apple had just announced that an App Store was on its way. We suggested that a possible launch strategy should include a mobile app. How could we help RunKeeper set themselves apart?

The Build

Raizlabs did the initial branding, design and development for RunKeeper and handled the process of launching the product in the App Store.

We knew about the upcoming iPhone 3G launch and the likelihood that it would include GPS, rather than the WiFi triangulation of the original iPhone. We decided to make a calculated risk and build the first app that would work with GPS.

iPhone displays a users metrics for distance, time, and miles per hour.

The Outcome

RunKeeper launched with the first 1,000 or so apps in the newly released App Store.

To date, more than 38 million people train with RunKeeper. It was featured by Time Magazine as one of the top apps of 2009, and it continues to be at the top of its category in Lifestyle and Fitness today.


Technologies + Services
  • GPS Filtering
  • Audio Cues
  • Photo Capture
  • In App Mapping (before Apple supported it)
  • Experimentation with mobile ads and ad mediation
  • Background GPS (before Apple supported it)
Illustration of a white runner silhouette on a blue background.

Key Takeaway

Where Rubber Soles Meet the Road

When the app launched, it was an instant hit with runners who were looking for a replacement for their activity-specific devices, and for casual runners and bikers hungry for data about their workouts. With the iPhone app’s success, we began work on the Android version, solving many of the same problems and a number of new ones posed by a brand new platform.

The user growth and demand uncovered a lot of potential for new features and technologies.

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