Runtastic Alternative iSmoothRun: the Best Running App?

We've been using Runtastic since 2011 - and have since switched to iSmoothrun. Is it worth it?

How good is the Runtastic iSmoothRun alternative really? We tried it! Photo: Pexels
How good is the Runtastic iSmoothRun alternative really? We tried it! Photo: Pexels

Since the operating system watchOS 3 the Apple Watch offers the possibility to use apps natively. The most important application: sports. Several running programs promise independent sports for various sports such as jogging, cross trainer, cycling and many more, without having to carry the iPhone. We took a closer look at the Runtastic alternative iSmoothRun and tried jogging with the Apple Watch without an iPhone. What can the app compare to its competitors?

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In principle, one can be independent for a long time with the Apple Watch Series 2 - and now also with the Series 3 - doing sport. Whether jogging, cycling, cross trainer, stepper, strength training, high-performance training HIIT and many other popular sports, with the Smart Watch on the wrist can be trained since the fall of 2016 independently without iPhone. Especially with the training app, this has been possible since the launch of watchOS 3. The problem for many was the tracking. For example, we have been for more than five years Runtastic used and collected all the workout statistics in the program. However, workouts with the training app could not be added there and accordingly did not appear in the statistics.


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Runtastic was the first choice for a long time

We have a long time used as the preferred app in sports Runtastic, Since the fall of 2017, we have been waiting to use Runtastic on the Apple Watch without an iPhone while jogging. Unfortunately, the manufacturer took a long time to implement the concept and has just in time for the launch of watchOS 4 a standalone Apple Watch App presented, with at least theoretically without iPhone jogging can. But the new program does not seem to be mature at the moment (as of: 05, October 2017). Because of course, we have tried this directly and found that the use of experience is quite disappointing. Only a few sports can be selected on the watch. And you can not decide now if you have the program on the clock together with the app for the iPhone want to use. Both apps only work on their own. After the long wait, this was more than disappointing. For a useful experience you would have to be able to choose on the watch whether the app should be used alone or synchronized with the iPhone.

That's what we wanted: With iSmoothRun you can easily switch between using on iPhone and Apple Watch. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer
That's what we wanted: With iSmoothRun you can easily switch between using on iPhone and Apple Watch. Photo: Sascha Tegtmeyer

Run app iSmoothRun as an alternative to Runtastic tried

So we have to get one RuntasticAlternative looked around and have also found very quickly. After a short search, an app was particularly positive thanks to many positive user reviews. This is the iSmoothRun program. Although the app costs 5,49 € and the name sounds slightly trashy at first, but most users agree in their reviews that this issue is worthwhile. Because The app has been designed by runners for runners and addresses exactly the needs of athletes.

So we invested and downloaded the app. Signing up and setting up was straightforward and soon we could start doing sports with it. Here is the range of sports on the iPhone is not as big as Runtastic. Nevertheless, all important sports such as jogging, treadmill, cycling and elliptical machine are included. The first indoor treadmill test revealed that the app confidently collects all important information on heart rate, distance, cadence without crashing. And even the interval is displayed. A rich selection of voice messages supports running without having to look at the display. The protocol of the completed sports is very clear and can be changed later. The design of the app is quite boring and straightforward, but clear. The big advantage over many competing products in iSmoothRun is that once paid, all costs are met and no additional in-app purchases need to be made. Also monthly subscriptions are not necessary. At the first training the app could score strong!

iSmoothRun Apple Watch App can score strong

And now it comes: For almost five years, we have faithfully used the Runtastic app and have been waiting for a year to the self-sufficient Apple Watch App of the provider. After the disappointing test, we have installed the competitor's program. Lo and behold, the iSmoothRun app on the Apple Watch does exactly what it should. You can use this program when playing sports with the Apple Watch without iPhone - and it works fine! No errors, no crashes and the workout is perfectly recorded thanks to the integrated GPS in the Apple Watch Series 2. And not only that:


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In addition, you can choose whether you want to use the Apple Watch autarky in sports or whether it should be combined with the iPhone, so that recorded with the Apple Watch heart rate on the iPhone is shown. Basically, the program can do everything we want from other running apps. Because this selection option is currently missing completely in the aforementioned competitor apps. Especially in indoor sports it is very pleasant the smart watch and pair the phone to view heart rate and other data.

Conclusion to iSmoothRun: one of the best sports apps for the iPhone and the Watch

After our detailed review of iSmoothRun we found a new favorite program for the sport. Unfortunately we have to turn our back after five years of our favorite app. However, this is only a small downer: For the Lauf App the potential of the combination of iPhone and Apple Watch or just the Apple Watch alone fully exploits. It does not matter if you are the Apple Watch Series 2 or the Apple Watch Series 3 used. We will continue to use the iSmoothRun program and see if the positive impressions are confirmed in the long run. As soon as Runtastic updates its Apple Watch app, we'll see if the improvement has been successful and of course report extensively here.

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About Sascha Tobias Tegtmeyer 93 Article
As a journalist, passionate diver and ambitious stand up paddler, I've become more and more specialized in water sports topics. For several years as an online editor, content and SEO manager for the year Top Special Verlag in Hamburg, I edited the leading diving portal TAUCHEN.de editorially and am at home in the water sports industry. My passion is the sea and all the activities that can be practiced on, in, on and under water. To give this child a name, I created www.just-wanderlust.com - for all people who love the sea - love to travel and water sports like diving, surfing, stand up paddling.