According to an email received by a Runkeeper user that was posted to reddit, Runkeeper is apparently abandoning their Wear OS app for a number of reasons, all of which are a bad sign for Google’s wearable platform.
In the email, Runkeeper is sending out an update to their Android app in the coming weeks that will remove the Wear OS version. Runkeeper says that they want to “provide the best tracking experience” for all of their users, but that they are “not able to offer it on Wear OS.”
You can read the full email here:
Because you use the ASICS Runkeeper™ app on a Wear OS by Google device, we’re writing to share some important news. As of app version 9.13 (coming your way in the next few weeks), the Runkeeper app will no longer be available on Wear OS by Google devices.
We know this is disappointing, and we’re sorry to have to make this change. Our team has been hard at work building innovative and high-impact training tools designed to keep Runkeeper users moving. We want to provide the best tracking experience possible to everyone who uses the Runkeeper app, and we’re just not able to offer it on Wear OS by Google at this time.
We are truly sorry for any trouble this change may cause in your experience using the Runkeeper app, and hope that you will continue to enjoy the app as usual on your Android phone. Feel free to reach out to email@example.com with any questions.
The Runkeeper team
In a follow-up email, Runkeeper came close to blaming Google’s Wear OS for their exit from the platform, saying that the “integration didn’t work well/work consistently” and that it provided a “very buggy experience” that was “difficult for [Runkeeper] to maintain and fix.” While you could put that blame on Runkeeper for not putting in the resources to make a better experience, I think you could also see through that language as a suggestion that Wear OS was difficult to work with and in the end, not worth it.
It’s never good when a big developer leaves your platform, but Google did the same thing recently with the Nest app for Wear OS. Maybe if they put some actual effort into their platform, people would hang around more.