The popular RunKeeper fitness app on iOS and Android is finally getting the support for the Pebble smartwatch the two companies promised almost exactly one year ago. With the update, Pebble owners will be able to see their pace and mileage on their watch face, along with the ability to start or stop a workout. Unfortunately, you'll still need to pull out your phone to get things started — launching the app on your phone automatically launches a companion app on the Pebble, at which point the two begin communicating with each other.
It's a nice extension for both Pebble and RunKeeper, but it's tightly-focused to RunKeeper's core mission as an app —RunKeeper is primarily thought of as an exercise tracker, not a more generalized health monitor. Similarly, either because of limitations in the Pebble or in the iOS and Android app APIs, this pairing won't let you replace your Fitbit or Fuelband with a Pebble. It's simply not tracking your every step because neither the watch nor the app are always reading your movements like other "wearables."
It's still early days in wearables and fitness apps, though, and RunKeeper in particular has been shrewd at making partnerships and working with other companies. Recent deals with Fitbit and Jawbone show that the company is willing to work within a larger ecosystem and that could mean it has a better shot than most at being a central hub for such data. Working with Pebble is also a good sign. Just four months past the invasion of fitness trackers at CES, it already looks like the fever of closed health data ecosystems might have a chance of breaking.