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RunKeeper's new Breeze app tracks every step you take

RunKeeper's new Breeze app tracks every step you take

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RunKeeper is one of the most popular run-tracking apps for the iPhone, and today it's launching a new app called Breeze to take count of how much you're walking around too. The app works only on the iPhone 5S and is based around its M7 motion processor, which is always collecting your steps in the background. Using that, it's able to display exactly how far you've walked that day as soon as you open it up. While there's no shortage of pedometer apps for the iPhone 5S, Breeze stands out by keeping its interface simple, giving you a personalized walking goal to reach every day and telling you exactly how close you should be to it during any given hour.

Occasional notifications will remind you to check your progress

There's a lot more that the app can tell you too — including your walking history and where you went during some long walks — but that information is largely tucked away inside the stat pages for individual days in the past. Even so, Breeze doesn't give you quite as much to dig into as other walking trackers, such as Nike+ Move, but it also doesn't bog you down with more information than the basics, which can be a good thing when you just want to know if you're sitting around too much each day.

None of that is very helpful though if you don't actually remember to open the app up regularly to check your progress. That's an issue other apps ignore, but Breeze isn't quite as passive. It'll ask to send you notifications throughout the day to praise you for taking long walks and to remind you when you're far from your goal. That can be pretty useful if you're making it a point to keep moving, but it can also be fairly annoying to check an alert only to see Breeze suggesting that you take a look through your old stats. RunKeeper says that it's already working to make these notifications more helpful.

Breeze will eventually integrate with the existing RunKeeper app, but right now the two are fully separate. RunKeeper also says that it's planning to expand support for Breeze to more smartphones, though it doesn't say which or when that might happen. In-app purchases for training lessons or integrated perks from partnering retailers could eventually be built into the app too, as they are with RunKeeper proper, but company CEO Jason Jacobs tells us in an email that, "That day is not even on the horizon." For now, Jacobs says, "[We're] focused much more on getting the user experience right, getting it in the hands of as many people as possible, and helping them get better and better results towards leading an active life."