Run 5k for watchOS 2 is no go

Quite a few months ago, I announced that next version of Run 5k will feature exciting stuff: full watchOS 2 support, ability to use heart rate sensor on it, run without the iPhone etc.

Well…hard news : not going to happen. At least not for now.

This is a very hard post for me to write, as I have invested about two months working on this update. It’s still not fully and properly done, but it’s usable as beta and I had a good fortune of quite a lot of you interested to try it out.

But it’s not going to happen because in the shipping version of watchOS 2, Apple disabled the ability to use timers unless your app is visible on the screen. As soon as the screen goes off, for whatever reason that happens, app is suspended and thus timers are stopped.

Having timers working properly while the app is active is crucial feature for Run 5k. That’s what allows it to tell you when exactly to change pace between jog and walk.

I’m not alone in my struggle, judging by multiple threads related to this in Apple’s Developer Forums. I filed bug reports with Apple which were closed as duplicate very quickly which means that more developers are reporting this as issue.

I doubt it will help, as this conversation with Jake Behrens, Apple Developer Evangelist for watchOS, clearly shows that this is chosen behavior for now and not a bug.

Current version of Run 5k works rather well on iOS side, while its watch app is at least tolerable. So yeah…that will have to do.

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