Android iPhone and iPad

Runkeeper, Strava, or Garmin? Pick One & Sync with the Rest

Tim Brookes 30-10-2015

Whether you’re a cyclist, runner, or keen hiker, you’ll be spoiled for choice when picking an exercise tracking app to summarize your suffering. This predicament is made worse still if your friends are scattered across services.


Fortunately thanks to the wonders of APIs What Are APIs, And How Are Open APIs Changing The Internet Have you ever wondered how programs on your computer and the websites you visit "talk" to each other? Read More , it’s possible to use a multitude of fitness services without carrying multiple devices on every jog.

Why Would I Do This?

It’s absolutely possible to use multiple GPS apps on your iPhone It's Time to Stop Disabling GPS on Your iPhone Whether it's to conserve battery life or to stop the NSA tracking your every move, it's likely your reasons for crippling your iPhone's ability to locate you aren't justified. Read More or Android device at once. A good example of this is checking your cycle route using Google Maps’ excellent cycling view Bike Different: The Best iPhone Cycling Apps Whether you're cycling for fitness, to beat the traffic on your daily commute or you love exploring the world on two pedal-powered wheels, your smartphone is the new number one cycling accessory. Read More , while Strava tracks your location and speed in the background.

A bad example of this would be starting Strava, then starting Runkeeper — and maybe Garmin or Endomondo too. Though neither app talks to the GPS receiver directly (on iOS, the device works out your location using a number of factors, including nearby WiFi networks and motion coprocessor data), you’ll likely find your battery drains a lot faster How to Charge Your Phone While Riding Your Bike Need to keep your smartphone charged while out on a cycle? Here are the best ways to charge your phone while riding a bike. Read More with two active running processes in the background.

Runkeeper, Strava, or Garmin? Pick One & Sync with the Rest tapiriik1

How is this possible with Apple’s strict rules? Unlike regular non-GPS enabled apps, processes that rely on location data in order to function properly are allowed to remain active in the background 5 Bad iPhone Habits You Should Break Today Think you're a responsible smartphone user? Reckon you're saving battery by killing all those apps? Think again. Read More indefinitely. Apple’s notorious App Store review guidelines state:


“Multitasking Apps may only use background services for their intended purposes: VoIP, audio playback, location, task completion, local notifications, etc … Location data can only be used when directly relevant to the features and services provided by the App to the user or to support approved advertising uses.”

Apple App Store Review Guidelines

Essentially, as a developer, you’ll need a damn good excuse to use background services, particularly location services if you’re developing for Apple’s platform. Google is less strict about this on Android, but the general rule still applies — running two or more trackers isn’t the best use of your battery life.

Maybe you’ve had it with Runkeeper, and want to switch to something else. Maybe you just bought a fancy Garmin smartwatch, but you don’t want your Strava premium account to go to waste. Tapiriik is the answer.

Sync with Tapiriik

Tapiriik is the magic glue that makes all of your favourite fitness tracking services play nice together. First you must login to your various accounts, then you can sync activities between them.

Once complete, the sessions you capture with Strava will show up in Runkeeper (for example) like any other activity, allowing you to remain competitive and connected with your friends.



Right now, Tapiriik is compatible with 13 various fitness-tracking services, and aside from the aforementioned Runkeeper, Strava and Garmin this also includes: SportTracks, Dropbox, Training Peaks, Ride with GPS, Endomondo, Motivato, Velo Hero, TrainerRoad, Smashrun and Epson Runsense.

That’s quite a list, and you’ll be forgiven for not recognising most of them — many are small services that can’t compete with the sheer number of users who opt for Runkeeper or Strava, while others are specifically designed for professional athletes, and some are tied to specific hardware.

How Do I Sync?

Syncing your activities with Tapiriik is easy:

  1. Head to and connect to any services you wish to sync by clicking on the relevant logos — if you’ve used multiple apps to sync multiple activities, that’s fine.
  2. Check the settings are as you expect for each service by hovering your mouse over it and clicking Reconfigure — you might want to force private activities to sync (disabled by default), or stop certain activities syncing with specific services.
  3. Click the circular sync button and watch Tapiriik sync your various activities. You can see exactly what’s being copied in the box below.

Runkeeper, Strava, or Garmin? Pick One & Sync with the Rest configureservices

There’s no need to reconnect each service every time you sync — just login to any one of the services you have used, and Tapiriik will fetch the rest.

That Syncing Feeling

In addition to the path you took (which most apps record as an exportable .GPX file), Tapiriik tries to sync as much data as possible. This includes your overall distance, speed, heart rate, cadence, power, calories burned and temperature — though be aware you’ll need monitors for some of those metrics.

Runkeeper, Strava, or Garmin? Pick One & Sync with the Rest activities


The FAQ states that Tapiriik won’t create duplicate entries within your connected services, even if you’ve tracked the same activity with multiple apps or devices (you rebel).

Can I Sync Automatically?

You sure can, but you’ll need to pay $2 per year for the privilege. As developer Collin Fair states:

“For $2/year, synchronization is fully automatic. If you can’t manage that, you can visit as often as you want to manually trigger a synchronization … Synchronizing activities once costs almost nothing. Doing it 24 times a day, 365 days a year: less so. You paying $2 a year covers these costs so tapiriik will always run smoothly.”

Tapiriik FAQ

What About Privacy?

You can assuage your privacy fears by consulting Tapiriik’s Privacy chart, which tells you exactly what is stored on their servers —–depending on the services you connect. Most of the big services use access tokens rather than storing login information, but if you opt for automatic sync, you’ll have to give up the keys to your various accounts.

Runkeeper, Strava, or Garmin? Pick One & Sync with the Rest privacy

Do More with Your Training Aids

Aside from fleshing-out your online fitness presence, Tapiriik can also overcome the incompatibilities that arise from certain combinations of training aids and online services. If the GPS watch, heart rate monitor, or cycle power meter you just bought only works with Garmin Connect or Runkeeper, you can use Tapiriik to copy the data to the services that matter the most to you.

Did you know that Strava can act as a rudimentary power meter? Save yourself some money on pricey hardware, and use the data elsewhere with Tapiriik. It’s also a valuable tool if ever you want to jump ship from one service to another, without losing your precious training data or the hassle that manual importing involves.

Do you use Runkeeper, Garmin or Strava? Let us know which services you’ll be syncing using Tapiriik in the comments, below.

Image Credit: antb /

Related topics: Fitness, GPS, Wearable Technology.

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  1. Lee
    October 27, 2016 at 12:48 pm

    Just purchased this, it's awesome!! :-)

  2. jorge
    June 6, 2016 at 8:22 pm

    doing this!

  3. Carmen Cismas
    May 27, 2016 at 8:17 am

    I`m trying to connect strava with runkeeper and for runkeeper I get an error after approval saying :
    Oh! The agony of de feet!

    We weren't able to find the page you were looking for! Next time we will train a little harder to make it across the finish line.

  4. Andrew
    May 16, 2016 at 3:45 am

    I just signed up and am giving this a go. I've been with Runkeeper for 6 years, and dabbled with Strava, but because Withings devices have an exclusive agreement with RunKeeper, I've kept using this. More of my mates use Strava for cycling, so I'd prefer to use that.

  5. Anonymous
    October 31, 2015 at 3:59 am

    I use Runkeeper alongside Nike+, mostly because the latter don't keep a record of the distance that I run outside it's own "side of the fence" (I keep a record on iHealth). I also have an account in Strava, but I noticed that the way that it tracks the covered distance isn't, if not the same, at least similar to the one recorded by Nike+.

    That isn't a problem with Runkeeper, on which the average difference is about 20 meters between what Nike+ said that I ran, and what Runkeeper said.

    So, I'll give to Tapiriik a chance, to see how well it suits to my own needs.

    It's a shame that Nike+ is so closed with it's data... Even if that data (on a sense) are my data.