Update 10/9/15: It appears that motion3fitness has shut down. As such this article is no longer up to date. Since the Apple Watch I am no longer wearing Jawbone hardware. I do not know if there is a newer way to get these platforms working together.
After months of using both Fitbit and Jawbone fitness trackers, I have come to the conclusion that Jawbone is the superior options. Not in all cases, but I think they have the most well rounded system. But this is another post for another day.
There is one thing about Fitbit I do prefer, and that is its ability to post sleep and step information into the RunKeeper Health Graph. RunKeeper is my home base for fitness information. So I was dismayed to discover that data from my Jawbone UP24 did not post into RunKeeper, despite the fact that it does, unlike Fitbit, import RunKeeper data to its own app. Grr. Why can’t this go the other way? There is a thread on the Jawbone forums requesting post to RunKeeper, and I am one of the posters to that thread, but so far it has been ignored by Jawbone.
So I went back to Fitbit, only to discover that the connection had become incredibly unreliable. Sometimes over a week went by without anything posting to RunKeeper. Not to mention that Fitbit’s sleep tracking is inferior to Jawbone’s. Fitbit would often claim I woke up 40 times in a single night, which I think I would have remembered.1
So back to Jawbone. One of the big advantages to Jawbone over Fitbit is integration with IFTTT (If This Then That). Unfortunately RunKeeper is not a supported service in IFTTT2 so it is not as simple as setting up a recipe, but it turns out there is an admittedly manual and roundabout way to do this. It involves IFTTT, a website listed on RunKeeper’s app page called motion3fitness, and your email.
If you are not already a user of IFTTT then what are you waiting for? It is an amazing service that lets you set up all kinds of automated actions, such as logging all your Jawbone activity to Evernote, or your tweets to a Google Spreadsheet. It is worth checking out outside what I am about to show.
So step one is to setup an IFTTT account if you don’t already have one. Make sure you activate the Jawbone UP and email channels.
Next use this recipe that I created.
It will email you whenever you log a new sleep activity in Jawbone with a somewhat odd looking text blob. Everything but the last line will be populated with the number of seconds you slept (total, deep, light, awake). The last line is for number of times woken, which IFTTT won’t include on its own, but I will show you how to do that in a little bit. When you receive this email in the morning copy just the text in the body of the email.
Next go to the motion3fitness site and log in with RunKeeper. You don’t need to make a new account for their site, your RunKeeper account will be all you need. The first time you do this you will need to approve write permissions to RunKeeper3. For some odd reason after successfully logging in I always get an error screen saying something went wrong.
Ignore this because it did work so long as you see your name on this page. Then click on Quick Add in the top menu.
Now into this box, paste the text from the email. The last line for number of times woken you will need to get from the Jawbone UP app. You can just type this number in immediately after woken on the last line (make sure you put a space between the word woken and the number). It is important to note that you should do this the same day for which you want to enter this data. If not you need to enter the date as well, otherwise it defaults to today. Then click save.
If it is successful you should see a success page. Now if you go to RunKeeper you will see the sleep data in your fitness feed, as well as in your fitness reports. That is all you have to do. Just repeat this every morning.
I also created a recipe for steps and calories burned that will do much the same thing.
Simply follow the same procedure. I am hoping that Jawbone will eventually add this as an automatic feature with RunKeeper. The two companies seem to work well together otherwise, so it is odd this particular feature is being ignored. But in the meantime, this is probably the easiest way for Jawbone UP users to record their data to the RunKeeper Health Graph.\
- It appears that RunKeeper treats both woken and restless counts as woken in Health Graph. Fitbit does make this distinction, but RunKeeper treats pretty much any movement recorded in Fitbit as woken. ↩
- Don’t bother asking IFTTT to add a channel. On Twitter they will endlessly respond with a canned “submit the request on our website”. I am submitted both Fitbit and RunKeeper and know many others have had as well. It just gets ignored. ↩
- You may be thinking that this is not the smartest thing to do, allowing some random third party app to access your RunKeeper data. It is true that if you are worried about your privacy that this will open up a potential vector for data to leak. There is no way around this if you want this kind of integration. I am assuming that since it is directly listed on RunKeeper’s supported apps page that it is safe to use. And so far I have seen no ill effects. But you need to decide for yourself if you are comfortable with this. ↩