The iOS market is saturated by "GPS tracking" apps.... RunKeeper, TrailGuru, etc... Now Nike has thrown their sneakers onto the track with their Nike+ GPS App. Previously, Nike's fitness app required you to place a wireless receiver in your shoe that would track your movement based on its best guess as to the size of your stride. I had used this in the past with disappointing results with the app usually being at least 10% off the distance I had actually travelled which makes it difficult to monitor your progress when the measurements are so far off.
The new Nike GPS app now uses the GPS built into the iPhone to monitor your pace and course. As I said... this is nothing new -- several other apps do the same thing, but the Nike app adds a bit more "flair" with a fresh coat of paint and some workout specific additions.
The Workout The UI is very simple and intuitive and I had no problems figuring out how to start and stop a run. While on your run, the app will notify you as you cross specific distances or times. This is great when you want to try to beat your previous time on a specific route as you can see where you are at specific landmarks during your run. I usually don't like to run with headphones (as I'd rather not get hit by a truck I didn't hear), but there's an option for a "Power Song", so if you're having a tough time making it up that hill, you can easily bring up your "Eye of the Tiger" (or whatever your power song might be) to help you push to the top. Since this app relies on the GPS for tracking, you do need to be doing outdoor runs in order for it to work. I think it will work indoors if you use the Nike shoe insert, but as I said before, those results were sketchy at best.
The Cool Down After you complete your workout, you can upload your stats to Nike+ site. love collecting stats on my workouts, and the Nike app (along with the corresponding website) provides enough information to inspire me to go back out and challenge my best times on different "courses". The app tracks your course on a map along with pace and elevation information. It's fun to see where you picked up the pace during your run (when those loose dogs came out) or when you may have slacked a bit (like that steep hill climb). I just figure the more information you have available, the easier it is to track your progress.
On the website, you can challenge other Nike+ users to check out your course and times, but I'd like to see more support for social networking. The ability to "Tweet" your workout after a run might provide even more motivation to keep you to your training schedule. I think the more "Social Aware" this app gets, the more people will use it and the more fun it will be to share your workouts with friends.
The only downside of the app is the $1.99 price, but like most apps in the App Store, it's still very reasonable. There are free alternatives (and it's probably better to support the smaller developers), but the Nike+ App just has a nice polish to it which makes it fun to use.
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I'm a technology early adopter. I thoroughly enjoy geeking out with the latest hardware, software and electronics. I probably have as much fun setting up, tweaking, and configuring systems as I do actually … more
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The Nike+ GPS app helps you get the most out of every run by tracking where you go and motivating you to take it further.
- Download it on the go and start running anywhere. With this app in hand, track every indoor and outdoor workout easily, without a sensor.
- Record your pace, distance and run route using the iPhone’s GPS and accelerometer technology so you can focus on the road ahead, and relive your run later.
- Anytime you’re up for a challenge, push farther, faster, or longer to better reach your goals. Then celebrate your victories with fun, motivational messages from Nike’s top athletes.
- As you run, get voice feedback on how you’re doing or tap the map to see where you are. Then activate your personalized PowerSong for an extra boost.
- Quickly send each run to Nikeplus.com where you can brag to friends, join challenges, set goals and connect with the rest of the Nike+ community.
- The Nike+ GPS app was designed for the iPhone, but it’s also compatible with the iPod touch (without the mapping capabilities). Please note that continued use of GPS running in the background can dramatically decrease battery life.
- COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: The Nike+ GPS App is compatible with iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and iPod touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generations) running iOS 4.0 or ...