Nike+ Running App for Android
On Friday June 22 Nike released the long awaited Nike+ Android app. I like many other non-apple users have been waiting patiently for this app to come out. I have to admit that due to the hype about making an Android supported app I was very surprised that there was not more talk about this apps release.
I was recently considered giving in and getting a fuelband or one of the sport watches because there are many sites out there that work like Nikeplus.com but none have the graphics and user engagement like this. I know a few weeks ago I reviewed Runkeeper and I have been on Dailymile for about a month now, but I'm thinking about dropping one of those for Nike.
When I first opened the app this was after the first update since its release so most of the reviews that are found in the Google Play Store are not relevant any more. The app is very easy to navigate but it does take a little getting used to. Upon first opening the app after downloading it will prompt you to sign in with either Facebook for Nike+. I suggest going to the Nike+ site and signing up before downloading the app it will make things easier. I have not tried to connect with my facebook. I did try to connect with Twitter but that did not work so well.
What they do not tell you anywhere in the app or online is that when you are using the app and you shut the screen off on your phone the app keeps running but will only keep track of how long you have been running the app not how far you have gone. When you are out on a run make sure that you lock the app by sliding the lock at the bottom of the screen so that the background changes from red to black then if should keep track of your distance while conserving battery life.
Ending the run I found the most complicated part. There is no end run button and when you are on the "run" screen you are not able to access any other part of the app. What I have discovered is if you tap somewhere on the bottom right of the screen then the lock slider changes to an end run slider. This must be made more obvious the new user.
Look and Feel
The app just feels natural. When in the middle of a run and you want to know your current stats all you have to do is double tap the screen and an automated voice will read off your time, distance and stride without having to look at the screen. There is also the option to schedule when the app will tell you what is on the screen, the preset is every mile.
The most confusing part of the run screen I have found is that to pause the run you tap the "pause run" bar at the bottom of the screen. My instinct is to slide the lock across the screen to pause because of how so many other apps have their pause buttons set up. The lock there just locks the screen does not pause the run. Keep in mind that when the run is pause you cannot lock the screen because the lock slider turns into an end run slider.
The best part I have found is that when you create a goal on the Nike+ site the goal will appear at the bottom of the screen in the app. A little green line will indicate how much progress you have made towards your goal what the goal is and how long you have to complete it.
The app as you complete tasks such as running a certain distance, running a distance in a certain amount of time, will challenge you to beat your time. When you want to start a run it will present you with the last time you did this run and ask if you want to try to beat it. I find this to be a very motivating feature, not only does it push you to get out there but also to do better, go farther, run longer. As an added bonus they give you little metals for completing these goals and as you go farther then the challenges get harder.
While there are minor tweeks here and there that will need to be made by Nike to get this app running more smoothly, as a first release I am very pleased with it. I have not had the chance to take it out for a long run (there have been rumor about it draining batter quickly and crashing) but when I do I will be sure to update this hub with the relevant information. So far the only problem that I have run into was that ending the runs but I was able to work that out so I hope that, that is the only problem that I will have.
Update 7.11.2012: A few days ago I had the chance to test this app out on a longer run, Google Maps puts the run at about 4 miles, and until about mile 3 everything was running smoothly (no pun intended). But then all of a sudden the app crashed. This was very upsetting but I think it may have had to do with too many other apps running at the same time. I have not experienced any problems with battery drainage, but there is still an issue with the map feature in the app. I have been writing back and forth with Nike+ Support for a few days trying to work out what the exact issue is, but when it fully functioning I will update you all here.
Update 13.12.2012 about a month ago Nike+ had an update for the app, but you have to beware. The app is no longer available for users who's Android phone is running Gingerbread and bellow. I will try to get in touch with Nike to find out if they will be releasing an older version for all us users who can no longer use this amazing app.
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