Nike‘s Fuelband, which was their first attempt at an actual wearable, didn’t exactly light the fire under runners’ shoes, but it was a good experiment for the shoe-turned-fitness-advocate brand. It may have showed them that instead of focusing on hardware, their customers might be best served if they focus on developing software and then leverage off actual fitness wearable partners that have more experience than them in this arena. Hence, we now have the updated Nike+ app and the addition of support for other fitness devices.
The four OEMs that Nike mentioned as their new partners all have “straightforward wearables” that will now be supported by the Nike+ Running as part of their global partnerships expansion. They highlighted the strengths of each brand: Garmin with its GPS navigation technology, TomTom with their sport watches, Wahoo Fitness with their heart rate monitors and fitness sensors, and Netpulse, a health and fitness app provider. When you download or update your Nike+ Running app, you’ll see a partners screen where you can choose from any of the existing partners so you can connect with them seamlessly, whether they’re a gadget or app, and manage preferences and data.
The app update has also brought other new features. The shoe tagging element has been upgraded but details have not been provided as of yet. The app also now has an auto-pause mode that automatically stops your session when you stop running, either to tie your laces or to catch your breath.
Product Director Michael Orenstein says that all these changes actually come from their expansive Nike+ Running community to give runners a better experience on their app, whether they’re a newbie or a veteran marathon runner. The updated app will be available for download starting March 9 on the Google Play Store.