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Nike+ Feedback April 15, 2010

Posted by shwaldman in Fitness, Technology.
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It occurred to me that I was not specific enough in my review of the Nike+ sensor, app, and website. I need to clear my brain of these thoughts, so here is a list things Nike and Apple need to fix with this gadget interface.

Firstly, I must say that setup for this gadget was amazingly simple. The App downloaded and sync’d to my foot sensor without any issues. So much so that I forget how it worked and hope that I don’t have to resync or change any of that setup. I say this because the interface is equally simple and I have not been able to find any of the setup now that I am off and running with it. These are the three basic screens:

Despite this simplicity, there are some basic functions that do not work. The app allows you to define a custom workout (timed run with a given playlist, for example), but it does not allow you to use smart playlists – it always selects another playlist. And the once created, the workout does not show any details about the configuration despite there being plenty of room for it. See center pic above.

The primary function of the app is to record foot steps once the workout is started. It does force you to quickly sync to the foot pod which works fine. The problem is sometimes, randomly, you can start a workout and it somehow lost track of the sensor and if you aren’t watching, the timer runs, but zero distance is recorded. I have learned to check it once I get a few minutes into the workout. On a couple of early runs, it was recording some movement, but even running at 9min/mi (6.5 MPH), it recorded something like 1 MPH.

As I said in my first review, one of coolest functions of the Nike+ community is the challenges. To me, this should be something that they could build into the app. There should be a tab for challenges that shows where you are (if only at the time of your last sync) on any given sync. It should also provide a way to see and sign up for new challenges. The challenges can only be seen on the all flash website – which means you can not do it from the iPhone OS at all! That is ridiculous to me. This is a joint relationship from Apple and Nike and yet Apple feud with Adobe is cutting off the head of this app.

Now for the website. It looks super slick and clean – but it is slow – thus the reason Apple won’t let you run flash on their phones. However, some basic features do not work. First, on several occasions I have had trouble finding configuration things for my profile. It is not always intuitive. Also, the member search does not work. I have tried to use email and user name and neither work. For a social community site, this should be a required functionality to have working.

Now, since I have only been on the site for a few months (nearly 3 now), I am not completely sure how the challenges are working. I don’t think very well so far. In a recently one that ended last week, I came in second. The challenge was named “First to reach level Green” and the description read: Im taking this challenge so I can advance to level green. Feel free to do the same or just individually run to 122 miles. Now, the winner ran 123+ miles and I only ran 86+ miles, but he didn’t turn green yet. What is up with that? (I did turn green less than a week later.) I think I need to create a challenge for myself and see how that really works, but I am guessing the only criteria that the winner can be evaluated is the distance completed or fasted time not whatever the creator wants. So, when I create my challenge to reach Level Blue, it will be 460 Miles from now, but someone who is halfway there will turn blue in say 200 miles. It is all very confusing, but fun nonetheless and somewhat motivating, which is all that matters really.

I hope in future releases, Apple and Nike work out these kinks so that I can feel more satisfied with this nifty little workout gadget.

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1. Tweets that mention Nike+ Feedback « Some Waldman’s Blog – Finding Balance in the Flood of Information -- Topsy.com - April 28, 2010

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Scott Waldman. Scott Waldman said: Nike+ Feedback: http://wp.me/phONP-gT […]


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