06 March 2016

What Happened to the Nike+ App?

Nike+ iPod Sensor
I realize I am really late to the game on this.  I am usually behind on the latest advances in technology, this is certainly the case.

iPod receiver and Nike+ sensor

A few years ago, Nike and Apple teamed up to make a tracking system for runners.  The Nike+ Sensor would sync with an iPod.  Depending on the version of iPod, one would either need a receiver that plugged into the charging port or, connect to device via Bluetooth and using it through an app.  This also worked with certain iPhone models.

The sensor would be placed in special Nike+ shoes.  If you are cheap like me, just carry the sensor in your pocket and it worked just as well.

Sensor placed in special shoes
While I do not do much running, on occasion I do a lot of walking during vacations.  I wanted to get one of these senors to track how much ground is covered on hikes and excursions.  I also do a little (very little) running on the tread mill.

My iPod already had the Nike+ app pre-installed.  All I need was the sensor.  So, about two years ago I got one and started tracking those long hikes.  I was able to earn FuelPoints in addition to my FuelBand.  I was not a frequent user of this sensor, although I did buy a pair of gyms shoes with the sensor 'hole'.

This worked fine what I was using it.  But, about two months ago, I wanted to track a short walk and could not find the app on my iPod.  I did a little research and found out what happened.

Obsolete Nike+ sensor

When Apple released the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, running on iOS 8.0.  The new operating system introduced the Health app which featured similar pedometer function as the Nike+ system, but with the addition of tracking via GPS.  This made the Nike+ sensor and system obsolete.  Ah, lucky for me, I am still using an iPhone 4S and only upgrades to a 5S.  While I was running iOS 8 on my phone and iPod, the Nike+ system was still working.

Along comes iOS 9.0 changing the game.  Once iOS 9 is installed, it deleted the pre-installed Nike+ app on your device.  This is why I could not find it on my iPhone/iPod.  There was no warning (that I know of), the app was just removed.  The Health app was the beginning of the end for the Nike+ sensor.  I guess I should have seen this coming as I noticed that Nike discontinued the Nike+ line of footwear, no more sensor holes.

There is no way to get the app back, as there is no (easy) way to install iOS 8. The easiest thing to do is find an old iPod and hope that it has iOS 8 or lower installed. 

New Nike+ Running app
So, there is a new Nike+ Running app for iOS.  It works with the Health app, using the accelerometer and GPS to track your movement and location.  I am going to give this a try on my next excursion and may or may not report back.

Until then, I need to find the foam plug for my shoe because my sensor work its way out of the hole when I put on my shoe.  Then it is like the Princess and the Pea for me and I have to re adjust the sensor.  Maybe a piece of tape would help.

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