If you love the release you feel from a daily run or the enjoy the serenity that a brisk walk adds to your hectic week, this week’s product Tuesday brings you two amazing technological tools that can take your exercise routine to a fun, new level.
The Nike + iPod App and “iMap My” app are two great tools that can log detailed exercise statistics on your walk or run that integrates with your smart phone. These stats include distance, duration, GPS tracking & interactive maps, speed and calories burned. Each app has their pros and cons, so continue reading to find out which is best for your healthy lifestyle. The fun tools could be just the right push of motivation to help you get active every day of the week!
Both Apps can be purchased a la carte, downloaded on your smart phone and can be ready to log your exercise route and stats in a matter of minutes (supported by google maps). Additionally, both companies also offer great “add on’s” that boost the technology and information on you workouts even further.
SPLURGE on “Nike +” system: Nike offers a ton of extra add on’s for most exercise routines and technological devices. The overall concept of the “Nike +” series is it’s ability to be compatible with the “Nike +” shoe line. The shoes were originally designed to work in tandem with the tracking technology to provide the most luxurious exercise experience.
- Nike + iPhone App: Unlike previous Nike+ iPod offerings, no special sensors or kits are required for this app to function. The “Nike + App” has all the benefits of the “Nike +” system without the fancy gadgets. Some great features on this app include the voice feedback — which announces the progress of your exercise routine— and the ability to tap on the map at anytime to see how far you’ve gone. Also, Nike’s popular PowerSongs feature lets you setup and play specific songs for different types of runs, which is prompted to play by hitting the the center button, when you need an extra burst of melodic motivation. The app also syncs with Nikeplus.com, Nike’s online community, users can set goals, track and share their progress through Facebook and Twitter. It should be noted the GPS function will not work with the iPod touch.
The other Nike + tools rely on the Nike ” foot pod” sensor which fits conveniently in the tongue of the “Nike +” shoe series. These tools include :
- Nike + Sport watch GPS: The GPS sensor is more accurate that the “foot pod” alone and offers an up-to-the-second read out of your speed and distance. Your run is uploaded to the Nike+ website and stored.
- Nike + iPod nano: For those who don’t have a smart phone but still want to use the GPS and exercise tracking technology.
- Nike + Sport Band: The SportBand is the “bare bones” of the series that combines an accurate pedometer with the web component for fitness-tracking experience.
Check out Nike’s impressive video on the Nike + series:
SAVE on “iMapMy” Free App: With extremely similar functionality to the “Nike +” apps, the “MapMyRun” series offers the same tracking functions with just little less glamor and without the big brand name. The app offers the same distance, speed and calorie tracking capability, a similar online community and social networking integration. This app also offers online nutritional tracking capability with their online community. The “iMap My” is the basic free app, but the company also offers other sporting apps (the “+” app series) for $1.99 each. These add free versions include:
- iMap my Run
- iMap my Ride
- iMap my Hike
- iMap my Walk
- iMap my Fitness
Map My Fitness also sells a few supplementary accessories to support their exercise Apps. They offer a heart strap, stride sensor, phone cases and a few other fun toys. Check out their marketplace to see all they’ve got to offer.
QUALITY & UTILITY:
Nike Plus iPod:
Nike guarantees 90% accuracy when measuring distance however, Nike has disclaimed that they are working out some program errors with Mac iOS5 but are working on the bugs. Users have reported bugs in older versions of the App in the past, which was promptly smoothed out by Nike.
The GPS tracking ability of the accessories have been reported to be faulty by some consumers. And some marathon runner have reported that the “Nike +” accessories have died after long continued use ( with these users logging about 10-20 miles per use).
“iMap My” App:
This free App’s tracking accuracy is on par with the Nike application. Some users have even claimed that it surpasses Nike’s. But you will have to endure the sponsored ads that allow this app to be free.
The “+” series don’t include ads, however, all the various apps for different exercises (iMap my Run, iMap ride etc..) seem a bit gimicky. We’d advise if you’re going to shell out the $1.99 for add free tracking, then opt for the nike version.
“Nike + iPod”:
From a standing start, the “Nike +” package may seem fairly expensive. Apple’s mid-range, 4GB iPod nano will cost you $199, and a pair of Nike Plus compatible shoes runs between $90 and $110. Throw in a $29 sports armband and the $29 kit itself and you’re looking at an investment of around $350. But if you’re in the market for a new pair of shoes and already have an iPhone or iTouch. Ultimately it depends on what support you’re looking for in your workout routine.
“iMap My” App:
You can’t really beat the cost of free. But you will have to wait through this app’s sponsored ads, because nothing in our capitalistic society is ever truly free. As far as their “+” series and accessories, we think that if you’re serious about using these tools in your workout, it might be wise to make the investment in the “Nike” tools, and spend the extra money for the deluxe experience.
“Nike + iPod”:
The “Nike +” app is available in the app store of your nearest smart phone or iTunes. The shoes and accessories are available online, as well as NikeTown Stores, Sports Authority, Target and other sporting goods stores. Click here to find a full list of Nike vendors.
“iMap My” App:
If you have an iPhone or Andriod, this App can be yours in a matter of seconds. Just hit up you Phone’s App store or head over to iTunes to download the free version of this app. The “+” version’s can also be found in the same App stores. If your
While walking and running only required some good old motivation and a decent pair of shoes in the past, in this century, it seems like everything can be improved upon with use of modern technology. These tools could take your workout routine to the next level and may even be a fun way to motivate yourself to get moving!
Since the “iMapMy” app is free, why not take it for a test run? See how you like the functions of the app and if you fall in love or are feeling like you’d like more detailed support, go for the “Nike +” series.
A wise weight loss word of warning: be careful not to account for the “calorie burned” functions on these apps. These things aren’t very accurate and will only sabotage your exercise and weight loss efforts if you “add back” the calories you’ve spent.