Nike+ Move: great app, flawed concept?

Nike+ Move was demoed alongside the iPhone 5S at Apple’s September event, as it made use of the M7 co-processor for its movement information. It was released earlier this month, and it has had a place on my device ever since.

Is it yet another example of smartphones cannibalizing upon other gadgets, or is it simply an app based on a flawed idea?

Nike+ is an ecosystem, and this latest app is an extension of that. There are definite ties and advertisements throughout the app’s submenus to other Nike products. This alone conveys the point that Nike is trying to make here: the Nike+ Move app is intended to be a way to draw users into other Nike products.

The app itself is well-implemented. Data is displayed gracefully and in ways that are — mostly — easy to use. The data set itself seems very accurate; I don’t have a baseline to compare it to, but the trends make sense.

Nike uses its proprietary “FuelPoints” to allow you to compare yourself to your friends. This is done via GameCenter, and works well. In theory, I’m sure that this is intended to pressure you to move more and thus be more active. It’s a great theory, and probably has some scientific credibility. For me, though, I can’t bring myself to care much about my Nike+ score. Part of that is because I don’t actually run with my $700 computer. Instead, I run with my $50 iPod. That $50 iPod doesn’t plug into the Nike+ ecosystem, and thus that run isn’t recorded.

“You should get a FuelBand!” screams the Nike PR rep. And that would, indeed, solve my dilemma here. But guess what — the human race has already invented units to measure how active we are. When walking or running, those are called miles or kilometers. Frankly, I’m happy with those, and I’ll stick with apps like Pedometer++ that give me an estimate of how far I’ve walked, instead of an arbitrary number of made up FuelPoints.

[App Store]

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