Having the iPhone 3G has its moments. Most of the worst moments come from running apps that were never intended for my iPhone 3G. The lack of Nike + support on my device is a perfect example of this. Newer iPhone models have the technology needed for this app built right in, but the 3G model needs a dongle. I’m not a dongle kind of guy. Luckily there have been competitors such as RunKeeper Pro ($9.99) that managed to innovate enough to give me access to an exercise tracking application without having to buy extra hardware for my phone. How’d they do it? Through the use of the GPS API, which determines your speed and pace without having to have a fancy little gadget (pedometer) for your shoe. Sure, it’s probably a little less accurate in distance and speed calculations, but having used RunKeeper for two years, I’m still pretty impressed by it.
It seems like the folks at Nike have been paying attention to RunKeeper’s success. They’ve now added Nike+ GPS to the App Store, giving you the same GPS functionality as RunKeeper. People don’t want to have to go out to the store to buy a special pedometer and special shoes to run your app. Adding this functionality is a huge plus for Nike and will likely result in increased sales. One of the benefits of RunKeeper over the Nike + application is that RunKeeper can be used for a variety of physical activities (cycling, hiking, etc), whereas the Nike + application is solely for running.
You might want to keep these things in mind if you’re deciding which application to purchase.
You can get Nike+ GPS for $1.99, and RunKeeper Pro for $9.99. There’s also a free version of RunKeeper.