App review: Nike+ GPS for iPhone

When I wrote about the Yahoo! Sportacular and NFL.com Game Center apps, one of the other apps that caught my attention on the featured page was the Nike+ GPS for iPhone app. I’ve always liked the idea of Nike+, but haven’t ever been wild about having to pop the sensor into the shoe and do something like wear a special watch to track my runs.

The iPhone plus this new app, which is offered for $1.99, eliminates the need for those extra peripherals and it’s worth every penny if you’re interested in keeping track of your day-to-day workout runs. I took it out for a test run this morning and loved the results in a few areas.

Thanks to iOS4 multitasking, I’m still able to run the Rhapsody app for my music while this app also runs. When I hit one mile, it told me about my distance, as well as my pace. It updated me for every subsequent mile. It’s a nice middle point between knowing nothing and staring at a ticker on a treadmill. You get just enough information to motivate, but not enough to feel burdened by it.

Also, when you’re finished with the run, the app spits out a map showing your route and also outlining where you picked up the pace/slowed down at various points. Again, all of this is achieved with the GPS in the iPhone. (I’m using an iPhone 3GS, for what it’s worth.)

Finally, if you’ve got a username for nikeplus.com, you’re able to easily upload your run so you can track your progress over time. I saw some people in the iTunes reviews complain about the connection to nikeplus.com, but I had no issues.

The app offers multiple modes: Basic (run with no set time/distance), Time (run against a clock), or Distance (run for a set number of miles/kilometers). You’re also able to challenge yourself by racing against a previous run. The app also allows you to hear motivational clips, but I turned those off. Admittedly, this was the first run-tracking app I’ve tried, but I’ve got no reason to try another one because this felt like a well-spent $1.99.

Download the app from iTunes here.

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A tale if two iPhone apps

While killing time this morning before the noon football and U.S-Lithuania, I spent a little time in the iPhone app store. (Had to flash the firmware on my phone two weeks ago, so I started from scratch when it comes to apps.) The featured page is rich with sports apps at the moment and two in particular caught my attention: Yahoo! Sportacular and NFL.com Game Center 2010.

I’d heard Citizen Sports’ Sportacular app was headed back to market but with Yahoo! Sports branding and that has finally happened. If you’ve ever used Sportacular before, you know it’s a very strong sports app offering. I imagine the Yahoo! branding will make even more folks download this one now. The app looks the same for the most part, and you’re still able to use great features like Facebook Connect. They’ve also added something that I’ve personally been shocked wasn’t present in iPhone apps for sports sooner: check-ins.

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