Despite looking forward to the iPod Touch/iPhone integration of the Nike+ running dongle for over a year now, we can't help but feel slightly disappointed at the way this app is executed on the latest iPod Touch. The Nike + iPod software itself looks great—the red and white UI design matches up perfectly with nike's own workout site—but there's just something missing. First, where's the grandfathered support for iPhone, iPhone 3G and first-gen iPod Touch? More importantly, where are the expanded features that makes great use of the Touch's accelerometer, touch screen or internet connection? Nowhere.
The app itself works perfectly. As a long time sporadic Nike + iPod user on the old iPod Nano, we can say that all those features we expect to be there are ported over with the right amount of care for the larger screen. But there's nothing really all that revolutionary. Custom workouts, where you can pre-set options for time, distance or playlist are a nice addition, and it's nice to look at your workout history in a clearer fashion, but how come we couldn't get charts and graphs like on the Nike site? Something like the chart below, fetched from our own online history, would have been an easy addition to the feature set. And where, my fit readers, is the communication between your iPod touch and your online Nike account?
Our other complaint is that you're forced to buy the 2nd generation iPod Touch in order to take advantage of the app. Plugging in the dongle to your iPhone, iPhone 3G or 1st generation Touch isn't even an option. Even with firmware 2.1, you still get the "This accessory is not supported by iPhone" error. Why? The dongle solution works fine on iPod nanos, why couldn't Apple copy over the Nike + app and make use of the transmitter?
Despite our gripes about the lack of device support and lack of new features, we still love the app. It's much prettier and readable when running than the version on even the iPod nano 4G (which have the equivalent red and white larger icons), and if you're already a serious Nike + iPod user, the touch is a slightly better way to do what you're already doing. It's not quite good enough for you to upgrade from your current device, but think of it as an added bonus if you were thinking about getting an iPod touch for yourself so you can pass off your old iPod nano to your spouse so he or she can get into shape too. [Amazon]