Ever since the release of the 2G iPod touch, I’ve been tempted to pick it up just for one feature alone: Nike+ integration. As a runner, I’d love some way to track my progress, and the iPhone apps that work with the device’s GPS would be great, except I don’t want to strap my iPhone to my sweaty arm, for obvious reasons.
If AppleInsider is correct, Nike+ integration might be on its way to the iPhone, too. If the new model also comes with improved moisture resistance, then the ability to take advantage of the sporting giant’s fitness tracking system will add much to the device’s appeal, at least for me. I’d love to be able to drop everything and go for a midday run without worrying about being unreachable for work or other emergencies.
Nike+ has been a frequently requested feature for inclusion in the iPhone since the release of the most recent iPod touch model, though it does present some unique hurdles on the platform. For it to be really useful, the system would have to have the ability to continue running despite the interruption of incoming calls. Background tasks, as most of us are keenly aware, are not allowed on the current or upcoming iPhone software.
Except, that is, when it comes to Apple’s own built-in software. Both Mail and iPod apps, for instance, still manage to gather and send data in the background even when not the primary app in focus on the platform. Apple could, in theory, make yet another exception for Nike+, since the app would likely be built into upcoming devices as it is with the iPod touch, rather than be something you could just download via the App Store. That’s because it requires specialized hardware to communicate with the transmitter you use in your shoe as part of the Nike+ system.
The source of the Nike+ rumor is the newest version of Apple’s iTunes software, which came out earlier this week amid other updates. Alongside this discovery came hints of a new ability to tag songs listeners hear on the radio for later purchase through iTunes. The tech isn’t necessarily iPhone-specific, but in light of recent rumors of a built-in FM radio transmitter being a part of the new iPhone’s makeover, chances seem to favor iPhone applications for the new features.
So many new transmitters, such a small device. I’m all for more and better features, but pretty soon I’m gonna start getting nervous about holding this thing next to the ol’ thought-melon for any length of time. Maybe Apple will take this opportunity to re-introduce its Bluetooth headset to allay such fears?