Nike+ moves from app to platform with four new device partners

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Credit: Nike

After going it alone with health tracking hardware, Nike is expanding relationships to use its Nike+ app with non-Nike devices. The company announced four new hardware partners on Friday — Garmin, Tom Tom, Wahoo Fitness and Netpulse — with a new “Partners” app feature to connect the Nike+ app with third-party devices.

The updated Nike+ Running App makes pairing with the new partners easy. Users will see a “Partners” screen when they update or download the app. The “Connect a Partner” button guides users to settings to manage preferences and establish the seamless connection between Nike+ and the partner apps and devices.

The idea here is to expand the use of Nike+ and give the app’s users more freedom to choose a wearable device or software platform. That’s a sharp change from Nike’s several-year approach of exercise tracking with devices ranging from footpod step-trackers and, more recently, its FuelBand wearable band.

Change has been in the wind for some time, however, as [company]Nike[/company] first kept its software limited to [company]Apple[/company] iOS devices for several years and recently releasing a Nike+ app for Android. And roughly a year ago there were reports of Nike abandoning its own hardware efforts and laying off much of the Fuelband team. As a long-time runner, I welcome the change from app to platform; it’s long overdue.

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David Hroncheck

Interesting how Polar are moving so slow. Garmin, Suunto and Nike all opening up to take advantage of mobile, while Polar stay frozen. I used their devices from ’90 exclusively to ’10, consulted briefly for them that year and gave up as they refused to accept the future. As multifaceted smartwatches improve, the classic sport watch with proprietary wireless is in danger. Ironic that mobile has hurt Finland so.

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