updated 07:15 pm EDT, Mon May 23, 2011
Tracks runners' progress, offers encouragement
The Nike+ app for iOS devices has reached its fifth birthday, prompting the company to offer the app free for a limited time. The Nike+ GPS app not only maps a user's runs, it offers socialization of results through Facebook and Twitter, encouraging messages from Nike's top athletes, a log of all the user's runs, a soundtrack of "powersongs" to keep the runner motivated, and even offers a high-tech method of playing "Tag" by outrunning your friends to avoid being tagged "It."
The app can even be used without a sensor if it is held in the hand while running, meaning runners can download the app on the spot and begin using it immediately. It uses GPS (or triangulation if GPS is not available) and accelerometer technology to trace the runner's route. With a persistent internet connection, runners can hear a cheering sound effect each time their friends on the social networks "likes" or comments on the run status.
Nike+ GPS is compatible with the iPhone 3GS and later, and the iPod Touch (2nd, 3rd and 4th generations). The iPod Touch does not support GPS, meaning that it relies on less-accurate triangulation for positioning. Users should also be aware that continued use of GPS in the background will increase the drain on the battery.