Apple Double Downs on Running With Nike-Edition Smartwatch

October 28, 2016 - running watch

Apple isn’t a initial to supplement GPS functionality to a smartwatch, yet it’s a initial to make something that feels like a using watch.

And a association is doubling down on that with a Nike book out Friday, while Nike is bringing facilities from a phone app directly to all models of Apple Watch.

I’ve found inclination yet GPS typically awful during measuring how quick and how distant I’m running. And those with GPS typically do small some-more than magnitude how quick and how distant I’m running. The basis are good for infrequent runners, yet anyone who becomes a critical curtain needs many more.

I’ve logged some-more than 400 miles over a past 6 weeks with a GPS book of Apple Watch, famous as Series 2. I’ve also run 34 miles with a Nike Plus chronicle over a past few days; it’s radically a Series 2 watch with a tradition wristband and watch face. With both, Apple addressed many of a shortcomings in a strange watch, GPS being usually one of them. I’m not prepared to embankment my Garmin using watch yet, yet a Apple Watch comes tighten to assembly all my needs.



The strange watch does a excellent pursuit of latching onto your phone’s GPS if you’re using with a phone, yet with built-in GPS, we can leave a phone behind. Accuracy is on standard with other good GPS watches, that is to say, measurements are infrequently off, generally when high buildings retard GPS signals. The watch automatically calibrates to my using style, so it’s improved than non-GPS inclination even when there’s no GPS.

Though GPS drains a battery some-more quickly, a watch still had about an hour of non-GPS use left after a marathon run of about 4 hours, 40 minutes. For normal use, Apple says we should get adult to 90 mins a day of GPS workouts; I’ve mostly left longer yet a watch failing before bedtime. It helps that I’ve infirm a heart-rate sensor during workouts.

While Series 2 is meant for stand-alone running, many people lift phones anyway. With it, we get somewhat improved correctness and battery life.



Series 2 watches start during $369, yet it’s $30 some-more for a incomparable shade — a optimal stretch for incomparable wrists. Non-GPS models, now called Series 1, are $100 less. All models get program updates that residence dual gripes with a original:

— Apple’s Workout app now annals your route, something other GPS fitness devices and apps have prolonged done. The Apple app didn’t use to, even with entrance to a phone’s GPS.

— You can double daub a shade to record splits, or primer snapshots of how prolonged it takes to run a stretch. Before, that was singular to mile or kilometer intervals, that didn’t assistance when we were using laps or loops that weren’t precisely that length.



Nike’s app offers a lot to like, including vast yellow numerals for easy reading during runs and voice updates each mile and median toward your goal. Nike keeps things elementary for beginners by displaying usually stretch and time; spin on modernized mode for stream gait and heart rate. My gripes: no primer splits, and normal gait appears usually when pausing or by the voice updates.

Nike excels in perplexing to motivate we even when you’re not running. It will keep seeking “Are we using today?” by reminding we a weather is good or that a crony (with a watch or usually a phone app) is usually forward of we for a month’s total. A scheduling underline shows we continue forecasts in half-hour increments. After creation a selection, we get a presentation when it’s time to run.

Though a app is accessible for all models, a Nike watch also has a colorful wristband sporting holes to assistance persperate dry. It offers tradition watch faces with one-touch entrance to a app, and a sign of your subsequent scheduled run. Most people will be excellent with usually a giveaway app, yet using enthusiasts can get a Nike chronicle for a same price.



Cyclists get identical speed and stretch information, yet a watch doesn’t magnitude how quick you’re pedaling, something hard-core cyclists competence want. You can float with Series 2, even with chlorinated or salt water, something many water-resistant gadgets don’t allow. The watch measures stretch indoors by counting laps, yet we need a pool vast adequate for during slightest 5 strokes per lap.



Recording splits during runs is great, yet we also wish to know my normal gait and time given a final split, rather than a commencement of a run. we find it useful when we wish to go faster in a center of a run before a peaceful cooldown.

And while Apple Watch syncs examination information with a phone’s Activity app, many long-time runners already have their favorite online repository, either that’s Nike, Strava or Garmin. The ability to pierce information around is limited. While Nike offers an Apple Watch app, it’ll take time for others to locate up. Strava’s still requires using with a phone, while Garmin doesn’t have one during all.

For these reasons, I’m adhering with my Garmin Forerunner 220.

And while it’s a teenager annoyance, both Apple’s and Nike’s app do a three-second countdown before workouts. we usually wish to run when we strike “start.”



Because this examination is focused on runners’ needs, we haven’t gotten into all a other features, such as maps, continue and shopping. Running watches and general-purpose aptness trackers such as Fitbit don’t offer as much. The ability to respond to messages by voice came in accessible when coordinating with friends watchful during a finish line, for instance. But if we don’t need a “smarts,” a decent GPS aptness device is some-more than $100 cheaper.


The story has been corrected to uncover that Nike plea is formed on month’s total, and not by week.

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