Why sports apparel brands are giving up on fitness apps [Opinion]

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Whatever happened to Nike+?
What ever happened to Nike+?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Remember when every sports apparel brand needed an app to be cool? Ten years ago, the Nike+Apple partnership was in its ascendency, while Under Armour and Adidas were splurging millions acquiring fitness apps like MyFitnessPal and Runtastic.

Back then, brand owners hoped that by mining our workout data from these apps, they could target us with personalized offers. The big idea was that if you knew how often someone went running, you could tell when they needed new running shoes.

Today, things look very different. Nike removed workout tracking from its website. And Under Armour still can’t figure out how to unlock the potential of its apps. So what went wrong? What happened to the digital fitness revolution?

Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod brings fitness tracking to your pocket

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The Nike+iPod Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
The Nike+iPod Sport Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13: Today in Apple history: Nike+iPod Sport Kit brings fitness tracking to your pocket July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, which combines Cupertino’s popular music player with a smart pedometer.

The product marks Apple’s first step toward the kind of mobile health-tracking initiatives it will investigate in the following decade — most notably through its iOS Health app and the Apple Watch.

How to build muscle with Apple Watch

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Are you correctly fuelling your muscle growth?
That's actually not how you wear an Apple Watch
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you diligently close your Activity Rings every day in the hope of getting ripped like The Rock, you are going about it all the wrong way.

Apple’s Activity app focuses on cardio conditioning and burning calories. Which is great for losing weight, but irrelevant if you want to build muscle.

In this post, we’ll take a look at what really makes muscles grow and how you can use your Apple Watch to make it happen.

Google’s fitness app makes the long jump to iPhone

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Google Fit has activity rings similar to an Apple Watch.
Google Fit has activity rings similar to an Apple Watch.
Photo:

Google’s rival to Apple Health just made the hop across platforms. Google Fit can now be installed on an iPhone, making it easier to participate in challenges with Android users.

Even better, the software can connect with the Health app to pull data from an Apple Watch.

Will Chris Hemsworth’s new fitness app get you ripped like Thor? [Review]

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Centr is a new fitness app by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth
Centr is a new fitness app by Avengers star Chris Hemsworth.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

I’m a big Chris Hemsworth fan. The guy is walking workout inspiration. I spend hours at the gym hoping that one day I’ll achieve Thor-style arms. But so far, no luck.

That’s why Centr, Hemsworth’s new fitness app, immediately caught my interest. I was intrigued to learn the secrets of the training regimen that keeps him looking like a superhero. So I eagerly downloaded the app, hoping it would help transform my puny arms into guns worthy of Thor.

Trainiac is a fitness expert in the palm of your hands [Review]

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Trainiac Beats iPhone X
Trainiac connects you with a real personal trainer to maximize your fitness
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Have you ever felt sick and thought to yourself, “I should diagnose myself based on a web search,” later wishing you’d sought a professional instead? How about taking on an extensive home-improvement project, only to call in a contractor after struggling to make any real progress?

Getting in shape or losing weight shouldn’t be something you are stuck doing on your own, either. That’s where a personal trainer comes in.

This app turns your iPhone into a personal trainer [Review]

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Aaptiv app at the gym for a spin
Aaptiv offers more than 2,500 audio-guided workouts to keep you motivated and moving.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Getting in shape takes time and motivation. Whether you’re trying to get fit, lose weight, or train for your next race, having the right tool can help you get the most out of each workout.

For some people, hitting the gym a couple times each week is all they need. For others, they need something to offer that extra push. Aaptiv is the trainer you need, right where it matters most.

Best apps to tackle your New Year’s resolutions

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Best New Year’s Resolution Apps
Unless your resolution is to give up your iPhone, these apps are perfect for starting the new year right!
Photo: Tru Katsadne. Graphic: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

Every year, people make a pledge to themselves to improve in some way. New Year’s resolutions typically come in the form of personal wellness and fitness, productivity or kicking a bad habit. Sometimes they can be more general.

Whatever your goal is for the new year, there’s probably an app to help. These are some of the best apps to help you on your journey to a better you in 2019.

How to sync your Apple workouts to Strava automatically

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Sync Apple Workout app with Strava to get the best of both worlds.
Using Apple's Workout app with Strava gives you the best of both worlds.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Your shiny new Apple Watch is great for logging workouts. But it comes up short when you want to review your training progress and share your workout history with friends. Everything gets bundled in the Activity and Health apps on your iPhone, which are pretty basic.

That’s where third-party apps like Strava come in. Strava offers all the essential fitness analytics that Apple overlooks. The trouble is, Strava’s watch app sucks for logging workouts.

If only you could have the best of both worlds: logging your workouts with Apple’s excellent built-in Workout app, then syncing the data automatically to Strava. Well, thanks to a brilliant indie app called HealthFit, you can.

Cult of Mac’s 50 Essential iOS Apps [The complete list, sorted!]

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50 Essential iOS Apps
The best and most useful apps for iPhone and iPad
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

With our 50 Essential iOS Apps series, the goal was to help you find some of the best apps for iPhone and iPad. Picking the finest offerings from the more than 2.2 million iOS apps in Apple’s App Store proved challenging. But we highlighted apps that offer excellent features or make life easier in various ways.

To wrap up the series, we’ve sorted the apps by category to make the list easier to browse. We’re also showcasing Cult of Mac readers’ alternatives to our picks.

(You’ll find reader faves linked at the end of this post. That’s especially helpful since one of our must-have apps is about to die an unceremonious death.)