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 Sports Kit was a nifty innovation.
Photo: Apple

July 13 Today in Apple history July 13, 2006: Apple releases its first activity tracker, the Nike+iPod Sports Kit, which combines a portable music player and a smart pedometer.

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

Apple Music partners with Fender for rocking playlists

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apple-music
Brands are partnering with Apple Music to curate playlists.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Electric guitar fans can listen to Apple Music playlists from Fender, maker of some of the world’s most iconic axes.

Five new playlists emerged from the new Fender/Apple Music partnership. While rock ‘n’ roll might be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Fender, the company is also highlighting how its instruments have been used in R&B, hip-hop, jazz and other genres.

Apple Watch now available from Sport Chek stores in Canada

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Apple Watch Sport Chek
It's even easier to get your hands on Apple Watch in Canada.
Photo: Sport Chek

Sport Chek, the largest sports retailer in Canada, now stocks multiple models of Apple Watch.

Its selection isn’t quite as big as the Apple’s but its prices are the same, and it’s more convenient for those who don’t live near an official Apple store.

Nike’s new Apple Watch bands mean no more mismatched wrist and shoes

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See what we mean?
Photo: Nike

Ever been socially ostracized for wearing an Apple Watch band that doesn’t match the color of your sneakers, or is way too bright for the time of day you’re rocking it?

Such nightmarish scenarios are set to come to an end this June, courtesy of Apple and Nike’s latest collaboration. Announced today, Nike is releasing four new chic Nike Sports Bands for Apple Watch, coming in colors matching the Nike Air VaporMax Flyknit “Day to Night” collection.

Nike unveils new Apple Watch with ‘bone and black’ band

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Say hello to the new Nike Apple Watch.
Say hello to the new Nike Apple Watch.
Photo: Nike

Apple’s partnership with Nike has birthed a fresh new look for the Apple Watch Series 2 aimed at runners with a passion for style.

Nike unveiled its new twist on Apple’s iconic wearable today, dubbed the Apple Watch NikeLab. Nothing is new on the watch as far as hardware upgrades go, but the new “bone on black” band is so gorgeous fitness freaks will probably be lining up to get it on their wrists.

It’s time for Apple Watch to get serious about fitness

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Here's how Apple could improve watchOS 4 for fitness buffs.
Here's how watchOS 4 could improve Apple Watch for fitness buffs.
Image: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple puts fitness front and center in its advertising for Apple Watch Series 2, even going so far as to claim the device is a “superior sports watch.” But in reality, it is not a sports watch at all. It’s a smartwatch. And that’s a massively important distinction.

Sports watches, like the TomTom Runner or Garmin Forerunner, are cheaper and more reliable at logging workouts, while smartwatches are jacks of all trades, which usually means they are masters of none. Or at least, not masters of fitness.

The sad fact is that it doesn’t have to be this way. Right now, it’s mostly the software that is letting Apple Watch down. That’s why I’m hoping that with its next major software update, Apple will finally get its smartwatch into shape for fitness fans. Here’s what I want to see in watchOS 4, which Apple will likely unveil at its Worldwide Developers Conference this June.

Teens love their iPhones more than ever

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iPhone 7 red
iPhone is king among teens.
Photo: Ste Smith

The iPhone has never been more popular with teens, according to a new survey that found 76 percent of U.S. teenagers with a smartphone own an Apple.

Investment firm Piper Jaffray’s semiannual teen survey discovered that iPhone ownership among teenagers rose seven points from spring 2016, when 69 percent of U.S. teens owned an iPhone. The news gets even better for Apple — 81 percent of teens surveyed say they plan to buy an iPhone the next time they upgrade.

Nike+ Run Club is borking my runs, and I blame Apple Watch

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Nike Run Club on Apple Watch Nike+
Does the Nike Run Club app for Apple Watch Nike+ go the distance?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

At the most essential level, a running app should provide a reliable way to log your workouts: when, where, how fast and how far you run. Fancy features are all very well and good, but let’s be honest — if an app doesn’t get the basics right, it sucks.

Nike has been busy adding new bells and whistles to its Nike+ Run Club app recently. Which is great if you want stuff like photo sharing and news feeds. But all I want is to log my runs, and thanks to my Apple Watch Nike+, that critical function has become pretty unreliable.

Apple Watch Nike+ launches in 41 countries on October 28

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Apple Watch Nike Plus
You have to buy a Nike+ watch to get the band.
Photo: Buster Hein/Cult of Mac

New Macs aren’t the only new products on the horizon for Apple this week.

Apple revealed today that the Nike+ edition of the Apple Watch Series 2 will be available in over 41 countries starting Friday. More countries will get supply during the weekend. But if you want to buy a Nike+ band for the Apple Watch you already own, you’re out of luck.