Why did Nike ruin its beautiful running app?

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Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Nike has turned its running app into a dodgy mashup of Instagram and Snapchat
Photo: Graham Bower / Cult of Mac

All hell broke loose last week when Nike relaunched its much loved Nike+ Running app with a new offering called “Nike+ Run Club.” Plagued with bugs, sluggish performance and missing features, this update has infuriated some of Nike’s most loyal users, including me. Nike+ Running used to have an impressive 4.5 star rating on the App Store. Since the update, this has plummeted to just 1.5 stars. And Nike’s Facebook and Twitter accounts are now flooded with gripes.

So what happened? How could a single update turn one of the best iPhone running apps into one of the worst?

Fitness apps obsess over running, but is it really good for you?

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To run, or not to run? That is the question.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Millions of people go running with their iPhone or Apple Watch every day. Logging runs is one of the main features of just about every fitness gadget on the market.

So should you join the sweaty masses and start using a running app? Not so fast. Not everyone is suited to running, and it won’t develop all aspects of your fitness. Plus, there are loads of other kinds of exercise you could be doing instead. What makes running so special?

Tim Cook just got a big promotion at Nike

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Cook & Ive - 2016
Just when you thought Tim Cook couldn't climb any higher...
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple CEO Tim Cook is moving up in the world of Nike, where he’s been serving as a member of the board of directors.

Nike revealed that starting today, Cook will be the lead independent board member at the athletic apparel company, which is undergoing some big leadership changes.

Apps vs. apparel: Can Strava compete with big sportswear brands?

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The last of the indie fitness apps: can Strava hold their own against the big brands?
The last of the indie fitness apps: Can Strava hold its own against the big brands?
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Sports apparel makers clearly believe that fitness apps are an important part of their futures. Under Armour and Adidas have invested heavily in fitness apps, and Runkeeper’s recent acquisition by ASICS is just the latest in a long series of app acquisitions by apparel makers.

These companies have big brands and deep pockets. Can an indie developer realistically compete with all that? Gareth Nettleton, VP of marketing for indie fitness app Strava, tells me that like any serious athlete, his hard-charging company thrives on competition.

How to set personal fitness goals with Apple Watch

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Positive goals, like training for a marathon, tend to be more effective than negative goals, like losing weight.
Get creative with your goals to achieve greater results.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch gives you three goals: standing, moving and exercise. But these aren’t really goals. They are actually more like targets.

A real goal is something you want to achieve — an outcome you have in mind that is so important, it motivates you into action. Starting a fitness program without this kind of goal is like going on a road trip without any idea of your destination. Maybe you’ll arrive someplace nice, but don’t count on it.

So when it comes to fitness, the big question is: What are you trying to achieve?

Apple named coolest wearables brand over Samsung, Rolex, Ralph Lauren

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As smartwatches grow in popularity, the Apple Watch will continue to be the hands-on - or wrist-on - favorite.
As smartwatches grow in popularity, the Apple Watch will continue to be the hands-on - or wrist-on - favorite.
Photo: Apple

Apple Watch is by far the most successful smartwatch to date in terms of sales, so perhaps it’s no surprise that Apple has been voted the “coolest wearables brand” by smartphone users.

The Cupertino company not only beat technology rivals like Samsung and LG to the top of the list, but also high-end watchmakers and fashion brands like TAG Heuer, Rolex, and Ralph Lauren.

Why I’m cheating on my Apple Watch

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I now wear two watches when I’m running. Seriously.
Two-timer: I now wear two watches when I’m running. Seriously.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

After six months of trying to log my runs with my Apple Watch, I finally gave up and bought a dedicated GPS running watch.

There’s a lot to like about Apple’s new wearable. The Activity app, for example, is brilliant at helping people lose weight. But the truth is, as a running watch, it sucks.

Has Apple Watch helped you get in shape?

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Join the Cult of Mac club on Strava and share your fitness story
Join the Cult of Mac club on Strava and share your fitness story
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple Watch has been on our wrists for just five months and yet it is already having an amazing impact on many people’s lives.

We want to find out how Cult of Mac readers are using Cupertino’s fitness tech to get in shape, so we’re inviting everyone to share their inspiring stories. Plus, we’ve set up a new Cult of Mac club on Strava so you can connect with other readers who are into fitness.

Training for a marathon? Apple Watch can help

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You Apple Watch can't assess the efficiency of your running style
Apple Watch can help improve your race time (but watch where you're going!)
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

With Autumn rapidly approaching, marathon season is almost upon us. So if you’re planning on running a race, now’s the time to ramp up your training.

Whether you are doing a full marathon, a half-marathon or a 10K race, here are my top 10 tips for using your Apple Watch to achieve a new personal best.

Apple’s savvy fitness plan: Build an indispensable platform

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The Activity app forms the hub of Apple’s fitness platform strategy.
The Activity app forms the hub of Apple’s fitness platform strategy.
Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

If you compare the Apple Watch to dedicated fitness tracking devices, it comes up short, and the forthcoming watchOS 2 will do little to address these limitations. Instead, with this update Apple is focusing on helping improve third-party fitness apps.

That’s because Apple sees its wearable as the main component of a fitness platform, with the Activity app as hub. While the built-in Workout app is mostly for beginners, third-party apps will provide the missing features for hardcore users.