Nike releases new Nike+ GPS app for runners

David Chartier
8 September, 2010
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Nike has released Nike+ GPS, a new app for runners, in the App Store. As the name promises, this new app’s main advantage is live GPS tracking while you run. It can track your route and upload it – along with the rest of your run data – to, Nike’s web service and community for gadget-enabled runners.

Nike+ GPS also includes a Challenge Me feature that’s designed to help ambitious runners push themselves. If you run three miles, Challenge Me will push you to run 3.5. Run five miles, and Nike’s app will move the carrot just a little farther.

There are a few likely reasons for why Nike decided to release a separate Nike+ app when it already got Apple to build one into iOS. For one, this new app does not require the purchase of a Nike + iPod Sport Sensor – it relies solely on device hardware like the GPS and accelerometer. As a result, iPhone and iPod touch users now only need to consider purchasing a $2.49 app versus a $28 sensor (iPod nano owners, however, will still need the $48 kit).

In addition, with increased competition in the exercise-tracking market from the likes of RunKeeper, Runmeter, and others, a separate app that is no longer dependent on Apple’s iOS updates for new features allows Nike to stay nimble in the App Store. Speaking of stores, more users means that Nike can collect more data about runner’s habits for its products, and a few of those new users might just stumble over to Nike’s store and buy some gear, too.

Currently, iOS’s built-in Nike app offers at least one feature that Nike+ GPS apparently does not yet – tracking walks in addition to runs.

Nike+ GPS is available now in the App Store for $2.49 and requires an iPhone or iPod touch running iOS 3.1 or later. GPS-mapping features require an iPhone 3GS or iPhone 4, and iOS 4 is required if iPhone owners want to use the GPS to track runs while the app is in the background. Other features will work on a second-generation iPod touch or later.


7 people were compelled to have their say. We encourage you to do the same..

  1. Paul Browning says:

    What more must I do to get this to work on my iPhone4? It just has a message saying “walk around to activate your sensor” and the word “searching” flashes forever without anything else happening.

  2. AMW staff says:

    If you’ve downloaded the app from the App Store, you shouldn’t need the sensor. If you’ve gone into Settings and turned on the Nike + iPod app that is already installed on your iPhone 4, you’ll need the sensor for it to work. The app from the App Store uses GPS to track your run, so it’s different to the included app.


  3. Paul Browning says:

    Thanks for your response Xavier, but it makes no sense. I don’t know what I should or should not “need” – I simply deal in facts. When I start the app it takes me to a page headed “workouts” with choices of “Basic”, “Time”, “Distance”, or “Calorie”. Two additional calibration buttons are uncalibrated and touching them simply invites me to “complete a workout and then press the Calibrate button”. When I choose a workout button, I am instructed to “walk around to activate your sensor” but it never activates, merely flashing the word “searching”.

    If I go to settings abd touch “sensor”, I simply get the same “walk around to activate your sensor” message forever!

    I ask again, what more must I do, or have I simply donated a little money for nothing save the privilege of being mightily pissed off by a machine.

  4. AMW staff says:

    It sounds like the app you’re referring to is the built-in Nike+ app that comes with your iPhone and requires a sensor to work. If you’ve bought the app from the App Store, then you’re opening the wrong one on your iPhone. The Nike+ GPS app has the icon shown above, whereas the built-in app has an icon with an all-red background.

    You turn the built-in app on or off by going into Settings, Nike + iPod, and selecting OFF.

    I’ve just downloaded the Nike+ GPS app and it works fine with the built-in on one. When you open Nike+ GPS, you’ll see the options ‘Start a New Run’ or ‘Take the Tour’.

    I hope that helps.


  5. Paul Browning says:

    Thanks very much Xavier, that has sorted it out. I was under the impression I had actually bought it – I certainly intended to and don’t know why the transaction didn’t complete. Anyway – all sorted out now. Thanks once again.

  6. Belinda says:


    Im having the same problem!I just bought an Iphone4 that has a nike+ thing already loaded on it..everytime i go into it to try and use it, it tells me to activate the sensor by walking around but nothing happens…do i have to buy something else?? why did it come with the phone if it doesnt work!?! getting slightly frustrated!!

  7. AMW staff says:

    Belinda, to use the Nike+ app built in to the iPhone 4, you need to purchase a Nike+ iPod sensor. You can get them from the Apple store online for $28. (You don’t need to spend $48 on the kit, as the iPhone 4 has the receiver built in, and this is why the software is already there but not activated by default.)


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