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Free App Friday: Nike+ Moves

With the Holiday period nearly with us and a large quantity of food about to be consumed in a short period of time it’s bound to lead to some expanding waistlines and clogging arteries. With that in mind I thought it was a good idea to cover an app that’s been out for a while which uses gamification incentive to gently push you to stay in shape and so that you won’t end up with any perminant damage from this festive feasting period.

How it works

Unlike some other fitness trackers that require a separate device to measure movement, Nike Moves uses the m7 processor in the 5S (and as such only works on the iPhone 5s) to measure your movement. There is some evidence that this type of analysis is more accurate than those which go round your wrist as you aren’t always walking when you move them and yet they can treat it as such.

The other unique feature is it doesn’t really present your details as steps like something like pedometer++ but instead gives you a Nike Fuel Score (the same as the fuelband) which you can amass from walking, running and “other movements”, which are also shown in terms of time spent . Obviously running generates more fuel points quicker than walking which is quicker than “other movements”. It also has a scoreboard (provided by the game center) that includes your friends on Nike+ Moves but also your local area (I’m doing pretty well in Spain despite not regularly running at the moment) and you also get a weekly overview with an average score for you to aim to beat.

+moves fuel +moves when

 

 

What I Like

The gamification approach to it with local rivals as well as friendly rivals and even just yourself means that there is always some mark that you have to top. It is really helpful to motivate you to keep going and on a bad day I’ll make sure to take the “long” way to and from work to top up my score. The idea of all your activities counting is also very motivating and the amount of time you spent is a much more real value for you to measure your activity with.

It also looks really nice and is very easy to navigate through. The layout is really simple and easy to use because of the design. All this helps to quickly log in, see how you are doing and log out

What I Don’t Like

Although I like the fuel score and the times, I’d love to see a few other metrics such as distance and steps taken. If you are aiming to do 10,000 steps a day then you’ll need a different app. Likewise you need a different app to measure your running. Luckily there is the more specific nike+ Running which uses your GPS but it almost feels like it could be included in the same app.

The “where you’ve moved” never seems to work for me, it just shows where I am right now rather than plotting a course for me on the map. This is because I didn’t give it permission to monitor my movements when I first installed the app (it’s the security feature I’m least keen on giving out). However, I seem unable to change this now which suggests I’d face similar difficulties if I wanted to revoke this access.

But my top annoyance comes in the form of the weekly tracking. As you scroll through with your thumb aimed at the middle of the screen you suddenly come to the weekly progress and if you aren’t carefully you have to scroll through every week you’ve done. Instead, you need to adjust the position of your thumb so that you only scroll through the main menus. This has taken some reprogramming of my muscle memory as it only happens when you scroll backwards and it didn’t happen when I first got the app as I only had one week.

Buy/Don’t Buy

Over all I love the Nike+ Moves app, it provides a fun and competitive way to measure yourself against your friend and see how you are doing with your fitness. There are a few minor changes that it could use for navigating and some extra statistic would be great but for the average person who just wants to do a bit more exercise in their daily routine, it is great. If you want to really measure your fitness or get in shape for a run then you’ll need to pick up another app to compliment it.

Nike+ Move
Nike+ Move
Developer: Nike, Inc
Price: Free

About Chris Wilson

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