Strava has been my “go to” running and cycling app for a while now. Although I prefer to not run with my phone, Apple and Nike’s decision to not allow easy sharing from the NRC app or Apple’s own Workout app means I prefer not to use those apps.
Strava has been promising an update to their app that uses the new Apple Watch’s integrated GPS receiver. They delivered that update last week.
Adidas has announced that they will be pulling down the shutters on the miCoach platform. Development of their Train & Run app and miCoach website have ceased.
The service will continue operating until 31 December 2018 with members being treated to free premium membership to Runtastic. That’s not surprising since Adidas acquired Runtastic. It makes sense to consolidate the services and gives Adidas access to a broader user community.
For the last few years Fitbit has been the dominant player in the growing and lucrative health and fitness wearable market. They have built such a strong brand that fitness wearables are all called “fitbits” in the same way searching on the web is now called “googling” (even if you don’t use Google) or photocopying was called xeroxing.
But that market dominance is coming to an end. One of the largest companies in the world, Apple, is pushing its way into the health and fitness market with the Apple Watch. And while Fitbit integrates south many other exercise and well-being services, they are hanging on like barnacles to a grudge with Apple and won’t make their platform available to Apple Watch owners.
Why is this? To answer that we need to look back a few years.
The original Apple Watch felt incomplete – almost as if Apple released a product they were testing in the lab to see what the market thought. Lacking integrated GPS and waterproofing, they nonetheless tried to pitch it as an activity tracker using Christie Turlington to spruik its credibility.
But the new Apple Watch Series 2 running watchOS 3 changes that considerably. It’s now a viable, if imperfect alternative, for runners.
The recently released Apple Watch Series 2 is water resistant up to 50 meters of water. It can count laps, track average lap pace and auto-detect the swimmer’s stroke in order to measure calories burned. It works in both the pool and open water.
MySwimPro and swim.com have both added support to their apps and services that take advantage of the Apple Watch Series 2’s new capabilities.
Polar has expanded its running portfolio with the introduction of the Polar M200.
The M200 is a waterproof GPS running watch equipped with Polar’s proprietary wrist-based heart rate technology, 24/7 activity and sleep tracking. Polar’s optical heart rate measurement uses a unique algorithm developed and optimised by Polar to meet its industry-leading heart rate standard.
Garmin has announced the vívofit jr. activity tracker to encourage kids to stay on the move.
The kid-friendly design is comfortable, durable, swim friendly and features one-year battery life for 24/7 wearability. In addition to tracking steps, sleep and kids’ activity on the way to their recommended 60-minute daily play goal, the vívofit jr. comes with a free, parent-controlled mobile app. The app motivates kids with fun and educational mobile adventures, and family step challenges. It also includes behaviour management for parents, who can assign chores and motivate with agreed-upon rewards.
Fitbit has released FitbitAdventures, a new series of personal, non-competitive activity challenges that are designed to inspire you to move more and reach your health and fitness goals. With each step logged, you can advance and virtually experience iconic landmarks and trails in Yosemite National Park or participate in the TCS New York City Marathon, while being motivated by fun facts and inspired through immersive breathtaking photography.
Available in the free Fitbit app, Fitbit Challenges motivate users to increase activity, showing how small steps add up to big results, with Fitbit data demonstrating that users who participate in Challenges move up to around one additional mile per day, on average.