I have been an avid user of the Nike+ running application for a number of years. When I first started using the application it was clean, simple and an overall great app. The relationship grew to a partnership as I started using Nike as my sole running application. Fast forward a few years and over 2000 miles running and Nike has rebranded their application to Nike Run Club. My first thought is why fix what isn’t broken. The application works just fine, I actually even avoided the update as long as I could because I did not understand why the change. Then the unfortunate happened where I had to reset my phone and had no choice but to go with the new rebranded application, Nike Run Club.
My first run was a disaster… The music kept stopping, the run paused way too many times, the GPS is no longer accurate, or at least the old application and every other application I have used disagree with it, and my phone won’t leave the running statistics up. When I am running all I ask is that the application stay on, it can even dim to save battery and allow me to hear my music. I accepted that maybe I didn’t know how to use the application yet and maybe there were new settings that I was missing causing some of these issues. NOPE… Settings were good and haven’t found anything I can do to make it work. The most frustrating part was running and having the GPS off by .07 – .1 miles off and keep pausing. At first I thought there was an issue since I was in the woods, but the old application never failed in the same spot. I also had the pausing in an open spot, no trees and no excuse for the pausing. Turning auto-pausing off seemed to help the pausing but GPS still not good.
Once my run finished, my nerves were really tried. In the old applications I could set where I ran (road, path, etc), how I felt, and add a note. All GONE. I could automatically share on twitter, GONE. I could share my run stats, GONE. All of this is replaced with POSTERS. WTH are POSTERS?!! seriously, a picture that I can put together that doesn’t even appear to scale well on social media. WHY??? I couldn’t believe the fact that they took a solid application like the previous version and made it so awful.
I gave this application another few tries before I decided this was just too much. I couldn’t stand that they broke the sound, awesome application I was use to. I went to search for another application.
Today I went back to see how the new version 2.0.5 would do and it is better than before but far from the previous version still. The music only died on me once, the running statistics would not stay up but the lock appeared to make it come up first when I woke the phone back up. The sharing on Twitter still sucks. I don’t like the controls. I really find the app very unfriendly now.
I really don’t understand rebranding and breaking so much of the core functionality of the application. I may give Nike another chance if they release another new version but I am already on the lookout for a new app. This appears to be a case of a development team padding resumes or doing something because it seems hip and cool as they have not rebranded the site to match the phone app. WHY? I thought the old app was getting good ratings and well liked. Why change it to make it so awful and have to start from square one again.
My recommendation to the Nike team is the same as I have seen others make, go back to the old application. Figure out what you were trying to do with the new app and add some of those features. Don’t use the current code base anymore, go back to what worked. enhancing what has solid features will be easier than trying to fix what you have now. just my thoughts.