Last month, Nike released an updated version of their much beloved app Nike Running, now called Nike Run Club or NRC. Whether you use apps or develop them you will be familiar with app updates. Every couple of weeks your phone will download new and improved versions of your apps. These new versions usually have bug fixes or additional features. However, sometimes these updates involve a major rebranding, as in this case of Nike’s release of their new app. This is a similar update to Facebook shutting down their popular Moves App.
Unfortunately, as with every major rebranding, things can go horribly wrong. While the Android store still shows the Nike Run Club app at a solid rating, this is because Nike chose to release the new app as an upgrade. A quick perusal of the comments shows that users are less than happy with the changes.
Major changes to the app include:
- A break from Google Fit integration that was previously offered through the Nike+ Running app (but there are other ways to connect your data to Google Fit and Apple Health)
- The removal of challenges and replacement with hashtags
- The removal of challenge chat
- The loss of old coaching data (users can access PDFs for their old training program)
- The loss of previous “shoe tags” (mileage achievements) (update: Nike has announced with “2.0.4…[y]ou can now view your shoe mileage for all of your past runs in activity history”)
You can find a full comparison (by Nike) here.
Why Nike’s decision matters
The loss of integration with Fit also affects a large number of IncentFit users who relied on these apps to receive their data from Nike. Without this connection chain, developers are in the dark since Nike states that SDK and API access are limited to “Nike Fuel Lab Partners” only. This greatly decreases Nike’s standing in the developer community and echoes Under Armour’s choice to isolate themselves from other fitness apps.
Other media outlets have picked up the story and documented the steady stream of complaints. So far, Nike has not back-peddled on the release, or issued any statements suggesting they will take user feedback into account. Nike’s failure on this front leaves many app developers and users wondering if rebranding can escape the cynical adage that “change is never good.”
Interested in learning more about Fitness Trackers?
We have created an outlook on wearable technology, and it’s benefits. If you are ready to purchase a fitness tracker, we have also created mini guides on the best fitness trackers for indoor running, best tracker for indoor cycling and spinning, and the best fitness tracker for swimming.
Just keep in mind though that buying a fitness tracker isn’t enough to create healthy habits in your life, due to these 3 simple research backed reasons.