Just a quick update for anyone who bought (or is thinking about buying) the new iPod Classic or iPod Nano. I picked one up last week, and it works great with Runner’s Log; no updates needed. Keep in mind that this only applies to the Stopwatch application. The Nike+ won’t work until the next version of Runner’s Log, which should be ready to go sometime early this fall.
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A few months ago I picked up Marware’s Sportsuit Relay iPod Nano case. I’ve actually been looking for something like this since the first time I took my iPod running; at the time I was using the Stopwatch to time my laps, and I soon realized that with the Apple armband it’s almost nearly impossible to read the screen or split laps without stopping. The Sportsuit Relay solves this by strapping to your wrist, where it’s much easier to use during a run.
As far as an iPod case goes, it does its job well enough. It protects the iPod, and comes with a nice Nike+ sensor shoe pouch. There’s a little bit of tearing on mine near the bottom where you put the iPod in, but that’s not a big deal. There’s only one real flaw, and unfortunately it’s a big one. It’s sweat; the back of my wrist ends up with a lot more sweat than my upper arm after a long run, and for whatever reason, the Sportsuit case soaks it up.
For short runs, it’s not a big deal. The case gets a little damp, but not enough to cause concern. But after a longer run, or a run in light rain, the case ends up soaked. The screen cover fogs up to the point where you can’t really see the display, and you pretty much have to wipe down your iPod when you take it out. It hasn’t actually caused any problems with my iPod yet, but it’s still pretty alarming. It’s disappointing too, since otherwise this would have made a pretty nice case.
It’s been a rumor since last Christmas, but it looks like the Nike Amp+ iPod controller is finally nearing release. It looks like a neat device. These days I wear my iPod on my wrist where it’s not too hard to use while I’m running, but I remember back when I was still using the Apple arm band it seemed almost impossible to not press the wrong button.
I should also mention that Nike+ support is coming to the next version of Runner’s Log; I’ve been testing it the past two weeks and it works even better than I initially thought it would.
I finished Runner’s Log 1.0.3 last weekend; have a look at the changelog, or download the new version. 1.0.3 has several new improvements, but it’s mostly bug fixes and cleaning up some old code that I wanted to get out of the way before I started on a bunch of new features I’m planning for 1.1.0.
Runner’s Log is also the featured download in Apple’s Downloads section today. Neat!
Gus Muller’s OSX application FlyGesture is now freeware, and the best kind of freeware; the kind that has all the effort and polish of a commercial application. Gus released FlyGesture for free based on poor sales when it was shareware, which is disappointing, but I think understandable. Out of all the application launchers for I’ve seen (and there are a lot of nice ones out there), I always go back to Quicksilver in the end.
Looking at Marware’s iPod Nano products today, I can’t helped but be a little impressed. I already own the Sportsuit Sensor+ (which lets you use the Nike+ kit with any pair of running shoes), and I’m probably going to purchase one of their Sportsuit cases soon. Unlike just about every other armband-style case I’ve seen, these are worn around the forearm or the wrist. This makes sense, because that’s really the only way you’re going to use a Nano without stopping; trying to look at a Nano’s screen while running when it’s strapped to your upper arm just doesn’t work well at all.
One of my goals from the start was not to spend a lot of time adding extra features, but to get something out to the public where I can see what other people want from it. In other words, I’m really hoping for some good feedback during the beta testing period. Feel free to get in touch with me if you have any comments!
Stay tuned for the first beta. Moving into a new apartment has delayed things a bit, but it’s on its way.
It looks like a new Nike iPod product is due to be released soon, according to tuaw.com:
The Nike Amp+ is a wrist band which communicates with your iPod (with Bluetooth, I assume) so that you can start, stop, and browse your tunes. That’s not all! It also talks to the Nike+iPod Sport Kit, so you can access information about your run without having to take out your iPod.
As far as I know the Nike+iPod kit has been extremely successful since its release last summer, so it makes sense that Nike would continue to cash in on its success with new products, as well as address some of its shortcomings. ((The official Nike armband for the Nike+iPod kit completely covers your iPod’s screen, making it impossible to do anything other than skip or pause songs without taking it out of the case. Although the iPod Nano’s screen is small enough that you can’t really use it while running anyway.)) I still haven’t really used my Nike+iPod, apart from taking it out for a few laps to see how it works. When you’re running a set course where you already know the distance, the standard iPod stopwatch seems to do a good job on its own. I can see myself using it more and more once products like the Amp+ come out though, I love seeing technology integrated into something “low tech” like running.