Nike+ update faces harsh backlash from users

By Jonah Comstock
02:19 pm
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When Nike CEO Mark Parker announced on the company's earnings call in June that they were working on a major update to the Nike+ app, he said it was in beta testing and "so far we've received very positive feedback on its simplicity and tailored features." There may have been a flaw in the company's testing process: since the app's release last week, it's suffered an onslaught of complaints from enfranchised users complaining of lost data and features, as The Verge reported.

The problem seems to be that Nike replaced one app with another with no real warning to users -- and without including all the features of the old app in the new one. 

The app has new social sharing features the company was excited about, which use hashtags to create a social media type experience. But not everyone wants to share their exercise information that broadly, and the old app's social features, which made it easy to share with just friends and family, were removed in favor of the new one (users can still share with friends and family, but the process is now more complicated).

As far as coaching features go, users aren't so much upset with the new coaching features as they are with the lack of backwards compatibility: all data from previous training plans was inaccessible in the new app, and Nike's solution was to provide it in the form of PDFs -- not the most convenient format. Others have lost other random bits of data -- shoes in the app's shoe tracker or miscellaneous notes. Android users are upset that the app is reportedly no longer compatible with the Samsung Gear S2.

The company is working hard to address the many individual complaints on the company's Facebook page. But it remains to be seen whether a quick response will be enough -- the app is sitting at 1.5 stars on iTunes after some 500 reviews, down from the four-star rating of previous versions. Google Play doesn't track reviews across versions the same way, but critical comments abound there as well.

"Loved it before. Hate it now," one reviewer wrote. "And now there are blog articles on the app. Why? We're not running and reading. Not cool, Nike."

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