The growth in smartphones has meant that it has never been easier for people to communicate. No matter the distance that two people are apart, or the social context of their relationship, the increased availability of high speed data transfer and advent of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter means that more and more people are able to stay in touch wherever they are in the world.
The Growth of Fitness Apps
The growth in smartphones and social media has also had an impact on the fitness industry. Previously, people relied on clever little gadgets called GPS watches to track their fitness. Statistics about their training sessions such as speed, distance, time, pace and calories could be clocked and then downloaded to their computer or to the Internet. Watches such as the Soleus GPS Fit 1.0 were available for as little as $100, but were still too expensive for your average recreational user
This is where smartphones saved the day. For a fraction of the price it is now possible to download one of many third party developer apps for either Blackberry, Iphones or Andriod phones. These apps do a similar job to that of a GPS watch but they are available for a fraction of the price.
The Nike+ running app is available for £2 and is one of the market leaders. It started out as an app that just tracked your running speed, distance and time but quickly grew to incorporate all sorts of clever social media connectivity.
Runners can upload their live training data to Facebook so that friends and family can track them as they run. Messages of support can also be posted on the persons timeline to keep them motivated during their run
Because the app sits on a smartphone, a runner can also listen to their music collection whilst they run. Previously runners had to chose between music and a GPS watch but thanks to the Nike running app, it is possible to now have both.
The main downfall of the Nike running app is that, along with all other GPS fitness apps, it draws a large amount of power. This means that it is unsuitable for longer training sessions and races as the battery life of the smartphone running the app usually only lasts about 2 hours.
The Nike running app is available for Android, Blackberry and Iphone. For more information, see the Nike+ website
This article on fitness apps for smartphones was wrtten by Ross from the triathlon website RankMyTri.com. To contact Ross or for more information on triathlon, GPS watches or fitness apps, see the RankMyTri.com website. Otherwise, take a look at some of the fantastic technology and fitness articles available on this site.