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Is the pedometer from iPod Nano 6th gen worth it?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by brilliant, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. macrumors member


    i'm planning to buy a nano just for the pedometer. i'll use it mainly for running. is it worth getting one?
  2. macrumors 603

    Couple thoughts here. I've not looked at the new nano, but am commenting based on my experience the the 6th gen (square) and earlier versions.

    Short version: if you're primarily just looking for distance and pace info, go with an GPS watch from Garmin. See www.dcrainmaker.com for reviews of different models.

    Back to the nano:

    Unless Apple has changed things, be VERY careful with a nano while running. They are very susceptible to shorting out due to sweat, and with the liquid damage indicator triggered you'll get no love from Apple support. You basically have to swaddle it in a plastic bag or something so it stays dry.

    I did try the Nike+ feature on my 6th gen before it died from sweat. Seemed to work pretty well, somewhat close to the distances my GPS watch gave me, but always off a bit as one might expect. This was with wearing it on my shorts waistband as the directions say to do - which of course was the worst place to wear it because it soaked up sweat from my shirt.
  3. macrumors 601

    I'm assuming that you want the music playing features of the nano ... Which may be why you're looking at the nano over a gps watch.

    I personally use the 6g nano for running. I use the Nike+ kit instead of the built in pedometer mainly because I wear it on my wrist. The 6g is supposed to be on your waist if you use the built in pedometer.
  4. macrumors member


    thanks for the link, dawg.

    and yeah i'll be taking advantage of nano's music capability, too. pedometer + music ftw.

    but since nano's pedometer is useless without the nike+ kit, i guess i'll just buy a cheaper pedometer. using it alongside with my shuffle.
  5. macrumors 601

    I don't think anyone said that the built-in pedometer on the nano is useless. In fact, it's pretty decent. If you calibrate it, you can get pretty consistent results, provided you run at consistent speeds and don't do many hills.

    I wouldn't trust any "cheap" pedometer for tracking running distances. Cheap pedometers typically only count steps. Walking steps are much different than running steps. You won't get accurate results.

    It really depends on the data you're looking for. If you want to count walkink steps, the nano works great. If you want to track your jog/run workouts, the nano works pretty good. If you want total accuracy, you'll want a GPS device ... except GPS devices don't work indoors or on a treadmill. This is where the nano shines.

    Anyways, I hope this helps.
  6. macrumors member


    ok i'm sold. you should be a marketer. :D
  7. macrumors 601

    Keep in mind that supplies of the 6G nano are dwindling. Apple Stores still sell them, but they'll take them off the shelves when the 7G's arrive.

    Also note that the 7G nano should perform as well or better than the 6G in regards to the built-in pedometer function for running. However, the apparent downsides to the 7G would be the inability to use the Nike+ sportskit, the lack of a clip, the inability to wear as a watch. But, and this is huge, it has built-in Bluetooth.

    Agggh, dilemmas.
  8. macrumors newbie

    In which situations will you need the 7G's bluetooth capability? Connecting bluetooth headset and speakers, but are there any other use cases?

    Also, it would be interesting to know if there are any improvement in the 7G's pedometer comparing to earlier models, especially the 6G.

    I have used a Ipod Nano 3G with Nike Sport kit while running (outside, not on treadmills) for 5-6 years and I'm thinking about buying a used 6G or a new 7G Nano. However, the question is if the 6G/7G models are better in terms of usability, screen information and tracking distance accuracy if using the built-in pedometer/accelerometer instead of the shoe-sensor and receiver.

    Any thoughts?
  9. macrumors 601

    This is a good question. Obviously the first use for BT would be headphones. However, depending on how BT is implemented and how the Nike+ app works, one could use BT for a heart rate monitor. The 5G and 6G nanos are compatible with the Polar Wearlink+ Nike+ strap. Using this requires the Nike+ sportskit as well.

    Since the 7G isn't compatible with the Nike+ sportskit, I suspect that Polar WL+N+ won't work. However, the iPhone 4S (and presumably the iPhone5) are compatible with the Polar H7 heart rate strap (which uses BT4.0). Although I'm not sure if the Nike+ app (on the 7Gnano or iOS) works with it. Other fitness apps on iOS do, but I doubt the 7G nano will have an "app" store.

    Ultimately we won't know until they come out. I doubt Apple, Nike, nor Polar will release any information on compatibilty.

    Yes, this will be interesting. Although I'm not sure what they can do to improve the one in the 6G.

    I've never used the Nike+ kit on any nano other than my 6G. But here are my thoughts anyways. The 3G has a small screen, so I'm guessing that the 7G would provide more information on a single screen. The data should be the same otherwise. To me, both the 3G and the 7G suffer because you need someway to strap it on (or stick it in a pocket). The 6G's built-in clip works great and there are many watch straps you can get.

    I'm going to guess that the footpod will still provide better/more accurate data than any built-in nano pedometer (2G through 7G). But this is just my guess.
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Yeah, get one quick!

    In Austin, the Apple Stores were out, Target was out, and only one Best Buy had 1 blue and 3 pink. (I wanted orange, but alas, blue is what I got)
  11. macrumors newbie

    Thanks for the answer, ftaok!

    I think I will continue to use my 3rd gen Nano until it gives up or until Apple release a Nano that offers functionality that takes the Nano another step forward. WiFi, with iTunes WiFi sync, could be a nice thing for example. Also, I'm thinking about why they remove the camera, sometimes when I'm out running I stumble upon great photo opportunities.

    Worth mention is that I also use a Garmin FR305 GPS watch when running, so the main thing I use the Nano for is listening to music/podcasts and sync my distance to Nike+.
  12. macrumors member

    Please no more camera on the iPod Nano! I can't take it to several places at work due to a "no camera" policy - and I need my tunes! I think iTunes Match/Wifi would be KILLER for the nano, especially since I change my playlists often and would love to just have them sync automatically.
  13. macrumors 6502

    Yes, absolutely!

    Hi all,
    I recently joined up at a gym (Snap Fitness) which has iPod connectable cardio equipment (TechnoGym) such as treadmill, cross trainer, bike etc. Now I just thought that the iPod connection was for convenience, so that you could charge your iPod and listen to your music through the equipment. The other day I decided to try it out with my 6th gen Nano, just for the heck of it. When I'd finished and unplugged my Nano I noticed the Nike+ app had launched and all the info of my session on the cross trainer was right there. How cool! I mean I didn't have to do anything to configure the app or fiddle around with it prior to using the equipment. And I never really considered actually using the app at all. But now that I've seen what it does I'll be connecting it up to the equipment every time.
    The other cool thing with Nike+ app is that your sessions can be uploaded to the Nike+ website so you can view all your sessions and track your progress. However if you're looking to save your Nike+ sessions to your Mac or PC via iTunes I don't think that's possible, which kinda sux.

    But as for the "sweat" concern, there are soft rubbery protectors around which will protect the Nano. I have one on mine which does the job. However considering you sweat mostly everywhere else on your body and very little through your hands that shouldn't be a problem. If your hands are sweaty just wipe them on your shorts or towel before touching your Nano. A no brainer there.

    So yeh, I recommend you get a Nano for Nike+. And you may want to get a couple of those protectors fairly quickly too. Not sure if 6th gen accessories are going to disappear or if they'll keep making them. Ah, I think I better go out and get a couple more for myself.

    Anyway I hope that info helps 'brilliant' and anyone else deciding to get a 6th gen. Oh and if you still can, considering they're extremely difficult to find now, you may want to buy two of them, just in case one is damaged or lost.
    I'm going to hunt down yet another one today (my third, heh hehh).
  14. macrumors 601

    It is possible to access the iPod to get at the actual Nike files. If you're interested, I'll outline the steps for you.
  15. macrumors member


    I would definitely be interested in that information. I've tried to do it myself.

    Thanks a lot.
  16. macrumors 68020


    The target on Brodie had orange this afternoon.
  17. stiligFox, Oct 10, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2012

    macrumors 6502a



    EDIT: I just called and they say they are out. Oh well. :/
  18. macrumors 68020


    Ah man that sucks. If I see one around this weekend ill let ya know.
  19. macrumors 601

    PreNOTE - if you don't know what you're doing, don't edit or delete any files from the nano. Just copy them to your desktop. If you want to edit or fix a file, work on the copy and then replace it on the nano ... at your own risk.

    Here's how you do it on a Mac.

    1. Make sure your iTunes is set up so that it doesn't load when you plug in your nano.

    2. Connect the nano to your Mac, but make sure iTunes doesn't load.

    3. On the Desktop, you'll notice your nano will be mounted. Let's say that your nano's name is gmoney's nano.

    4. Hit Shift-Cmd-G and you'll be presented with a dialog box that can take you any folder you wish.

    5. Type /volumes/gmoney's nano/ipod_control/device/trainer/workouts/empeds/ and hit return.

    6. You'll see all of your Nike+ sensors. You'll have the pedometer, the internal sensor, heart rate (if you have it), the footpod (if you have it), and you may also have one if you've used any Nike+ fitness machines.

    6a. Note that each sensor has it's data in its own folder. The two subfolders that has the data are "synced" and "latest". The nano stores the data that has been synced through iTunes in the synced folder. Data awaiting upload is in the "latest" folder.

    6b. Note that the folder for Nike+ fitness equipment may be hidden. If you handy with Terminal, you can have Finder show hidden files. If not, all you need to know is the hidden folder's name and add that into the path in step 5. For instance, I used an elliptical machine that had Nike+ and it created a folder called "NewUser", but it was hidden.

    7. Once you get the data, you can open the xml files using Word or any text app. Safari butchers it, but Chrome and Firefox work as well, but browsers won't let you edit.

    Helpful tip - there's a quick way to see hidden files/folders without using terminal. Use any app and hit CMD-O to bring up the open dialog. Hit Shift-CMD-. to toggle hidden files. From there, you can navigate through any volume and see all of the previously hidden stuff. Make a note of any hidden folders in your "empeds" folder.

    If you use Windows, it's even easier. Just make sure you enable "Show hidden files". Plug in the nano and use Windows Explorer to Navigate the nano.
  20. macrumors member

    Awesome, thanks a lot.

    When I get the new Nano, I'm planning to add that info from my older one (provided it can access data laid out in the same manner as the older Nanos).

  21. macrumors 6502

    Hi, yeh thanks anyway, I found some instructions on how to get the XML files which I had success with however the data was pretty much all just xml data/code (viewed in Firefox). I didnt see what I was hoping to see (a nice layout of my info) however I now know better. I was really hoping that iTunes would have a nice viewing panel for the info, similar that which you see on the Nano.
    But, that said, I bought another Nano (16GB) the other day and connected it up to iTunes and found that the panels/boxes on the Nike+iPod tab were different. Here's a comparison:
    8GB Nano
    - Workout History: "you have no gym workouts to be sent to Nike+"
    - nikeplus.com
    16GB Nano
    - Your Last Workout: which has fields for Type, Time, Distance, Calories etc
    - Workout HIstory: which shows Farthest Workout, Total Time, Total Distance and Total Calories.
    - nikeplus.com
    So the 16GB Nano is displaying an additional box called Your Last Workout and the Workout History box has workout information categories in it. Both Nano's are running OS 1.2. Both have the Nike+ Sync box unticked. It could possibly be that due to the 8GB having been synced to Nike+ previously that iTunes now defaults to Nike+ as the place to display my workout info, where as the 16GB hasn't been synced to Nike+ so iTunes is still the default. I'm at loss. :confused:

    But anyway, at least we have a way to backup up our data via saving the XML files to MAC. That's the most important part!

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