Nike + iPod, iPhone 3GS, and MOTOROKR S9 – my first 3 days

nikeplusMy loving wife recently gave me a Nike + iPod kit for Father’s Day. I was super excited about the gift thinking that I had recently upgraded my iPhone 3G to the new 3.0 software. Seems somewhere in the back of my mind I thought OS 3.0 = Nike + iPod compatible. Well I, like many other 3G owners, quickly realized that wasn’t the case. It seems the Nike + iPod is only compatible with the iPod nano, 2nd gen iPod touch and  the brand new iPhone 3GS.

I was must say I was pretty bummed at the thought of using my 4 year old nano just to exercise at the local track, knowing my 3 month old iPhone 3G would  be in my pocket. That’s tough for a techie like me. And, my wife wasn’t too happy with my displeasure either. So I did what any carefree gadget junky would do, I used this as an excuse to buy an iPhone 3GS.

Michael waiting for an iPhone 3GS

So a 4 hour wait inline at the Lenox Apple store, turned wife shopping spree at the mall, produced the wholey grail of phones iPhones, the 3GS. I’m not going to review the new iPhone 3GS in this post, but I will say there’s huge difference from 3G to 3GS just in performance. I’m truly loving the purchase. I was also able to get the subsidized pricing by upgrading my teenager’s line, which in turn meant he was getting my old 3G (lucky kid).

nikeAfter leaving the Lenox Apple store, taking a left in the mall will put you right in front of the Nike store. How convenient, I needed to grab a pair of Nike + compatible shoes. BTW, the Apple/Nike relationship is obvious as the Nike store was loaded with iMacs, very hip. So I grabbed a pair of Nike Air Pegasus+ thinking I was just about ready to hit the track.

motoThe following day included a stop at my local Best Buy to find a wireless headphone solution. With the iPhone OS 3.0 even my now old 3G supported A2DP (bluetooth) wireless audio, and what better way to workout then to do it wirelessly, right? So I found the MOTOROKR S9 HD which also included a built-in microphone so it could answer calls too. Who wants to miss that important call while working out? A short 2 hour charge and simple pairing of the devices and the my ears were full of wireless HD goodness. Or, so I thought…

Day 1 on the track:

With my Nike + shoes on, my wireless headphones roaring and my iPhone 3GS  ready to hub my digital workout, I hit the track. I set up my workout on the Nike + software and hit start. Well, it wasn’t more than 100 feet and my headphones started dropping audio, which was surprising after they worked so well at home. After repositioning my iPhone (to my hand) I thought all was well. But then I noticed my Nike + was saying I was walking a 9 min mile pace, then a 30 min pace, something was wrong. I turned my attention to calibrating the Nike+ as I could deal with the occasional audio drops. This turned into my quest for the remainder of my walk, I spent at least 3 miles trying to get the Nike+ to register something close to what I was actually walking. At the end of my walk it dawned on me, that the Nike + is probably using some form of bluetooth technology and that could explain the problems with the MOTOROKR S9-HD (interference). So back to Best Buy went the MOTOs for a refund. They may work fine without the Nike + but I bought them specifically to use with it.

Day 2 on the track:

GPSLiteWith my handy Apple earbuds in place, I set out for a fresh start to remedy my miserable first impression of the Nike +. I was certain my problems were with the MOTO. After walking my first half mile, I checked in with my Nike + only to be shocked, it said I had walked an entire mile. This can’t be. So I decided to once again attempt to calibrate the system. One half mile, no luck. Another half mile, with no luck. I was beginning to doubt myself thinking the new track I was walking on was mysteriously supersized. So I switched over to a great iPhone app called MotionX GPS Lite (iTunes Link). This app uses the GPS in the phone to do many things, including measuring the distance you are traveling. So after another half mile, I started thinking the plus in Nike + name is meant for mystery distance they add to your workout for you. Now I’m getting frustrated.

Day 3 on the track:

nikeplus2So I’m beginning to think I just needed to calibrate my Nike + in the workout mode. The system will let you calibrate your device after you have worked out. So I figured I would start with a full mile, maybe the longer distance would help. As I completed one mile, naturally my Nike + tells me it was 2.08 miles I scroll the calibration to the lowest amount it would allow, 1.37 miles. I’m not sure why they limit it, but apparently Apple/Nike must think their device can’t be that far off. Ha! So with a new calibration set, I set off for another mile in workout mode, certainly this will be closer to the actual distance, wrong. nikeplus3Once again the Nike + is completely nuts, even Lance Armstrong chimed in on my headphones and congratulated me on new “best mile” 9’05″. Anyone who knows me and my size knows I can’t run a 9 min mile, never mind the fact that I’m walking.

At this point I’m about to give up on the Nike + iPod. I have another sensor that I’m going to try next time. Maybe that will be the winner. As for now, I have spent 3 days trying to log over 9 miles of walking with nothing to show for it. Well I’m sure my waste line will show improvement but my Nikeplus.com account sits dormant waiting for me to log some real data. I did however link my Nikeplus.com account my Twitter and Facebook, so when/if I get this working, my social network isbound to know.

UPDATE: Day 4 –  I reached Nike + nirvana, seems my new sensor works great. I put up a nice 2 mile walk this morning. Now if only there were some compatible wireless headphones. Here’s my chart:

Ideas, solutions, questions? Drop a comment below, I’d love to hear from you.

Vitrue Launches Redesigned Site

Vitrue (www.vitrue.com), the company I work for, launched a redesigned site last Friday. It’s been in the works for sometime now, since just after I started with the company in March. By no means does it take that long to build a site, but when you are busy with new customers and a recent acquisition it’s easy to get distracted. The new site is clean and easy to navigate, and highlights some of the work we have done with our clients. 

Anyway, I was part of the project and as you can tell, I’m really thrilled with the outcome. My role included launching a CMS, creating/packaging the video content and a handful of HTML. I’m also a participant in the company blog. Feel free to drop by and participate in our social media marketing conversations. And, congratulations to the rest of the team who had their hands in this project. Great Job!

Palringo brings Jabber, AIM, iChat and more to the iPhone

Palringo IM Account ListPalringo just might be the Adium of the iPhone. Just released Saturday July 26th, it has just earned a spot in my personal top 5 most useful iPhone apps. Now I can finally put to rest the buggy AOL client and integrate my company Jabber account.

Palringo Message with Photo

Palringo for the iPhone supports AOL’s AIM, iChat, Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger, Gadu Gadu, ICQ, Jabber and Windows Live Messenger. Setup requires registration and I’m guessing that is in order to support photo messaging. Oh, I didn’t mention that yet? You can send photos from our albums or directly from the camera. Palringo saves the photo on their servers and send a link to your recipient. 

Palringo is FREE and available via this iTunes Link.

Palringo Contact List

Initial thoughts on iPhone 2.0 (part 2 – screenshots!)

This is a continuation to my earlier post Initial thoughts on iPhone 2.0. In this post I’ll cover, Facebook, Twitterrific, PhoneSaber, MobileMe and Screenshots.

The Facebook application is missing Wall posts. You will have to use the web interface for that. Also the photo integration won’t allow you to select an existing photo from your album. You are limited to  a realtime photo which is seldom the case for me. Twice now Facebook has rebooted my iPhone. Not nice!

Twitterrific has some photo orientation problems. I send a note to Iconfactory and this was their response: 

Some images uploaded to TwitPic are not rotated correctly. Again, this is a bug with the EXIF data that Apple is putting into the JPEG image. We are working on a workaround now, but didn’t have it ready in time for the launch. We’ve also heard from TwitPic that they are working on some AJAX code that will rotate the images directly in the browser, so that may help in the short term.

PhoneSaber iPhoneA totally useless useful application is PhoneSaber. I can see this coming in handy during boring meetings. Basically your phone becomes a Light Saber from Star Wars making the all familiar sound with each flip of your hand. Just don’t let go of your iPhone. I’m reminded of the Wii remote warnings and safety straps. I wonder when the first iPhone accident will be chalked up to PhoneSaber. –>iTunes Link

I still can’t stop raving over Shazam (audible song identification, see prior post). Here’s a few screen shots to follow up with. 

iPhone Shazam Shazam iPhone

I finally got MobileMe working. Now my Work and Personal calendars are displayed nicely on my iPhone while maintaining their independence on respective systems. Contacts are also manage much the same way. Here’s a couple of shots:

iPhone Calendar iPhone Contacts

Screenshots on the iPhone? How you might ask? Well, it’s easy, just press the Home button and the Power button at the same time. Your screen will blink and the shot will be added to your Camera Roll.

iPhone Screenshot Camera Roll

Registration Servers - Much like launch day last year, I’m hearing that AT&T is having problems again with their registration servers. This can put a crimp in anyone trying to upgrade to 2.0 or activating a new 3G phone. Be patient, it’s worth the wait. Guess I’m lucky to have completed my upgrade before the rush…

Did you get a 3G, have you upgraded to 2.0? Leave a comment with you thoughts!

Initial thoughts on iPhone 2.0

After countless hours of lost productivity today (chalk it up to R&D), and even more family time spent huddling around our iPhone, I decidied to quickly share a few nuggets with you all. 

First off, I have never been found of Microsoft, aside from Xbox 360, but I will say Exchange on the iPhone is incredible. Within minutes of setting up my account, I already had a meeting request pop-up and accepted. 

Passwords across the board, now show you the last character typed. This is handy for me as I’m a fan of long pass phrases. 

Shazam is one of the most impressive free apps. Have you ever wonder what song was playing on the radio? With Shazam you just let your iPhone listen and within moments it will return Continue reading

Vitrue Acquires UGENmedia

The news broke today, and I’m finally in a position to share it. Vitrue has acquired a key player in our market named UGENmedia. I’ve had the chance to work with Adam and Roger from UGENmedia and I’m truly excited with the knowledge and expertise their team brings. While there’s always overlap when comparing two companies, I’m thrilled to see a significant amount of complimentary features, skills and experience. Reggie Bradford our CEO said, “This partnership provides Vitrue with an additional dimension through UGENmedia’s expertise and cutting-edge applications.”

Details include:

  • Vitrue gains executive talent
  • Vitrue adds strategic New York presence
  • Vitrue enhances technology and application offerings
  • UGENmedia’s employees are retained 

You can read the entire release at http://www.vitrue.com/

Twitter Survey Take 2 – Brightkite, Photos and Blog Updates

Ok, so I figured out my Google Docs problem. Apparently the setting for my company GDocs wouldn’t allow me to create a public doc. I did try to publish it, but that didn’t work either. So I’m using my personal Google Docs account.

Please take a moment and answer the following questions related to your Twitter preferences.

As I mentioned before, I will post the results here on http://michaelstrutton.com


 

GDocs Spreadsheet Live Forms – bit me

As you will see in my prior post and update, I was trying to use a new feature in a Google Docs Spreadsheet that allows you to capture data from a form and have it auto populate a spreadsheet. The idea is a really cool concept, except that it requires some form of authentication, maybe because I was using my company google apps account. I also tried publishing my spreadsheet publicly but that still didn’t open the form to the public. If I figure out a solution I’ll post back here. If you have any suggestion leave a comment.

Oh, and I apologize for anyone coming to my blog in the last 24 hours and getting redirected to login at my companies Google Apps account… Whoops ;-) 

Twitter Survey about Photos, Brightkite, and Blog posts

Please take a min and answer the following survey questions. I’ll report the results in a future post here on http://michaelstrutton.com.

{UPDATE}

Oops 101. I should have known better. This post was embedding an iframe from a google forms spreadsheet. I thought it was publicly available. I even tested it on other browsers, thinking I wasn’t logged into to GDocs.

My plan was to ask the following fill in the blank survey questions.
Brightkite location “check in” in Twitter are ______ .
Photos posted to Twitter are _______.
New blog entries posted to Twitter are _____.

I’ll get back to you with my next attempt.

Vitrue on Bernaisesource

Dan GreenfieldDan Greenfield over at Bernaisesource has written a nice piece on Vitrue (my employer), Reggie Bradford (my CEO), Social Media (my industry), and Atlanta (my hometown). I worked with Dan for many years at EarthLink, he’s a sharp guy and is vastly becoming Atlanta’s social media PR guru.

When I caught wind that Dan would be stopping by to interview Reggie, I grabbed my video camera in hopes to archive the event for Vitrue. More on that later… Dan covers many topics with Reggie including his background, Vitrue’s platform and the importance of brand safety.

Dan also recently interviewed Paul Stamatiou whom I worked with at Skribit.com, the creation of Atlanta’s first Startup Weekend.

Nice work. Keep it up Dan!