Where I attempt a gadget review

Rowan tree

Fired up by the runaway success of my foray into the world of food reviewing, I thought why stop at tea shops – there is a whole gamut of stuff I could share my ill informed opinion on – and why not- given it is perhaps one of the true raison d’être s of blogging?

I am an unlikely and recent convert to gadgetry or modern life generally, loving as I do creamy parchment, proper ink pens, books with paper pages, radio, real coffee, home made food and watching TV series in sequence. But while I may struggle with Power Point and the symbols on the TV remote, I have found that with running  I am drawn into this electronic world – and none more so than with my Nike+ running app.

Currie Kirk edinburgh
Currie Kirk

So this weekend I have been running solo as my usual companions are otherwise engaged. Often when I run alone I don’t bother with music but just run feeling the wind in my hair and listening to the surrounding sounds, but I do always take my iPhone and Nike+ app to record my runs. This can be a bit of a challenge given the variable weather that Scotland throws at you as alas iPhones are not really designed as all weather devices ( now there is an opportunity…).

I have thought about leaving my iPhone at home and getting an iPod with Nike+, but the reason I love my iPhone with Nike+ app is that it has a camera, music, GPS recording of runs, and let’s face it a way of summoning help should I break a leg – all rolled into one neat package.

Edinburgh view

With the recent move to iOS7 there have been quite few upgrades to the apps I have installed, and because if this I did not notice this extra camera feature on Nike+ until this weekend.

With the NIke+ app you can now pause a run and take a picture without switching out of the Nike+ screen. This may seem like a tiny detail, but when you are running and want to take a quick snap, it can be a bit of a kerfuffle to pause the run, wrestle the phone from the armband case, find the camera then shoot – by that time the heron on the river has flown downstream or a cloud has passed over the light.

It’s true the addition of the camera on the Nike+ home screen does not stop me having to take the phone out of the protective case – but it is one less step and encourages spontaneity and of course is perfect for us running bloggers, (or to be honest slacker runners like me who want to find a noble reason to stop running to catch my breath !).

The fun does not stop there – as there is a new feature built into social sharing where you can customise your pictures and add in detail of your run into the picture – the route, pace, time etc. Now I know that folk get fed up with us runners over-sharing information about running , but it’s all a question of perspective. When I see stuff on other people’s timeline I am not particularly interested in, I just skim past it.

Juniper green sign

Sometimes I am wary of sharing runs on Facebook and Twitter but I do try not to over-share, and on balance I have come to the conclusion that the positives outweigh the negatives. Most people I know on Facebook know me well enough to expect my running posts and if they are not my running chums they can just yawn through them.

reservoir

On Twitter through sharing runs I have come across some interesting fellow runners, cyclists and others, and while we may never meet in person, I like to think there is a kindred spirit amongst us. On a weekend morning before 8am you can almost feel the collective thrum of laces being knotted and bike pedals whirring.

I am still playing around with the new features on the Nike+ app, and the novelty may wear off in time, but for me this photo addition is one big plus  of Nike+ and another reason why I will stick with this to record my running history.

Nike + reservpoir picture

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