Nike Fuelband for Android now available, but why?

Nate Swanner - Jun 17, 2014
Nike Fuelband for Android now available, but why?

File this under “what?!” — there is now a Nike Fuelband app for Android. The company, who swore off Android development not long ago, now has a Fuelband app for Android. We’re as mystified and awestruck as you are, but this hints at a stronger position from Nike as the wearable race heats up.

When Nike reportedly scrapped their Fuelband hardware division, it was said to be because Nike wanted to focus on software. The company was widely believed to be putting more muscle behind their popular iOS app, perhaps even creating an API to be used directly (and exclusively) with the incoming iWatch. The mind share at the time suggested Nike and Apple were getting closer, and Android was being pushed away.

An Android app suggests Nike is still serious about fitness, and wearables, but are they serious about Android? There are no plans for further hardware from Nike, and the app doesn’t appear to work with bands from other manufacturers like FitBit. The app also doesn’t work with Fuelband 1.0 — you’ll need a Fuelband SE.

Fuelband for Android is good for all devices on 4.3 or above, but is “optimized” for the Galaxy S lineup (3 through 5), HTC One (both?), Nexus 5, and Moto X. It doesn’t look to bring much more to the table than the iOS app, so it’s likely a straight-up port.

Fuelband hardware is nice, and the app is similarly useful, but it remains to be seen if this is a strategy to move extra hardware in the reserve or a platform for Nike to make good on their wearable ambitions. Dedicating themselves to software, they’ll need to do more than simply work with existing, soon-to-be-defunct hardware.

Hopefully, Google I/O and Android Wear will give us some indication of just what Nike is up to with Android.

Source: Nike

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