Looks like HERE Maps isn’t the only company Samsung is cozying up to with the launch of the Gear S smartwatch, with a new deal with Nike bringing a custom Tizen version of the Nike+ Running App to the wearable. Preloaded on the watch, the app will support standalone run tracking as well as music playback, thanks to the Gear S’ own A-GPS receiver.
Typically, smartwatches and other fitness-centric wearables don’t have their own GPS abilities, relying instead on a tethered smartphone for exact location data. That’s generally a concession to battery life and expense.
With Samsung positioning the Gear S as a device that can work on its own, however, rather than as a direct companion to a phone or tablet, its independent functionality is far greater.
So, the Nike+ Running App for the smartwatch will be able to map tuns, track progress, and share that all socially, even if the wearer hasn’t brought their phone along with them. Information like distance, pace, heart rate, NikeFuel earned, and time are all available on the Gear S’ 2-inch curved display, plus there’s an integrated music player
If you can’t exercise without a virtual crowd cheering you on, meanwhile, the watch’s 3G connection means Facebook friends can give motivation along the way.
The Gear S smartwatch will go on sale in October, though Samsung is yet to confirm pricing or, indeed, how data plans for the wearable’s onboard 2G/3G modem will be organized.