The latest version Nike’s wearable technology, the FuelBand SE, is due to go on sale tomorrow, and this week a couple of lucky journalists have had a chance to get a hands-on with it. However one small aspect missing from the upcoming launch is the lack of Android compatibility with the FuelBand, a long-standing issue which probably relates to the pretty cosy relationship between Nike and Apple.
Cupertino head honcho Tim Cook is on Nike’s board of directors, and the company used Nike’s XX app in the official launch of the iOS7 operating system a while back. Apple also reportedly poached the brains behind the original FuelBand to head up its wearable technology division a few weeks ago.
Today, Nike’s VP of Digital Sport, Stefan Olander today told UK tech site TechRadar that an Android app for FuelBand SE is in the works, but that Android is not “mature” enough for Nike to implement the app just yet.
“We have nothing against Android and we’re working on it,” he said. “We just want to make sure the platform is ready before we start implementing on it.”
Olander went on to explain that apparently the major issue is a purely technical one concerning Bluetooth LE, which features on the new device.
“With Bluetooth LE, the protocol itself isn’t as mature across the Android platform. You have hundreds of devices all using different versions of the operating system,” he said.
“So rather than trying to be scattered and maybe deliver a broken experience, we take a more mature operating system and do a really good job of solving that.”
Olander went into further detail in a chat with Pocket-Lint, stating that, “With 200 Android devices available on the market, Bluetooth LE hasn’t really matured for Android yet and so we felt that we couldn’t get the most out of an app on Android at this time.”
“With iPhone we have one set of hardware, and can delve deeper into the operating system to get the most out of what we can do,” he added. “We’ve worked with Apple for seven years and like that they set the bar high for themselves as well as others. It is about the experience.”
As Android users ourselves, we hope that a solution can be found quickly so that we can enjoy Nike’s technological wizardry soon.