New Apple devices cause a stir

Sports with the smartphone as a training partner is in vogue, and finally combine the devices GPS, stopwatch and music playback functions. Many athletes want but connect additional external sensors such as chest straps, bike and run by radio sensors to determine their heart rate, speed, cadence and step respectively.

However, there are various, competing radio systems that are not compatible with each other. Was the story thus far been a bit confusing, the situation with the new iOS devices, has become even more complicated. Below we therefore slightly more detail on the different routes of transmission.

Anticipated, though we note yet that the below-mentioned sensors made by Polar Bluetooth (Smart) connect exclusively with smartphones. However, Polar offers on hybrid models that the readings sent in parallel with a 5 kHz band, which can process the Polar watches with "classic" radio technology and a variety of studio equipment. (Identified with the suffix "WIND") with Polar sports watches, the expected 2.4-GHz signals also work, these models do not coincide.

Bluetooth 4.0 (Smart / Low Energy)

The positives first: Since the new iPod nano (5th generation), now includes Bluetooth 4.0 aka Bluetooth Smart aka Low Energy (LE) support, can - in combination with the right app - even with this model, the heart rate monitor Polar H7 and Wahoo Fitness Blue HR and the combined Geschwindigkeits-/Trittfrequenzmesser Wahoo (SC Blue) use, all in accordance with the low-power radio standard. The iPhone has already supported in version 4S Bluetooth Smart, followed by fifth in the Edition does not change.

Only remains to be seen whether the new models, the LE sensors show up in the Bluetooth menu under "Settings" or you can continue this couple only on the apps, and they appear only there. This restriction on the functionality does not change. Currently there is no water leakage sensors with LE as the competent Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG), but has just expanded the specification accordingly, should be here soon to do something.


iPhone and iPod touch also dominate the usual Bluetooth radio, but are not provided in the standard official sport electronic sensors. Accordingly support the iOS devices from Apple not the Bluetooth chest belt from Polar. Them believe that something will change in the new models is unlikely. Furthermore, however, likely to be coupled to the pulse monitor in bracelet form Scosche MyTrek who also uses Bluetooth, but the specification is obviously circumvented with some tricks. To other sensors but one should not hope better.

Nike +

For the "Nike +" system is a fitting recipient of the iPod and the iPhone 3GS since built right and the associated cardio-app "Nike + iPod" preinstalled on these devices, which do not even know a lot of users. This becomes visible when in the settings of the iPhone "Nike + iPod" is selected. However, the Nike + compatible heart rate monitor can be supplied either with or with the application available on the App Store "Nike + GPS" use. To the occasion is a foot pod for 20 euros, the battery itself (like it usually does) and can neither change nor charged with the "Nike + iPod" running.

Do not confuse this system with the new variants "Nike +" and "Nike + Basketball" is: The Smart Bluetooth is used, so the above works are subject to the standard radio.


Garmin, Adidas, and Wahoo are among the manufacturers that use the ANT + wireless technology, the biggest advantage the large selection of suitable sensors. ANT + was also designed for low power consumption, the sensors will run forever, in our experience, before you replace the battery (usually a button cell). Apple supports ANT + itself is not that these companies but provide appropriate recipient for the iPhone, you can connect to the dock connector - or better yet, could there was replaced with the new devices this connection the so-called "Lighting" port. On the iPhone 5 and the iPod touch you will therefore not be able to put this receiver directly.

Garmin and Wahoo declared to demand that one is interested in developing an appropriate adapter. However, it was clear that the company itself does not quite know what is hidden behind concrete technically the new port. In general, you can combine any ANT + sensors of various companies with the adapters, or about a chest strap by Garmin with the Wahoo receiver. An exception is the Adidas foot pod, which was recognized only by his adapter. Adidas not yet responded to our request.

Quite certain that the recent recipient of iPhone 5 and iPod Touch 5th Generation can not continue to use with an adapter of Lightning Dock Connector port. After all, already the recipient alone provoke problems with the usual straps and bike racks, in which the iPhone will not fit in completely. Wahoo has therefore been on a bracelet with an integrated compartment for the receiver and a special bike mount, in which the ANT + receiver is already built. Especially in the latter provides the manufacturer a good chance for a special Lightning version.


Currently Wahoo dancing with Bluetooth Smart and ANT + are two weddings (one sensor only supports one or the other system), but there are signs of a change in direction: So the manufacturer integrated with its recently introduced ergometer "KICKR PowerTrainer" both ANT + as Also Bluetooth Smart. As a result, the device with iPhones could be up to version 4, ie (by receiver on dock connector) to connect via ANT +, with iPhone 4S either via ANT + (again with receiver) on or Bluetooth Smart and with the iPhone 5 finally Bluetooth Smart. It remains to be seen whether in the future Wahoo also offers a hybrid belt with Bluetooth Smart and ANT +. Announcements in this regard, however, there is still no.

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