Nike’s self-lacing shoes, the Adapt BB sneakers, are a big attraction because they are designed to be controlled by an app. In fact, the company released the supporting Android app just last week, but it appears that instead of controlling the shoes, the app is actually bricking them.
What’s the issue with Nike’s self-lacing shoes?
After the app went live, many users took to the Play Store to complain about issues with Nike’s self-lacing shoes.
Nike released its Adapt BB sneakers and their accompanying app on Sunday during the NBA All-Star game. Users can loosen and tighten the shoes using the two buttons on the side, but the company is focusing on the app, which can also help with fitness activities.
The future is now, specifically that Nike didn’t QA the *android* version of their Adapt app as thoroughly as their iOS app, and all customers with Android devices now have bricked shoes due to broken firmware update routine. @internetofshit pic.twitter.com/vBgoHUC9Y4
— Jonathan Warner??? (@Jaxbot) February 18, 2019
The app required a firmware update in its first week, and this update may have triggered the issue with the sneakers. Many users are complaining on the Play Store that the left shoe isn’t connecting. Many also say the update rendered the main feature of the sneakers useless. Although one can still wear the shoes and walk around in them, all the smart features provided via the app have been rendered unusable.
“After update it stopped working…wont [sic] pair with left shoe, says already paired and won’t pair with right shoe either…was working fine until the update… now app with shoes useless…way to hype a defective product Nike,” one affected user said on the Play Store.
It is not clear if users can still manually tighten the sneakers using the side buttons or if the update has disabled those buttons as well. However, some say the recent update has stopped the shoes’ motors completely, so the side buttons are not even working.
Android app for the Adapt BB sneakers not as good as iOS version
The issue with the Adapt BB sneakers appears to be Android-specific because the shoes are working fine with iOS devices. The iOS version of Nike’s self-lacing shoes app has more than 150 reviews, and most of them are positive.
Moreover, users say the Android app isn’t as feature-rich as the iOS version. The Android version of the app lacks a number of features present in the iOS version, like the ability to set different tightness presets. Android users are rightly upset about this, which is evident by the many one-star ratings on the Play Store.
As of now there is no information on when the issue will be fixed. There is no workaround either, although you can switch to an iPhone or iPad if you want. Some Android users also say a hard reset fixed the issue for them, so you can try that.
“Im [sic] pretty tired of companies not taking a proper amount of time to QA a product. It makes it worse when the company shows a clear bias against one mobile platform or another. I’m done buying Nike products,” one affected user said.
This is not the first time an update has disabled wearable devices. Apple’s Watch OS 5.1 update was quickly pulled as it reportedly bricked Series 4 Apple Watches.
An embarrassment for Nike
Although we expect the bug to be fixed soon, it really is an embarrassment for Nike not to have perfected the app prior to the release of its much-hyped product.
Nike has offered other self-tying shoes in the past, but this is the first time the company has introduced an app to add smart features. In addition to lacing up the sneakers, the app displays their battery and allows users to set profiles for specific situations, like what fit you want when sitting or running.
Nike has envisioned self-tying shoes since 1989 when the concept was introduced by the Marty McFly character in the film Back to the Future II. However, self-tying is just one feature of Nike’s Adapt BB sneakers. The company also aims to use the product to help people improve their performance.
“If our athletes choose to opt-in and share their data on the Nike Adapt platform, they can expect an ongoing conversation with Nike,” Nike’s vice president of innovation, Michael Donaghu, said previously.
Nike’s self-lacing shoes cost $350, and the batteries last 10 to 14 days based on usage. Moreover, the shoes come with a magnetic charging mat, which allows users to charge them by just placing them on the mat.