I Have Been Moved

This weekend I decided to try out the Moves App, mainly because I asked for either the Nike Fuel Band or the Jawbone Up for Christmas and I got neither…zilch. I think by now my husband knows my pattern of buying a workout gadget that is going to change my life only to have it sit on a shelf or in the basement garage sale pile. This time he decided not to indulge me so I had to find another option for my New Year’s resolve. Enter the Moves App which for now is free and just like both the Fuel Band and Jawbone it tracks your movement from place to place and gives you a report of your daily steps. Although it does not share all the features as the other two products, it’s core premise it to detect running, walking, and transport which includes anything moving faster than a run an provide you with a daily timeline of where you’ve been and how many steps took you there.

I was able to easily get it to track my walking and transport but struggled to get it to track my run. My husband got it to track running right away which made me realize it wasn’t the app that was bad, it was my run speed. Sadly my top speed barely registers as a brisk walk. How is that for motivation?

My favorite part about the app is that it doesn’t require any extra accessories, something I would just forget to put on anyway. You just need to carry your phone, which is basically like oxygen for me so at least I will never forget it or I will die. You also don’t have to remember to start the app at each activity and can just leave it running in the background. The remembering part was something that killed me with other apps like Nike+ as I would get half way through my run and realize I forgot to start it and then get pissed that it didn’t track my whole distance. Moves can also detect when you stay relatively in one place for a bit and using Foursquare it geo-locates and pinpoints that spot on your timeline. The only annoying thing is that it doesn’t automagically name the places you have been for you. However after the fact you can go through the interface to search through nearby places and select the places you have been. Once you select a place once, it will register that place name for that location from then on. It wasn’t a horrible user interaction, but I just had the expectation that it should do it all for me and maybe even send me a push notification asking me to check-me in while I was there too. I would also like to see a way to enter my weight/age/height/gender and have a calorie burn stat calculated for me alongside my steps. Future features perhaps? Ironically I want to be as lazy as possible with my wellness apps and I find that the more buttons I have to press or settings I have to configure before, during or after a workout, the less likely I am to use the app. Simplicity is key for me.

I used the app all weekend and found that it didn’t seem to be too harsh on my battery. What I did find was that the step counter is addictive and I ended up pacing in my living room just to try to get my step count up from the previous day. I am very self competitive, so this kind of app is right up my alley.

As the app features inevitably grow, I hope the developers maintain the simple user interface because for now I am moved….at least to get me some coney island.

Moves App Timeline

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