Category Archives: Fitness

Pebble App Store Finally Comes To Android

Pebble has announced a new version of its appstore which allows Android users to access and download apps, a month after launching the service for iOS devices.

In a blog post on the company’s site, Pebble apologised for the delay in providing the service to Android users.

“It’s taken a bit longer than expected,” the blog post said, “but we wanted our Android users to enjoy the same seamless and delightful experience we recently provided to Pebblers on iOS.”

Android users can now download apps for their device

The new app also features a revamped user interface design, alongside several new features, including a directory which lets users browse, find, and install the latest “watchapps” for Pebble, as well as the Watchapp locker, which lets users manage the apps they have already installed.

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Best of the wearables at Mobile World Congress 2014

This week has seen the annual Mobile World Congress event taking place in Barcelona. The biggest event of the year for mobile device manufacturers, this year many companies brought along their wearable technology devices to show off to the crowds.

We’ll hopefully have some hands-on reviews to bring you soon, but in the meantime, please find a selection of the best from the show below!

Samsung Gear 2

Samsung Gear 2

Availability and pricing: April, pricing TBD

Compatibility: “Dozens” of Samsung Galaxy devices

What Is It? The Samsung Gear 2 is a smartwatch that can display notifications from your smartphone on your wrist. It also has fitness tracking capabilities with pedometer functions and a built-in heart-rate sensor. Unlike the company’s first smartwatch, the Galaxy Gear, the Gear 2 is based on the Tizen platform, not Android.

The Good: The Gear 2 now has a built-in heart sensor. It is lighter and thinner than the Galaxy Gear and feels better on the wrist. You can also swap the bands with any standard 22mm watch strap. Battery life is now extended from one day to two to three days.

The Bad: Only compatible with Galaxy devices. It’s also still rather bulky.

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

Samsung Gear 2 Neo

Availability and pricing: April, pricing TBD

Compatibility: “Dozens” of Samsung Galaxy phones

What Is It? The Gear 2 Neo is similar to the Gear 2, but lacks a camera. It’s also made from polycarbonate plastic rather than metal, thus lighter than the Gear 2.

The Good: Though pricing has not been announced, it will be cheaper than the Gear 2.

The Bad: Only compatible with Galaxy devices.

Samsung Gear Fit

Samsung Gear Fit

Availability and pricing: April, pricing TBD

Compatibility: Samsung Galaxy devices

What Is It? Unlike the Gear 2 watches, the Gear Fit’s primary function is that of a fitness tracker. It includes a heart-rate sensor, pedometer and sleep tracker. The wristband can still display notifications from your phone, but there is no built-in mic for calls or a camera. The Gear Fit runs on a real-time operating system, not Tizen or Android.

The Good: The 1.84-inch Super AMOLED is absolutely gorgeous. The wristband is lightweight and comfortable to wear, and the curved display rests nicely on the wrist.

The Bad: Limited app ecosystem. Only compatible with Galaxy devices.

Huawei TalkBand B1

Huawei TalkBand B1

Availability and pricing:Q2, 99 Euros (around $135 U.S.)

Compatibility: Android (2.3 or higher) and iOS (5.0 or higher) devices

What Is It? The TalkBand B1 is an interesting device, as it combines a fitness tracker with a Bluetooth headset. As a fitness band, it has a 1.4-inch non-touch OLED display and tracks steps taken, calories burned and hours slept. But then you can pop the main piece out of the rubber strap and use it as a Bluetooth headset to take calls.

The Good: The hybrid design helps minimize the number of gadgets you have to carry. The strap has an integrated USB connector for easy charging.

The Bad: The integrated Bluetooth headset design makes it a bit thick up top. The band is also very difficult to put on, and the two-prong fastener doesn’t feel terribly secure.

Sony SmartBand

Sony SmartBand

Availability and pricing:March, 99 Euros (around $135 U.S.)

Compatibility: Android 4.4 devices

What Is It? Aside from tracking the standard fitness measurements and alerting you to phone notifications, the SmartBand was designed to help chronicle your daily life. Using a companion smartphone app called Lifelog, you can press a button on the band to create a “life bookmark” and it will remember where you were, who you were with, photos taken and blips of information from that place and time. All that data is then recorded in the app in a sort of visual journal.

The Good: The SmartBand has a very minimalistic and comfortable design.

The Bad: It lacks any kind of display, so you still have to pull out your smartphone to view your notifications and check your fitness stats.

[All content taken from The Verge]

January Resolution Starting To Slip? Let Fitmob Take The Strain

A new fitness app, website and workout service aims to upend gym habits by charging users less the more they workout.

Called Fitmob, the fitness service eschews the normal gym model and instead connects users directly with fitness trainers for classes. The trainers put together the class and find a workout space through Fitmob, which has researched venues that rent by the hour.

Fitmob allows instructors and gym-goers to workout wherever they want

Users can then attend the class and rate the trainers so other users know exactly what they’re in for.

While gyms will oversell their memberships knowing that many January signups will be no shows in August, the creators of Fitmob want to incentivise working out. They charge users less money the more classes users go to per week.

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Atlas, the ‘Ultimate Fitness Tracker’, is primed for release

Smartwatches have becoming increasingly popular in the last few months, as many companies, both large and small, set out to catch a piece of the wearable technology sector.

One of the latest is from Atlas Wearables, whose eponymous device has just passed its Indiegogo target of $125,000 and will be shipping to customers soon.

Atlas is able to detect a wide variety of exercises to track your activity

Labelled ‘the ultimate fitness tracker’ by the company, Atlas looks to go beyond simply measuring your steps to measuring your success. Atlas logs your workout with almost zero user action, with the device tracking and identifying different activities, evaluates your form, counts your reps, calculates the calories you burned, and keeps track of your heart rate so you can see how each movement affects your body.

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Nabu SmartBand covers all the bases

Razer is a company you might associate first and foremost with audio or gaming peripherals, but this year’s CES contained a lot of companies entering the wearable technology space for the first time.

So meet the Nabu, not the Star Wars planet, but Razer’s take on wearable tech. Part smartwatch and part fitness band (like the Jawbone Up), the Nabu provides the best of both worlds.

The Razer Nabu allows your to take calls on the go

There’s the public side on the outside of the band that shows basic notifications like incoming calls. Then, for a little more privacy from prying eyes, there’s a private screen that’s located on the inside of the wrist, which will show information such as emails, messages and the biometric data that the Nabu is constantly collecting.

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Race Yourself AR app brings the next generation of tech into your workout

Augmented Reality is undoubtedly one of the next big trends to hit technology, with developers coming up with ever more interesting ways to use it. We’ve previously covered how gamification of your run or workout can help spur you on, even if it involved a little fear – but now a new app is really taking it to the next level…

Race Yourself is an app for Google Glass which, using augmented reality, gives you an avatar to compete against in the real world. This avatar can then be put into more than 30 different game modes, from simply racing against yourself to being chased by a giant Indiana Jones-style boulder and even hordes of zombies, similar to Zombies, Run, one of our favourite fitness apps of last year.

You can test yourself against past performances to boost your workout

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CycleNav joins forces with your smartphone to give you the best cycling routes

GPS devices are exceedingly popular for runners and hikers, as their pastimes often lead them off the beaten track. But so far, there has been a lack of dedicated options for cyclists, short of fastening a GPS unit or smartphone to the handlebars. Shown off at CES last week, the CycleNav from Schwinn looks to address this balance.

The CycleNav clips onto your handlebars to show you the way

On sale for $60, the device clips onto your handlebars and communicates with your smartphone via the free accompanying iOS or Android app and Bluetooth. Simply type in your destination, check your route, and the CycleNav will show you the way.

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‘Mother’ fitness tracker is the slightly creepy way to get the family exercising

If your family is falling behind on its fitness, and you need something slightly more motivational than threats or rewards (we can work with either), then the new ‘Mother’ fitness tracker from French company Sen.se may be just what you’ve been looking for.

Looking like a cross between an Uncanny Valley snowman and a Russian nesting doll, Mother is a new motion-sensing gadget which takes the concept of a personal fitness tracker (or smart pedometer) and expands it to measure various aspects of your family.

Mother tracks various activities via the colour-coded ‘cookies’

Mother comes with four trackers, or “cookies”, which can either act as a fitness tracker, if you tuck one into your pocket, or alternatively you can set it to tell you about other family matters, such as what time your kids got back from school.

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Feeling the need for that extra bit of motivation? Meet Pact, the app that will pay you for going to the gym

Sometimes we all need a little extra bit of encouragement to get ourselves out of the house – which is why Pact, (the new name for what was formerly GymPact) could well be the answer to many of our prayers.

Pact’s monetary rewards system could be that extra bit of motivation we all need…

To use the app, users can chose to make a “pact” to exercise, log your meals on MyFitnessPal.com or eat vegetables for a certain number of days. When you sign up for a pact, you select a certain monetary amount that is deducted from your credit card or PayPal account for each day you miss. If you hit your goal, then you get paid a reward, paid from the pool of money from people who didn’t make their pact.

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Creator of ‘Guitar Hero’ launches fitness app

Adding gamification is a great way to motivate people to stay committed throughout the different process of getting fit. We’ve seen in the past how a good bit of innovative storytelling can inspire users to go that extra mile, and now there’s a new entry to the market from the makers of hit music game Guitar Hero.

Users can choose from a variety of games to help make their workout more enjoyable

Called Blue Goji, the app looks to transform any piece of cardio equipment into an interactive gaming machine. Simply attach the two controllers, each of which has two buttons, to the handles of a piece of equipment such as a bike, clip on the activity sensor, and you can choose from a variety of games to help speed you through your workout.

The game element is viewed on an iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch, showing your character in a variety of scenarios, such as a boat race or boxing competition, with its speed or power coming from your output, measured by Goji’s fitness tracker, either in your pocket or clipped to your belt.

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