So… Moves? It’s a dance step instructor?
Don’t be daft. Moves is an activity tracker app for iOS and, from this week, Android. It uses the motion sensors and GPS in your phone to record walking, running and cycling activity, but unlike most fitness apps it’s designed to be left on all day, not merely switched on for the duration of your workout.
It tracks everything, even walking around the house in the evening?
Yep. The idea is to build up a complete picture of your daily activity: a visual representation of exercise completed, time taken and locations visited that Moves calls your “Storyline”. Data provided includes steps taken, miles run, minutes cycled and (currently on iOS only) calories burned. The app even knows when you’re travelling by car or bus.
Moves maker Sampo Karjalainen explains: “By showing which parts of your day really contribute to your physical activity, it makes it more concrete and actionable. You can see this if you compare [Storyline] to a standard step counter that just shows the total steps taken.”
Karjalainen also believes that a lot of Moves users find the simple idea of documenting their lives interesting in and of itself. Look at your Moves activity and you have, essentially, an exercise and location diary. You can plot activity on Google Maps, too.
More after the break...
It’s always tracking? Sounds tough on battery life
It can be, certainly. It’s an issue brought up by many Moves users. The makers advise you to charge your phone every night if you’re having Moves constantly tracking activity.
The iPhone 5S’ M7 motion coprocessor, which is able to track movement even when the phone is asleep, should help conserve power and Karjalainen tells us it’s “great news for [Moves] and activity tracking in general. It’s the approach to minimise battery use.” However, he notes that the M7 isn’t able to recognise cycling activity and for this reason (and the fact it is only currently available in one model of smartphone) future updates to Moves will take a hybrid approach that make use of both the M7 and Moves’ own tracking tech.
Anything else I should know?
The iOS version of Moves recently added cross-device user accounts (previously data was restricted to a single device, although it could be exported manually) and integration into a number of third-party apps. These features, along with calorie use data, should arrive on the Android version soon.