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Posts tagged with "health"

Zenitizer: An Simple, Elegant Way to Practice and Track Meditation Sessions

Zenitizer 1.2, an iOS, iPadOS, and watchOS meditation app by Manuel Kehl, was released yesterday, adding iCloud sync support. The update means that progress toward your meditation goals and routines you create on any version of the app will sync across all devices for the first time. I recommended Zenitizer to Club MacStories readers not long ago when version 1.0 was released, but it’s such a well-designed and thought-out app, I wanted to go a little deeper today on everything it has to offer.

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FitnessView Teams: A Team-Based Fitness Tracker for Coaches and Trainers

Today, Funn Media released FitnessView Teams, a fitness-tracking app that allows coaches or personal trainers to track multiple team members or clients at once. I’m not a coach or a trainer, but I’ve been trying the app with demo data and like what I’ve seen a lot.

FitnessView Teams provides a home base for tracking the performance of multiple athletes.

FitnessView Teams provides a home base for tracking the performance of multiple athletes.

FitnessView Teams, which builds on Funn Media’s FitnessView app for individuals, works on the iPhone and iPad, but it’s best on the iPad where you can see more data at once. From the main view, you can switch among multiple teams, browse data by team member, invite new team members, and invite other coaches to your team. Coaches and team members can both be added via a QR code or an invitation link that allows FitnessView Teams to access the data collected by a team member’s Apple Watch. You can also browse team member data by date using a calendar strip along the top of the iPad’s screen.

Tapping any of the home view's tiles drills deeper into the details of each.

Tapping any of the home view’s tiles drills deeper into the details of each.

Most of the app’s main view is dedicated to health metric tiles that are fully customizable in the app’s settings. Tapping on any health metric brings up additional details, including a graph for that data over time, as well as daily averages and monthly progress. Reports for each athlete can be exported as a customizable PDF-formatted report too.

The app includes calendar and metric-based views of team data too.

The app includes calendar and metric-based views of team data too.

Other data visualizations include a tab dedicated to a full month overview per athlete. There’s also a tab that breaks down a team’s progress by fitness metric, which allows coaches to easily compare the stats of one athlete compared to another on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. All of the same data is available on the iPhone, too, but the limited screen space requires more navigating between views and scrolling of data.

I’ve always been a fan of FitnessView for individuals. The app’s simple, clean design provides an excellent overview of core health metrics, with the ability to dive into each for more detail. FitnessView Teams takes the same approach and succeeds in organizing an even bigger set of health data for multiple people at once, which is an impressive accomplishment. If you’re a coach or trainer, FitnessView Teams is worth checking out.

FitnessView Teams is available to download for free. However, a subscription is required to add multiple team members or clients to the app, which starts at $59.99/month to track ten users.


Fitness App Gentler Streak Adds Wellness Tracking

Gentler Streak, the fitness app for the Apple Watch and iPhone that takes a holistic approach to training and recovery, has been updated to version 3.0 to incorporate additional health metrics, so users can get a broader picture of their overall wellbeing. I’ve had less than a day to test-drive the new features, but what I’ve seen so far looks promising.

Gentler Streak uses trend analysis to help guide your workouts. Your daily and 10-day activity trends are plotted within a band of intensity to help guide whether you should work harder or rest. The app also tracks individual workouts, your activity over time compared to previous periods, and includes insights and tips for maintaining a healthy life.

Gentler Streak tracks seven statistics drawn from Apple's Health app.

Gentler Streak tracks seven statistics drawn from Apple’s Health app.

With today’s update, Gentler Streak is adding a new tab to the iPhone that tracks seven health metrics: sleeping heart rate or resting heart rate when SHR is unavailable, sleep duration, heart rate variability, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and wrist temperature. The app then uses that data to help guide your workout plans. For example, I didn’t get as much sleep as usual last night, so Gentler Streak suggested I take a break from working out today.

Each statistic in the Wellbeing tab is presented as a card-like widget that includes the current data, a 10-day trendline, and an indicator of whether the measurement is within normal ranges. Tapping on a card expands it for a bigger view that offers more information about what’s being measured and your results.

I’ve been using Gentler Streak for about a month and have found that its approach has kept me more motivated than closing my Fitness app Activity rings has. I still track those, too, but Gentler Streak is where I go to ensure I’m on track with my fitness goals while remembering to give myself a break now and then. It’s too soon to say what the Wellbeing tab will mean to my overall experience with the app, but I like what I’ve seen so far and plan to write more about Gentler Streak soon.

Gentler Streak is free to download from the App Store but requires a subscription to unlock some features.


FoodNoms 2 Refreshes Its Design and Adds Refinements to Nutrition Logging and Goal Tracking Throughout

It’s been over two years since FoodNoms, the nutrition tracking app for the iPhone, iPad, Mac, and Apple Watch by Ryan Ashcraft, debuted on the App Store, and I reviewed it. Over the past two years, the app has steadily improved, refining its database of foods, adding Home Screen widgets, and a lot more. With version 2 out today, FoodNoms has taken its biggest step forward since its launch with a long list of new features and a refreshed design.

At its core, FoodNoms lets you set goals, track what you eat, and monitor your progress toward your goals. There are a lot of apps that do something similar, but what sets FoodNoms apart is its design, ease of use, and emphasis on privacy.

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WaterMinder 5.1 Delivers a Ground-Up Redesign of Its Apple Watch App and More

Today, there are a lot of apps that track hydration, but for me, the standard-bearer for the category has always been and remains WaterMinder by Funn Media. The app has evolved a lot since we first covered it in 2016, but what hasn’t changed is its emphasis on fast data entry, a clear, easy-to-use interface, and the adoption of the latest Apple technologies. With version 5.1, the WaterMinder watchOS app has been rebuilt from the ground up using SwiftUI. A handful of other nice additions have found their way into the iPhone and iPad apps too.

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Fitness Totals Review: Effortlessly Surface Fitness Data and Track Your Progress

The Apple Watch and iPhone can collect a lot of fitness data. The trouble is, there’s so much information available that it can be a little overwhelming and difficult to sift through in Apple’s Health app. The situation has left an opening for third-party apps like Fitness Totals that use smart design and leverage new features like widgets to make sense of the piles of data and provide useful insights.

Fitness Totals benefits from its tight focus on applying a consistent approach to 16 fitness metrics using its app and companion widgets. The app compares fitness data over daily, weekly, monthly, and annual time periods, providing answers to questions like ‘Have I burned as many calories today as yesterday? and ‘Is my step count higher or lower this week than last?’ The data is available in the app, but its greatest strength is its widgets.

As much as I like Fitness Totals’ widgets, though, I want to start with the app. This is where you set up which metrics you want to track, and you can view even more data than is available in the widgets. Fitness Totals can track:

  • Steps
  • Walking and Running distance
  • Walking workouts
  • Running workouts
  • Hiking workouts
  • Cycling
  • Wheelchair distance
  • Wheelchair pushes
  • Swimming strokes
  • Swimming distance
  • Downhill snow sports
  • Resting calories burned
  • Active calories burned
  • Flights of stairs climbed
  • Exercising minutes
  • Standing minutes

The app’s main view displays a series of cards for each category you’ve chosen to track. Each card lists your total for the day and the current year compared to last year. Tapping a card opens a detailed view with more statistics. For example, my step details included today’s total and my daily average along with totals for this week, month, and year compared to last week, month, and year, and the averages for each. Finally, there’s an all-time number totaling all the data recorded and a button for sharing a daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly summary with a colorful graphic.

Sharing your stats.

Sharing your stats.

The main view of the app also has a share button that lets you compose a graphic showing your yearly totals for any of the metrics you’re tracking. Currently, there’s also a banner at the top of the app prompting users to share their yearly totals, which does the same thing as the share button at the bottom of the screen.

The app’s three sizes of widgets are similar to the graphics its share functionality creates. The primary difference between each widget size is how much data it can display. The small widget displays one pair of statistics: today compared to yesterday or this week, month, or year compared to last week, month, or year. The medium widget adds a second set of data points, and the large one allows for three points of comparison.

Fitness Totals' widgets.

Fitness Totals’ widgets.

I’ve been using a medium widget to remind me of my step count for today, yesterday, and last week versus this week. The widget serves as a quick way to gauge how active I’ve been as the week progresses and is a nice addition to the health and fitness stack that I’ve created on a secondary Home Screen. I may add additional Fitness Totals widgets over time, but for now, the step count widget is doing a good job of reminding me to stay active.

The one thing I’d like to see added to Fitness Totals’ widgets is color and typeface customization options. The widgets are pure black, and some statistics are a dark purple that looks good but doesn’t offer much contrast against the black, which can make the numbers difficult to read. The black background can also be a bit stark against some wallpapers.

Even so, Fitness Totals fills a nice gap Apple has left wide open. Apple’s Health app has all the data Fitness Totals displays, but the company doesn’t offer a Health widget. Fitness Totals also benefits from its focus on just a handful of fitness metrics that can be turned on or off by users surfacing the data far better than the Health app. If you’re looking for a periodic Home Screen reminder to keep you on track with your fitness plans for 2021, Fitness Totals is an excellent choice.

Fitness Totals is available on the App Store for $2.99.


Apple Health Records Expands to the UK and Canada

Apple’s Health Records feature was added to the Health app for US residents in early 2018. In the years since, Apple says the feature has been adopted by over 500 institutions with over 11,000 care locations. Now, Health Records is expanding to the UK and Canada for the first time.

Initially, the feature will be used by two institutions in the UK and three in Canada. In the UK, Health Records is being adopted by Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. In Canada, Women’s College Hospital, St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton, and Mackenzie Health are adding the feature.

Apple’s Kevin Lynch commented that:

“We designed Health Records on iPhone to empower people to easily view their health records at any time, and we are thrilled to put this feature in the hands of customers in the UK and Canada,” said Kevin Lynch, Apple’s vice president of Technology. “We believe people should have access to their health information in the most private and secure way, and we have worked hand in hand with healthcare institutions and organizations to put privacy at the center of the patient experience.”

It’s great to see Health Records extending beyond the US. Healthcare is a highly regulated industry worldwide, so it’s no surprise that it has taken time for the feature to expand beyond the US. Hopefully, this is just the start of a broader rollout.



Apple Fitness+, the Newest Apple Service, Will Arrive in Late 2020 Exclusively for Apple Watch Users

Apple Fitness+ will work across a variety of Apple devices.

Apple Fitness+ will work across a variety of Apple devices.

Today alongside the introduction of the Apple One services bundle and new Apple Watch models, Apple also debuted a brand new paid service coming in late 2020: Apple Fitness+.

Fitness+ is designed to work exclusively with the Apple Watch, requiring an Apple Watch Series 3 or later. When it launches, it will cost $9.99/month or $79.99/year, or it’s included as part of an Apple One Premier plan – and no matter how you get it, Fitness+ will offer Family Sharing support. There will also be a 1-month free trial for all users, or three months free for anyone purchasing an Apple Watch from September 15 on.

Apple Fitness+ brings studio-style workout experiences to your Apple devices in a way that uniquely integrates with the Apple Watch. As a workout video plays, live metrics from your Watch will display in the corner of the screen so you can easily keep track of things like the duration of your workout, heart rate, and calories burned. You’ll also see your Activity rings on-screen, providing convenient updates on your progress as you exercise.

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