Using a pedometer app is not only beneficial to our health, but also something easy to do and near at hand. If we want to get in shape, all we have to do is install such an app on our phone. There’s no need to resort to another gadget and pack it specifically with us for fitness purposes. By having a pedometer app installed on our smart phone we have the liberty of working on our fitness level anytime and anywhere we want.
Geared towards a more active lifestyle, these apps can really make a difference and turn us from couch potatoes into strong and healthy individuals. Thanks to their ability to track our progress, we can visualize our most important fitness stats, see what exactly are we improving, where we stand in comparison to the start and receive that extra motivation to keep going until we reach our goals.
The fitness app industry has known a substantial development over the years, development which has lead to the emergence of an overwhelming number of apps. Of course, not all are developed equal and naturally, due to their individual identity, some may prove to be better than others in specific areas. This is why it’s important to do your research, check out as many apps as possible and afterwards see which one meets your requirements.
So, what exactly should you be searching for in a step counter app?
Basic Features you Need
A good pedometer app should be able to provide data about multiple metrics, like the steps taken, distance covered or the amount of calories burned for a specific time frame: a day, a week, a month or whatever you want. These features are definitely useful in your quest to get in shape, but aren’t enough.
In order to receive the motivation boost you require and stay committed, you’ll need to be able to set clear goals for yourself and also keep track of your progress. Make sure you have the possibility to visualize your activity not only on a weekly or daily basis, but also hour by hour in case you want to closely monitor your progress.
Focus on Practicality
In addition to the array of features, you’ll also need to take into account a couple of aspects that are related to practical matters:
- Battery Life: It goes without saying that we all long for an excellent battery life. Unfortunately not all step counters can fulfill our expectations, and this may be an important factor to consider. As a practical example you can run a comparison between a GPS tracking app like Moves or Human and a non-GPS tracking app like ActivityTracker or Pedometer++. Because they use GPS, the first two will slowly, but surely drain your phone’s battery. On the other hand, the latter will preserve the battery because it doesn’t use GPS, but the motion processor.
- Accuracy: Once you’ve started exercising, you’ll most surely expect an accurate measure of the steps you take or the amount of calories burned. Not all apps can provide a high accuracy level, since they don’t count steps the same way, so it’s advisable to do a little bit of testing for yourself and see which pedometer’s stats match reality.
Your User Experience Matters
For many the design is equally important as the features of the app. No matter how well-equipped an app can be, no matter the variety or ingenuity of the features available, they can all fade into the background if the design is cluttered and overwhelming.
In order to get the best possible experience from your app, you need an interface you’re happy with. A user-friendly interface should make the interaction simple and intuitive, without making you feel lost in your navigation. A nicely-designed pedometer app will show you all the relevant stats in a clear and organized manner, but this is not all.
It is equally important the way those fitness stats are presented to us. Studies have shown that imagery can be more engaging than text, so you’ll most surely want an app that compiles data about your physical progress into beautifully-designed, easy to read graphs.
Check for Pedometer App Reviews
We all search for opinions within our group of friends and acquaintances, so this shouldn’t be an exception. So go ahead and ask around, see what fitness apps are your friends using and which they recommend.
Next search online for app reviews. Check out relevant articles and tops and also forum discussions. Also go to the App Store and check the ratings, as well as written reviews. Written reviews can sometimes be quite useful, because they can give you insight into what users like and dislike about an app, what type of issues they may have encountered and so on.
Keep it Budget-Friendly
Some apps are free, others are not but are placed within a decent price range. Some may come with in-app purchases, which are justifiable if you want to unlock premium features. But no matter the step tracker app you choose, the price will be most surely moderate in comparison to a fitness gadget or a gym membership.
As a conclusion, finding the right app to monitor your daily exercise isn’t as easy at it may appear, with plenty of new apps coming out periodically. In order to make the right choice you’ve got to do your homework, to weigh up the pros and cons and see which one best suits your style and fitness goals.