The Black­Berry of things

Finweek English Edition - - INSIDE - Value for money: Price: Si­mon Din­gle

As trends go, ‘quan­ti­fied self ’ has ar­guably the sex­i­est name. This trend has also en­tered the main­stream over the last two years with apps, wrist­bands and WiFi­con­nected scales for col­lect­ing data about your life and stick­ing it in the cloud. No­body’s quite sure what to do with all this data yet, but we can fig­ure that out later. And the less you have to in­ter­fere with th­ese things, gen­er­ally, the bet­ter they work. You don’t want to do the data­gath­er­ing home­work af­ter all; you just want the re­sult­ing in­sights into your be­hav­iour. Meet Moves – the app that gets out the way and tracks your trekking.

Ap­ple doesn’t just dish out app awards like plates at a Greek wed­ding. When it does, it’s usu­ally to make a state­ment about what peo­ple should be do­ing with their gad­gets. Moves was the big award win­ner for Ap­ple in 2013 as one of the first apps that utilises the new M7 pro­ces­sor built into the iPhone 5s, de­signed for ac­cu­rate ac­tiv­ity track­ing. While you’re go­ing about your day, Moves taps into the ded­i­cated move­ment pro­ces­sor to gather in­for­ma­tion about what you’re do­ing. When you walk

The next level of ac­tiv­ity track­ing

Free some­where, Moves de­tects it. When you go for a run you don’t have to do any­thing, Moves knows that you’re run­ning now.

The re­sult is a log of your daily ac­tiv­i­ties and all you had to do was carry your phone around with you. The log is beau­ti­ful to look at and in­cludes maps and des­ti­na­tions of places you stopped at. If some­thing is in­cor­rectly iden­ti­fied, you can edit the en­try to align with nearby hotspots from the Foursquare ser­vice or add your own. Moves will then learn about the places you fre­quently visit for fu­ture track­ing. An An­droid ver­sion re­cently launched that wasn’t in­cluded in this test, but we were very im­pressed at the re­sults on an iPhone 5s. Moves

ac­cu­rately recorded

Chronos my morn­ing trail run, my drive to work and cof­fee runs from the of­fice. Go­ing through the log to cor­rect lo­ca­tions was more fun than any­thing else and Moves is also a nice di­ary of what you’ve been up to.

I was also sur­prised to find that Moves didn’t have a mas­sive im­pact on the bat­tery life of the iPhone. This is a com­mon prob­lem with track­ing apps that are cur­rently ac­cess­ing GPS chips and sen­sors on the de­vice and over­load­ing the bat­tery. Moves, and prob­a­bly Ap­ple’s M7 chip, man­age to do this all with­out dras­ti­cally di­min­ish­ing bat­tery life, al­though there cer­tainly is an af­fect. It doesn’t seem like an un­rea­son­able trade­off.

This is ar­guably the best way of track­ing your ac­tiv­i­ties that we’ve seen, bar none. The in­ter­face is also beau­ti­ful and in­tu­itive. But where Moves gets re­ally in­ter­est­ing is in its in­te­gra­tion with other apps and ser­vices for com­bin­ing your data and glean­ing in­sights. Ser­vices sup­ported by Moves in­clude Hu­man API, Mo­mento and oth­ers where you can do ev­ery­thing from mon­i­tor your health met­rics to au­to­mat­i­cally gen­er­at­ing a life jour­nal with pho­tos from your phone in­cluded.

Moves isn’t per­fect, how­ever. It doesn’t seem to de­tect el­e­va­tion on runs, so you feel cheated out of all the hills you tack­led. It also missed some of my walks around town and the edit­ing is lim­ited, so you can’t re­ally add des­ti­na­tions af­ter the fact. All things con­sid­ered it is an im­pres­sive app and an in­ter­est­ing play at be­com­ing a cen­tral plat­form for your ac­tiv­ity track­ing. You also can’t ar­gue with the non-ex­is­tent price tag.

Also con­sider:

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