The Fitness Zone
Christopher Meggyesy, Course Coach at the Australian Institute of Fitness, Wheeler’s Hill reviews the activity tracker app, Moves.
Upon first being asked to review Moves, I was initially unsure about what app I was actually being asked to review. An app about movements, maybe? No… Oh, an activity tracker! Cool! As someone who has been tracking activity for a few years now, an app-based alternative to the current one I’m using is an exciting notion.
After doing a little research I was pleased to find the app available on both iOS and Android devices. Upon first installing Moves, I found the user interface to be easy to set up, and capable of providing feedback on total time spent walking, running and cycling. On top of that if GPS is enabled on the device then location information is also supplied courtesy of Moves. This information is presented in a timeline display, outlining travel time from point A to point B, approximately how many steps were taken at each place, and whether you were walking/running/cycling.
When comparing accuracy to other alternatives like an activity tracking watch with GPS enabled, the app was accurate to within 100 steps out of 10,000. Impressive for a device not designed solely for activity tracking. However when GPS was disabled in order to preserve battery life, the steps discrepancy stretched out to closer to 1,000 steps of 10,000.
The app also gives a rudimentary estimation of calories burned throughout the day, however it doesn’t allow for the tracking of calories consumed. It does allow connection with some other apps, however the most popular calorie tracking app, MyFitnessPal, does not seem to make the list.
One definite for the ‘con column’ is the impact this app takes on phone battery life. Even without GPS enabled, Moves seemed to present a serious problem to my device’s battery life. This took the usage from 16 hours down to 10. The effect was even more dramatic when GPS was enabled.
Longer Term Tracking
What the app is lacking is also a way to really track activity over periods longer than 24 hours. It gives options to view each day as an entity with a graph and break down, however it fails to provide an easy to view snapshot of how that related to the previous week, or even month worth of activity.
Despite the ambiguous name, Moves presents an affordable entry point to the rather pricey world of activity tracking. The app won’t help you lose weight, or even move better; but what it will do is what all activity trackers will do, and that is make you more aware of how active or in many cases inactive you are throughout the day. With sedentary lifestyles becoming a leading cause of obesity, activity tracking makes the general population more aware of how inactive they are throughout the day is a brilliant idea.
Moves presents a free look into the world of activity tracking, however it lacks the refinement of other competitors with its significant battery drain and inaccuracy without GPS.