Tag - Fitness
Smartwatch producer Pebble has revealed three new devices it is adding to its range, with all three having a greater focus on tracking the user's fitness than the previously-released timepieces. The Pebble 2 and Pebble Time 2 are updates to the existing models that introduce built-in heart rate monitoring for the first time, while the Pebble Core is a compact device that offers fitness tracking but leaves out the smartwatch element entirely out of the equation.
Since time began and chocolate was first invented, it has been a universal rule: everything that is bad for you tastes or looks or feels good. Now, though, there appears to be an exception with scam ads masquerading as magical cures to our girths and our BMI. The ads aren't new, though they do seem to be increasing, but what's come out this week is that we are worse than gullible.
Flurry Analytics has compiled a new "App Loyalty Matrix," putting a spotlight on the various categories of apps, and those most -- and least -- likely to engage user interest. In recent months, iOS users have started to show an increasing loyalty to health and fitness apps, with those among the most likely to engage and retain user interest over a sustained period of time. According to the study, around 35 percent of iPhone users who download a fitness or health tracking app are likely to use that app an average of three times a week, for at least 30 days.
Nokia is attempting to get back into producing consumer-grade devices and jumpstarting its wearables product catalog, by acquiring health company Withings. The French wearable device and fitness tracker producer is being bought by the former smartphone producer for €170 million ($191 million), subject to regulatory approval, with the cash deal expected to close early in the third quarter of this year.
Garmin has expanded its wearable device range aimed at sports enthusiasts, with an item designed for use on golf courses. The Approach X40 is a GPS-equipped golf band that can help a golfer track how well they are playing a round, and provide assistance when making shot choices, with it also providing a number of standard tracking functions more typically associated with other similar-looking fitness bands.
On Monday, Apple unveiled a set of eight short ads -- about 15 seconds each -- that offer examples of features found on the Apple Watch. Continuing the company's emphasis on fitness, half of the spots highlight the Watch's use for (respectively) stair climbers, rowers, runners, and golfers. The four fitness ads show users competing with friends to achieve the best time, or tracking the progress of a workout, monitoring one's heartbeat, or achieving fitness goals. The other four spots focus on other features, such as weather notifications letting users know when it is going to rain, or the Watch's ability to locate the iPhone. One ad, called "Swap," highlights the fashionable band options that are available.
A new study that compared the security of user data as transmitted by the short-range Bluetooth used by the leading fitness and health wearables has found, as one headline writer summed it up, that "every fitness tracker but [the Apple Watch] is a privacy nightmare." The report, done by the University of Toronto's Citizen Lab and Canadian privacy-rights group Open Effect, tested eight wearables and found that all -- apart from the Apple Watch -- leaked Bluetooth data that could be read nearby.
A new report from industry analyst Canalys reports that the Apple Watch has established itself as the industry leader in smartwatches, shipping around 12 million units since its debut last April and accounting for two-thirds of all smartwatch shipments. In part the confirmation of what many analysts already suspected came about because of a strong holiday quarter, with Apple selling around five million Apple Watch units during that period. Separate from full-blown smartwatches, basic fitness bands exceeded 37 million units for calendar 2015.
Everyone likes getting something for nothing, especially when there's no or relatively few catches, and after spending too much over the holiday. Freebie Friday is the post where the MacNN staff find stuff you can make use of this weekend and afterwards, including a fitness app to help keep to your New Year's resolution to get fitter, an app to keep your Mac fighting fit as well, an extremely difficult iOS game, and a Jeff Buckley album.
Withings has introduced another wristwatch with activity tracking capabilities, in time for holiday shopping. The Activité Steel fits in between the Activité Pop and the original Activité in the tracker roster, using the same nondescript watchface with an added percentage sub-dial for monitoring progress, with the timepiece housed inside a stainless steel case with chrome hands and smooth silicone straps.