App Reviewed on: iPhone 3GS
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Health-consciousness is the new black, it would seem. Not that that's a bad thing seeing as America isn't exactly the healthiest country in the world right now. So it stands to reason that, in a society plagued by super-sized meals and bombarded with shows like The Biggest Loser, there will be iOS apps designed to help us get in shape. MotionX Sleep is one such app, but it's designed to promote general health through activity rather than dietary habits--a not unwelcome deviation from the norm.
Starting up MotionX Sleep requires users to set up a profile. Age, weight, height, that sort of thing. Once that's done, the rest is more or less up to them. The app can be set to run in the background (as opposed to being intentionally left open, although that's also an option) and will automatically track how many steps a user takes in the span of a day. Users can set their own goal which defaults at 5000, and the app will display each day's results as well as a weekly average. It can also sound an alert after a certain period of inactivity (i.e. sitting at a desk for an hour or so), prompting users to take a break and do something a little more physical. True to its name, the app can also keep track of sleep patterns. It monitors how much time is spent in a deep sleep, light sleep, overall time spent sleeping, and even overall "sleep efficiency."
MotionX Sleep is very easy to set up and adjust. Statistics are always readily available and easy to decipher. It also does an uncanny job of actually recognizing and tracking all the various movements that indicate walking, sleeping, and so on. And if the general counting of steps and the like isn't enough there's also an option to record a walk at-will, complete with a timer and calorie counter.
The only real problem with MotionX Sleep is one that I'm not sure can be completely addressed. Basically, leaving it on the the background drains the battery. As expected, I know. It probably won't be much of an issue for the average user, but for someone like myself who lives and works in a major metropolitan area it can sometimes get in the way. Mostly because I have a fairly active job which requires me to move around a lot, so I'm inclined to leave it on while at work. Over eight hours (work/commute) of running in the background nearly sucked my phone dry.
Ultimately it's up to the individual user to get any real results from MotionX Sleep, but they certainly won't be able to blame possible failure on their tools. It holds an extensive suite of options, and can no doubt make a difference in many a health-conscious app-user's life. Assuming they make the effort to use it.