The makers of Fitbug have been hard at work on their Kiqplan lineup, and have added four new summer themed plans to help you get the most out of your workout.
Tag: Fitness »
As someone keen on wearable technology encouraging me to get fit, it felt a little too easy to be cynical about the Apple Watch before getting my hands on one. The battery life sounded poor, it looked kind of bulky, and the lack of built-in GPS made me wonder why I’d want one to go alongside my iPhone. Those issues aren’t miraculously solved, but it turns out the Apple Watch has grown on me a lot already in my short time with it. There are a few good reasons for that, partly due to stock apps and partly due to some of my old favorites.
The Misfit Shine Activity Tracker is a cute little fitness tracker that can be worn in a number of ways thanks the the assortment of accessories you can attach it to. And now a new limited edition option is available, called the EKOCYCLE Field Band.
[Image Source: Wikipedia]
The gym can be an intimidating place at times. I’m now at a point where I’m pretty comfortable with my gym and my fitness levels (although they could always be improved!), but it’s taken a little while to get there. While I’ve had one personal training session with an expert who set me up with a good plan, much of it has come down to me figuring out what works best for me. That’s where a selection of iOS apps have really helped, both by providing me with useful advice and somewhere to store my workouts, and by giving me something to distract myself with between exercises. Here’s a look at a few of my recommendations.
Misfit has just given their app a complete overhaul. Misfit 2.0now has a brand new interface with a sleek design and is easier to navigate. You'll be able to sync your Misfit device and look up health and fitness information faster than ever before. Just open the app and the home screen will display your daily activity and sleep in a story view.
It now also offers you a monthly progress view, in addition to daily and weekly, and provides more detailed information including total distance traveled and average sleep. You can use the social button to connect to your social media and share your progress with freinds and family.
There is a lot to explore in the new Misfit app, which you can download now for free.
The end of this month will see the release of the Apple Watch, a product that was officially announced late last year that has many people speculating about how having an extension to your phone that you actually wear will change how we operate. As someone that tries to withhold judgement about products until we know what they are - rather than what they promise to be - I have held off on figuring out how the Apple Watch could or should fit into my lifestyle.
Recently though, early reviews of the watch have come out and - upon reading them - I've been pretty disappointed. As a runner that enjoys the outdoors, I was hoping the Apple Watch would incorporate all of the things I would need to abandon all of my current running tech (namely an iPod and Garmin GPS watch) but the Apple Watch's current form just doesn't seem up to the task. Here's why.
Your App News and Reviews Source
How do you know what apps are worth your time and money? Just look to the review team at 148Apps. We sort through the chaos and find the apps you're looking for. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Take a look at what we've been up to this week, and find even more in our Reviews Archive.
Wondered what futuristic street-racing looks like? Check out AG Drive. It’s the future — 2260 to be more exact — and “anti-gravity” drive-powered machines are all the rage. Fantastic spacecraft fill the air, interstellar travel is commonplace, and everything is done at a brisk pace. Racing has also evolved, and as to be expected, the new drives are at the root of it. Spurred on by the craziest, windiest race tracks imaginable, we get the backing story for AG Drive. And the environments in the game help define it a great deal. The graphics are slick, but stop short of being pretentious, and the vehicles characterized therein look realistically futuristic. The animations are vivid, and the laws of physics are not overly disrespected in the name of action. --Tre Lawrence
Craneballs is back. With Overkill 3. It’s a gritty affair, with a plot line that yanks the player into a dystopian future that lacks hope or societal order. Our main character is someone who is willing to unite the resistance against the evil Faction, and bring hope to mankind — all while sporting the tightest digital haircut, like, ever. Overkill 3 is in the same vein as the previous two titles: cover system rules the roost. One big change from the earlier iterations is the fact that the player perspective is shifted from first to third person. This does make for some subtle changes, but the action is definitely not in short supply. --Tre Lawrence
It sounds crazy, but the App Store really does feel like the true successor to arcades. It’s full of tiny, extremely varied games still figuring out just what to do with a new entertainment technology and the new audience that comes along with it. Plus, lots of those games are trying to infinitely steal your money. Games like Meteorz make this metaphor even easier, in a good way. In Meteorz players work to protect planets each going through their own personal Armageddon, as in the Bruce Willis movie. Meteors hurtling towards the planets threaten to destroy them, so players hop between worlds to defend them. If the minimal, angular, crystalline sci-fi visuals and haunting spacey synth songs weren’t enough of a throwback, each round plays something like a modern version of arcade classic Asteroids. However, instead of piloting a spaceship, players rotate armed defense satellites around the fixed planet to target obstacles. --Jordan Minor
Heavenstrike Rivals is a free-to-play strategy game by Square Enix. In it, players duke it out against each other or AI in the quest to prove the supremacy of their squad. With some unique gameplay systems and some new twists on familiar ideas, Heavenstrike Rivals is really fun, though a little bit intimidating. Part of Heavenstrike Rivals‘s promotion on the App Store mentions that the game is a trading card game (TCG), though it doesn’t look like one. Much like some card games, like Magic: the Gathering and SolForge, players do construct armies of creatures and send them down one of three lanes with the ultimate goal of bringing the opposite players’ life score to 0. However, most presentations of the creatures in the game are fully animated and move around the game like some kind of papercraft puppets, which makes the whole thing looks really sharp. Players that are particularly fond of the steampunk aesthetic, anime, or both should be pleased with the work that has gone into making Heavenstrike Rivals look the way it does. --Campbell Bird
Like much of the country, we are experiencing a rough winter this year, oftentimes with days too cold and snowy to spend a lot of time outside. During these times of difficult weather, I have enjoyed testing the new app This is My Weather – Meteorology for Kids – a content-rich interactive application that thoughtfully uses a child narrator to explain different weather topics. First, children will have a chance to dress a character of their choice in weather-appropriate gear. This app may generate a temperature to dress for as well as allow parents to change up the need for different outdoor apparel and to dress for local weather. I enjoy this section, especially as one can choose a boy or girl of many different skin tones to dress, but I would love to be able to pre-select what is considered an appropriate outfit for my child’s specific needs the way one can adjust the temperature itself as here the character will announce that he is too cold, hot, or just right. --Amy Solomon
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
The new Misfit Shine is hardly new, but it shouldn’t be a surprise that plenty of people still consider it a piece worth at least trying out. We were eager to get the review unit Misfit sent us. The unit itself is tiny, barely bigger than a quarter in circumference; the unit contains a battery, and fits into a watch-like band. It’s quite light, almost slender on the wrist, but reasonably nondescript for something crafted from aircraft grade aluminum. It is waterproof, and grayish in color (there are other color choices), which mostly hides the series of LEDs when they are not lighted.. --Tre Lawrence
Camelot (of course) is our location and, of course, there ain’t no Camelot without Arthur. Amelia and Merlin are out to help the noble monarch save Camelot by thwarting the evil Morgana’s plans, and they do this with runes or special potions. To begin the game, one gets to choose a character, and each is said to have a unique storyline. At its core, Runes of Camelot is a match-3 puzzle game. As such, the idea is to get a line of three or runes of the same color, horizontally or vertically. Getting three straight (via gesture swipe) dissolves the matched set, and they are replaced by pieces that fall from the top. The pieces are randomized, but any triples created from swaps also dissolve and are replaced. When a set of four pieces are formed, a diamond-looking rune with special powers is formed. These runes can be manipulated to create column shattering reactions that help finish levels. Regular matches yield special powers that are diverse and helpful in time crunches. --Tre Lawrence
Biba's upcoming series of children's games is doing things a little differently. They're going to try to get kids (and their parents) back in the habit of playing outside again.
The theory is that, since kids these days (yeah, I totally went there) spend so much time on mobile devices, they'd have an easier time being more active if it involved using those same mobile devices. And so, Biba's games will give them a reason to run around the playground.
Parents are meant to hang onto the mobile device while they play with their kids (don't want any accidents, right?). These games are already pretty varied and include things like using a swing to scoop fuel into a robot's mouth or managing an obstacle course/footrace - complete with pitstops.
Initially you'll be able to input information regarding the equipment that's available at your park and the app will suggest the appropriate games, but the plan is to work with Play Power to start rolling out special signs with QR codes that you can scan at any given playground area. These codes will then help the app make suggestions based on the available equipment, local weather conditions, and so on.
Biba's games are still in the testing phase but the app will definitely be launching this year, both as a free and a premium (no ads, more options, etc) download.
The new watch includes a color e-paper display that's easier to read and doesn't drain the battery as fast, a new microphone that can send voice replies and take notes, and the timeline function that shows you everything coming up for your day. Pebble Time is water resistant and fully customizable. You can add any standard watch band or even make your own. It's also compatible with all 6,500+ existing Pebble apps and watch faces, so there's no need to buy everything all over again. And as an added bonus, the original Kickstarter backers will get a special engraving on their watch if they support Pebble again.
The Pebble Time Kickstarter campaign is funding fast so go check it out.
CARROT Hunger, the new calorie counter from Grailr LLC, is mean, judgmental, and dedicated to punishing you for over eating. If you're looking for a way to shame yourself into losing some pounds, look no further than this hysterical app. CARROT Hunger makes it easy to track your food intake with a UPC scanner and large database. CARROT will show you how much exercise you will need to do to work off the calories of your chosen food, and the app gives you an avatar that will get chubby if you don't keep in shape.
To keep your avatar's figure as well as your own, you can log activities to help burn the fat. The app works with iBeacons, so if you stick one to your fridge CARROT can point out when you start looking to graze. If you do decide to ignore CARROT, the app will punish you with fullscreen ads, embarrassing tweets, and bribe requests.
You can download CARROT Hunger for free on the App Store to start your calorie counting harassment.
Another Week of Expert App Reviews
At 148Apps, we help you sort through the great ocean of apps to find the ones we think you'll like and the ones you'll need. Our top picks become Editor’s Choice, our stamp of approval for apps with that little extra something special. Want to see what we've been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
Unlike the endless procession of knock-offs, cash-ins, and clones, Retry actually finds Rovio substantially iterating on the Flappy formula, mixing in the star-ranked progression that drove their own mega-hit. Instead of tapping and flapping through an endless procession of pipe gaps, Retry has players guiding their tiny propeller-driven plane from airport to airport in an elusive search for that perfect landing. It’s no easy feat to fly in Retry, with the inexorable grip of gravity and the drag of momentum screwing up those carefully laid flight paths. Too steep of a climb will pull you over into a loop. Not enough feathering of a descent sends you propeller-first into the ground. But when that sweet spot is delicately finessed out of the greedy grip of physics’ and you manage to glide gracefully out of a near-fatal dive, taxiing to the very edge of the final runway? Sublime. And hey, if not, just tap the screen again; there’s always another retry waiting. --Rob Thomas
This is going to sound funny, but I have clinically diagnosed OCD. One of the weird quirks for me is that I obsess about having several cases or carrying bags for everything. So the idea of a new, very functional case really excites me. When asked about reviewing a case that provides drop protection and an extended battery, I think I replied to the email less than twenty seconds. Sadly, I was told the only colors were black, blue, grey, and white – I was hoping for purple or pink. I really like cases. The Protection + Power comes with a charging cable (USB to micro USB) and a headphone extender (the case lengthens the hole to the jack). Attaching it to my phone was really easy – honestly, it’s the easiest of any battery case I’ve owned. You slide the phone onto the lightning connector, which tilts slightly, then gently push the phone back into the case. Once inside, it seems really secure and safe from most gentle drops. Since it was early in the day, I plugged the charging cable into my desktop computer and watched the lights on the back begin to blink. I went through regular use that day, and took the charging cable to bed. When upstairs, I pulled my lightning cable out of the jack in the wall, and put the USB/microUSB cable in its place. I’ve done this with numerous other charging cases in the past with no issue. In the morning, my phone was at 55% power and the case’s battery was dead. It never charged. --Jade Walker
Opening with the sacking of the city of Moonbrook by the villainous Hargon, Dragon Quest II follows the adventures of a group of young heroes descended from the legendary Erdrick, a recurring character in the series’ mythology. It is as full of cheesy and wonderful faux-Shakespearian dialog as its predecessor was, with the classic RPG mentality that one should speak to every NPC in order to learn about the world and one’s quest. The visuals are bright, colorful pixel art that has been updated for modern devices while retaining that old-school flair. The music, on the other, hand is quite symphonic and adds a sweeping grandeur that enhances the atmospheric qualities. It’s a great juxtaposition of old and new, and it really improves on the gameplay experience. --Andrew Fisher
The first thing you’ll notice about Agents of Storm is that it’s really rather pretty – especially compared to other games of its ilk. That’s the second thing. Games of this ilk – freemium base building games – are incredibly common. Unfortunately for Agents of Storm it’s mostly business as usual, despite a few vaguely original tweaks. Notably, you don’t design your own base. It’s all made for you instead, taking away some personalization and sense of ownership from the whole experience. That base gradually expands the more you level-up, with a couple of taps getting things all set up. --Jennifer Allen
I am eager to let readers know about a new Toca Boca app – Toca Boo – right in time for Halloween. This app is a bit of a departure for Toca Boca, known for their apps that include cleverly themed mini-games and role-playing apps that allow children to pretend to play store, tea party, or drive a train, as well as apps that allow children to build cities or landscapes to drive cars around on. Here, Toca Boca introduces Bonnie, a girl who enjoys being scary, wandering around her house looking for family members to frighten. Children will have fun increasing the creepiness factor for her unassuming victims by turning lights off and on as well as incorporating static on the radio, an alarm clock that rings suddenly, and other objects that can startle others when turned on or off mysteriously – which is done with the tap of a finger, and to be assumed the work of this mischievous girl. Listen to the heart beats rise in the characters as the intensity is increased – a great time to tap one of these characters, triggering their frightened reactions. --Amy Solomon
Other 148Apps Network Sites
If you are looking for the best reviews of Android apps, just head right over to AndroidRundown. Here are just some of the reviews served up this week:
Lunagames launched a Halloween-themed shooter for Android, but is it worth you time? Well, that depends: do you like murdering zombies? Trigger Happy from Lunagames is a straightforward action packed shooter. In it, you need to shoot every zombie or other Halloween themed monstrosity that’s coming right for you. You can do that with just your handgun, including unlimited ammo – the way I prefer to play my Halloween/horror games. But that won’t do the job in Trigger Happy. --Wesley Akkerman
I had the misfortune of having some serious health issues a short while ago, and, without getting overly conversational about it, it changed me. It made me take health more seriously, and one fringe benefit is that it allowed me to take a longer, more appreciative look at the burgeoning area of connected health devices. “Burgeoning” is somewhat of an understatement; the category is exploding. As part of my personal fitness odyssey, I’ve had the privilege of trying out interesting connected gear. The Withings Wireless Blood Pressure Monitor is one of them. Personal blood pressure monitors are not new; I have had a generic one for quite some time. While convenient, the one drawback is the collation tool is not self-contained. I used my smartphone to collect the data via my all-round app HanDBase, and while the solution worked, I’d like a more homogeneous fix. --Tre Lawrence
As part of our ongoing health series, we explore connected health accessories with an Android connection. For an introduction to Android Rundown’s mobile health series, check out our editorial. Health bands and smartwatches are all the rage now; there are several out in the wild, and, thankfully, several corresponding price points. Being healthy is becoming easier to incorporate in one’s lifestyle — in theory, at least. For a lot of folks, having a connected health tracker just makes sense… especially when it can be paired to a ubiquitous always-on device such as a smartphone. Oregon Scientific is a tech company with good pedigree, and has made a name for itself in the area of personal and home electronics; it’s not too much of a stretch to see why it would throw its hat into the fitness tracker ring. the Ssmart Dynamo Activity Tracker is the fruit of this endeavor. --Tre Lawrence
And finally, head on over to AppSpy, because we've been eating loads of English Breakfasts, watching kids poop their pants in fear, playing the best new multiplayer indie racer, and getting spookier than that Michael Jackson video where he's a zombie (Thriller? Is it Thriller? I want to say it's called Thriller). And it's all right here.
The app encourages runners to keep up the pace by playing a series of radio messages and voice recordings designed to make you feel like you are being chased by a horde of man-eating zombies. The game includes missions a ZombieLink Social feature which lets you share your progress with your friends.
Seems like a perfect fit for the Apple Watch, yes?
The Razr Nabu smartband combines a smart watch with a fitness band's capabilities. Tencent is bringing Timi Run Everyday to the Nabu - a side-scrolling platformer that converts number of steps walked, calories burnt, and hours slept logged by the device into in-game rewards. Players can utilize the WeChat social communications platform to share scores and rank up against their friends on the leader-boards.
Dan Brody, Vice President Tencent Games Business said, “Timi Run Everyday and Nabu will encourage more of our fans to keep fit in their daily lives, and be rewarded for it in their favorite game. The Tencent and Razer collaboration will certainly bring more exciting experiences as we explore more interesting and meaningful methods to integrate mobile games with Nabu.”
During their launch in the last quarter of this year, fans will be able to purchase a co-branded limited edition Nabu and earn exclusive in-game rewards.