Thanksgiving is very nearly upon us. What better way to keep the kids happy than by giving them the opportunity to smash up food, while also learning of the benefits of moderation? That’s precisely what Smash Your Food offers all year round, and with a new Thanksgiving focused pack, too!
Working in collaboration with certified nutritionist, Marta DeWulf, the app lets kids mess around with their virtual food, in order to see how much sugar, salt and oil there is in their favorite foods. Alongside that, the app teaches them why they should eat tasty treats in moderation rather than to excess.
We had a word with Marta about exactly how she came up with the idea behind the educational app.
“While teaching nutrition in the classroom, I noticed that kids had a hard time grasping the concept of how much sugar are in common foods. When I asked ‘How many cubes of sugar are in one can of cola?’ They didn’t know. Then when I told them that there are eight, that didn’t seem like a lot to them. Once I was able to show them the actual amounts and compare it [to] their allowance for a day, they started to understand what is a lot and what … it means to them.”
As she explained, by teaching them such things, “…their answers became more realisti I knew we needed to literally show kids what is in the foods they are eating. I was inspired to create games and tool that kids and families could use to help have a better understanding of their current food choices and learn alternatives of these high calories foods …[thereby] helping them live healthier lifestyle.”
Don’t worry, Thanksgiving fans, Marta did offer us some great tips on how to eat a little healthier this holiday season. Namely, to “use low fat cream” where possible, “cut the amount of sugar in half”, when baking. Also, and this is the hardest one, try to portion your plate out and don’t fall for the “eyes are bigger than your stomach” issue. Marta makes “a dish of roasted vegetables, pumpkin soup and peaches topped with a delicious chestnut puree,” for her Thanksgiving meal which sounds pretty tasty to me!
For those looking to learn more, Smash Your Food is available now for free. It’s pretty insightful, but make sure you still enjoy that tasty dinner this Thursday!
We’ve looked at some pretty intriguing games from Mojo Bones and Simogo, but this time round, it’s the turn of a more exercise-focused app developer in the form of Six To Start.
What is Six To Start?: Six To Start describes itself as next-gen storytellers. Made up of a variety of different staff from backgrounds as diverse as the theatre and neuroscience, the company works on online games, as well as apps for iOS, each with the focus on storytelling as well as providing memorable experiences. One glance at the team page on the company site ably demonstrates just how varied skillsets the team offer.
What is Six To Start most famous for? Zombies, Run! One of the most successful Kickstarter projects in recent times, Zombies, Run! manages to make running (or walking) fun by adding a zombie twist to proceedings. Stick your headphones in as you run and an immersive audio adventure kicks in, distracting you from the aches and pains as well as telling a fantastic story, courtesy of award-winning novelist Naomi Alderman.
What’s next on the horizon?
There’s been a steady stream of new content for Zombies, Run! since it launched earlier this year but CEO Adrian Hon has promised us that a new app, Zombies, Run! 5k Training, will be out in the near future, aimed directly at beginner runners. New updates for Zombies, Run! will continue, also.
Anything else I should know about Six To Start?
Yup! We asked Adrian Hon how Zombies, Run! came about.
148apps: What was the inspiration behind creating Zombies, Run?
Adrian: It came from a couple of places – I’ve been a runner for a long time now, but it didn’t come naturally! I only really got into it with the help of gadgets like the Garmin Forerunner GPS watch, which at least helped you see how much you were improving. The problem was that they didn’t make running any more interesting or fun, and even when GPS tracking apps became commonplace, no-one seemed to be making running games for smartphones, so it was something that I’ve wanted to do for some time.
The other half of the inspiration came from our co-creator and writer Naomi Alderman, who fairly recently joined a running club. When they asked people why they’d joined, some people said ‘to get fit’, others ‘to lose weight’, but one person said, ‘to survive the zombie apocalypse’! We put two and two together, and that’s where Zombies, Run! came from!
148apps: What’s your favourite thing about iOS development?
Adrian: There’s a lot to like – the solid development environment, the consistency across devices (although the iPhone 5 does make our life a little more difficult!), the comparative smoothness of publishing on iTunes Connect, and the absolutely massive potential audience. It’s not perfect, but it’s very good.
Where can I find out more about Six To Start?
Quite a few places. The Six To Start website is a good starting place, there’s also the Twitter page. For more zombie based updates, check out the official Zombies, Run! website and its Twitter account. And, of course, we’ll keep you informed on any updates and the progress of Zombies, Run! 5k Training
Many of us live in increasingly busy times that mean we don’t always have as much free time as we’d like, especially when it comes to finding that spare hour in the day to exercise. Dog owners also need to find the time to take care of their beloved pooch and ensure they’re well cared for and well trained. Why am I reminding you of all these responsibilities? Because, fortunately, there’s an app that combines the two!
It’s called Thank Dog! and it comes from the people behind Thank Dog! Bootcamp, an exercise bootcamp that also ensures your dog is well trained.
The bootcamp routine is the brainchild of Jill and Jamie Bowers. Jill Bowers explained it better than us when we asked her how it all came about: “I’ve been a dog trainer for 11 years and during that time, I became 40 pounds overweight. I have a Doberman who loves to exercise and when I decided to finally lose the weight, I joined a bootcamp. I got so into the bootcamp style workout, got trained for a fitness dvd due to my success story of losing 40 pounds. My poor pup didn’t get the exercise she needed (she got a little hefty after a while too, ha!) because my dedication to my own fitness regime made me too tired. So, long story short, I needed to change that and created the nation’s first obedience and fitness bootcamp for dogs and owners.”
The bootcamp has been a great success with Jill taking personal training certification and working with a bootcamp instructor to ensure the class was perfect for both dog and owner alike. As Jill knows, “dogs learn faster with repetition and consistency” as well as while having fun so classes were “made up of 10 min intervals and it’s a total of 30 minutes of cardio and 30 min of strength training”. Jill’s own dog, Quinn, is now “the most exercised dog on the planet”, thanks to this, as you can see from the photo.
The next logical step after setting up the bootcamp was to create an app in the form of Thank Dog! Mobile.
Currently available for free, with additional content unlockable for $2.99, the app combines cardio training, strength training and the all important dog training. It’s all exactly how things would be if you attended the Thank Dog! urban bootcamp.
Users are taught through 20 1 hour routines to exercise at the same time as training their dog important obedience commands, while still having fun, of course. A resistance band is required alongside the app but that’s all that’s needed to get fitter. Exercises include things such as doing shoulder presses while commanding your dog to stay or jogging while ensuring your lovably mutt is staying near your heel.
It all sounds like a fantastic idea to me and Dog Whisperer himself Cesar Milan has also backed the program. Why not give it a go for yourself? Let us know how you – and your doggie – get on!
Take a look at your iPhone’s camera. It doesn’t look that special, does it? Sure, it’s great for taking snapshots and documenting your life, but you’d never expect it to keep you healthy, would you?
Thanks to the hard working folks at MIT, that perception should change with the release of Cardiio.
The app turns an iPhone into an accurate, touch-free heart rate monitor and it actually works. Using the phone’s front camera, it analyzes the amount of light reflected off your face then measures the pulse from that. It sounds a little like magic but there’s some clever science behind it.
Every time your heart beats, more blood is pumped into your face which means more light is absorbed and less is reflected away. The app figures things out from that and accurately. It’s as simple as that.
Not convinced? We checked in with Ming-Zher Poh who has been working on the technology since 2009. Ming-Zher started work on contact-free heart rate sensing technology during his Ph.D at MIT. After completing his research and gaining his Ph.D, he decided it’d be a great idea to translate that to the iOS market and help people along the way.
Since January, Ming-Zher and digital health startup incubator Rock Health, have been hard at work on refining the technology and producing a fantastically useful app. Cardiio is the result of that hard work.
The app is immensely user-friendly, with it possible to check your heart rate at any time (providing you’re in a well lit area). A daily dashboard and weekly and monthly summaries ensure you’ll always know your heart rate. Cardiio also reports on how that correlates to your fitness level and, slightly unnervingly, suggests a potential life expectancy based on such figures. Even better, it’s so unobtrusive, unlike many other heart rate monitors.
It’s all too easy to want to bury your head in the sand or simply not consider how something as crucial as your heart is performing. Ming-Zher Poh’s research has gone a huge way to ensuring this doesn’t happen, all for the price of $4.99.
Technology continues to amaze and impress with how it can improve people’s lives. A perfect example is that of Glooko and its mobile health services. The company offers a way for diabetes sufferers to monitor their disease through the use of an iPhone logbook app.
The app and accompanying cable based hardware is FDA compliant and automatically syncs with the user’s blood glucose meter. Users can then track their readings easily with the information simple to inform healthcare professionals, either in person or via an email based PDF summary.
The app offers further functionality with the ability to add meal tags and notes to readings, giving users a convenient way of checking out exactly what is influencing their blood sugar levels and how. There’s even a food database that stores nutritional information for all the user’s favorite food.
Ultimately though, the true benefit stems from the ability to track everything on the move and without having to worry about where else to store such information. After all, iPhone users tend to have their iPhone on them at all times, right?
The app is compatible with many popular blood glucose meters so should prove useful to plenty of diabetes sufferers.
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Want your own copy of MotionX Sleep? The developers have given us a link that will send you a unique code to redeem for a FREE copy of the app. Simply click right here to enter. Offer available to US iTunes account holders only.
When I first took a look at MotionX Sleep, I was fairly impressed with all the sleep-monitoring app’s handy functionality. However, that was then. Now MotionX has added a laundry list of new features and tweaks, making it even more formidable in the world of iOS lifestyle software.
Along with a bunch of minor optimizations, a number of features have been directly improved thanks to customer feedback. MotionX Sleep now offers an “audible placement test” to make finding the best spot for the special pillow alarm much easier. The alarm itself has also had an interface tweak, making it easier to set. Sleep history and other statistics can be viewed in one, seven, or thirty-day summaries to give users better detail on their sleep habits. This info can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter as an effective way of convincing our mothers that we are, indeed, getting enough rest.
The Smart Sleep Cycle Alarm has also been improved by way of allowing users to adjust their wake-up window, including new sounds, and adding an optional vibration. Finally, the interface has been adjusted to make certain features easier to customize. The 24/7 Daily Step Counter can be turned on or off from the main menu, and undesired sleep recordings can be deleted straight out of the sleep log.
It’s the little improvements like these that go a long way. While MotionX Sleep was a worthwhile investment for health-conscious iOS users before, it’s even more useful now.
As someone desperate to get fit, I’ve been an avid user of the Fitocracy website since its beta launch. I’ve also been keen to gleefully discuss it with anyone willing to listen and been eager for an iOS app. So, the announcement that it’s been launched for all to use, and alongside an iOS app is pretty exciting stuff.
Fitocracy turns getting fit into a game of levelling up and watching the experience points shoot up. It’s an ideal gamification model for those who need a gentle kick to get them to pursue their goals.
Besides simply offering users points and level ups for completing numerous fitness based tasks, there are achievements to gain and quests to complete. With a huge support network of other users, it’s pretty satisfying to compare progress with others and race friends to the next level up.
Everything about Fitocracy is free with both website and app linking together nicely. Give it a try and watch how you get excited to see what routines invoke the biggest gains.
Good weather season is here and, along with that, the urge to look good and get in shape for it. One such way is through new workout app Pushing Weight.
Pushing Weight is designed for beginners to intermediate levels and dispenses with teaching users how to do relevant moves, instead focusing on providing a means to log and plan workouts.
Essentially, it means that the user can track and visualize their workout patterns, working out what works best for them. Training frequently rewards the user with a streak for each session they complete, represented by charge bars that fill up. It’s a neat touch that helps users check at a glance what they need to work on to keep those bars full.
For those in need of an easy way of tracking their workout routines, Pushing Weight is an ideal and easy to use solution.
Ever stylish, part personal journal, part social networking app Path has just implemented a major, fitness focused update.
Now including Nike+ GPS support, users can now connect their Nike+ GPS device to the app, thus sharing their runs in real time with friends and family. The app then creates a Running Story (or map of th route) including other information such as the user’s best pace, time, distance and even pictures of the route. It’s something that’s been used elsewhere before but not in such a journal focused way.
Future updates will include Nike+ FuelBand connectivity for further tracking capabilities.
Elsewhere in the app, Music Match functionality has been included so that users can listen to a brief piece of music and have it identified, before sharing with friends. Extra photography functions are also included.
Path is fast becoming an ideal one stop shop type app for those who want to share their life with those close to them, as well as use a variety of useful tools.
The vast majority of dogs need a lot of exercise and regular walks. It’s an ideal way for their human owner to get fitter and healthier, while having great fun with their beloved pooch. For those people, why not give MapMyDOGWALK a shot?
MapMyDOGWALK is from the makers of iMapMyFITNESS and offers a convenient way of logging dog walks while automatically tracking how many calories are being burned at the time.
It’s easy to set up with Twitter integration for the social side of things, plus iPod integration for those who want to listen to music at the same time. Throughout, mapping functionality keeps track of the route taken and synchronizes with the MapMyWalk.com server.
It even lets users know about any upcoming dog events in the local area that might be worth checking out.
MapMyDOGWALK is out now and it’s free to download. The ideal reason to get out and take the dog out for a different walk than usual!
Bloodnote isn’t the most exciting sounding of apps but it is extremely useful for those people who need to keep an eye on their blood pressure.
The app provides an easy way of entering blood pressure measurements as and when the user wants them to. It’s all laid out in a clear and concise manner so that the systolic, diastolic and pulse can all be consulted at a quick glance. All the user has to do is drag their finger to the relevant reading through a sliding scale. It takes seconds to enter figures.
Bloodnote keeps track of the readings according to the date so it’s easy for the user to see how things have changed over the passage of time.
Besides being useful purely for personal reference, it’s ideal for those who have been asked by their doctor to keep an eye on how things are progressing.
As part of Health & Fitness month, we thought we’d take a quick look at what safety conscious mobile services company, GreatCall, are offering vulnerable iOS users to ensure they feel safer in their own homes.
5Star Urgent Response by GreatCall is one such app that updates the personal safety alarm concept to the iOS era and makes it all the more vital a tool for those who are vulnerable and less able than they used to be.
The app allows its users in times of need to contact a highly-trained Certified Response Agent at the tap of a button. The agent can then identify the user and their location, conference in family or friends to help, access a nurse or provide any extra assistance that may be needed. They can also contact 911 emergency services if need be but GreatCall empathise that the user shouldn’t treat the app as a replacement to 911, it’s more of a supplement.
Each user has a personal profile that allows the agent to know about things like pre-existing medical condition and emergency contact details so it’s a very safe service. There’s also the provision of a 24/7 LiveNurse advice service and email functionality.
Ultimately, it’s peace of mind for the user and their loved ones. The app is $14.99 and $14.99 a month thereafter.
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-10-19 :: Category: Medical
For other users with medical conditions, GreatCall has provided MedCoach, a free app that helps the user keep track of what medications they need to take and at what time of day.
Simple to use and with regular reminders and alerts, MedCoach will even allow users to connect to their pharmacy when it’s time to get a new prescription. Linked to the First DataBank national drug database, it’s also possible to look up medication as well as dosage for advice.
This week at 148Apps, we took your New Year’s resolutions seriously and started our “Health and Fitness” month. Editor Rob LeFebvre writes, “We’ve already taken a look at some apps that help us all acheive our goals, and we plan to continue that trend for the entire month, with personal stories from our crack writing team, continued reviews, and focused features like our Favorite Four.”
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2010-05-19 :: Category: Healthcare & Fitness
Our apps-for-kids site, GiggleApps, offered a review of Odd Spotting. Reviewer Amy Solomon says, “Odd Spotting, developed by Micromicon Media Limit, is an “odd one out” game with 144 levels, the goal of each being to spot the object that is different from all the others in the group. As I began to explore how Odd Spotting works, I couldn’t help but to remember the lyrics from a classic Sesame Street song, “One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn’t belong.”
iPhone App - Designed for the iPhone, compatible with the iPad
Released: 2011-09-21 :: Category: Games
Finally, on 148Apps.biz, writer Jeff Hughes commented on Apple’s recent (and quiet) changes to app categorization on the App Store, saying “Just like Google, when iTunes makes the slightest change to their App Store search algorithm, it has an impact on how many people see your app. The recent changes to the category ordering have also impacted sales for many app vendors for better or worse. Some developers have been helped because their app is now in a category that is displayed higher on the mobile screen…Other developers may be adversely impacted due to the decrease in exposure for their app because their category now appears further down the list.”
And that, my friends, completes our rundown of happenings across the 148Apps network for the week of January 9-13. Keep track of all the latest news, reviews and contests by following us on Twitter or Liking us on Facebook. See you in a week!
Welcome to 148 Pounds, charting my personal journey to pull myself out of obesity and jump into a more healthy lifestyle. Over the next 26 weeks, I’ll be testing apps that will assist me in the journey from overweight to healthy.
As a quick introduction to my story, I’ve battled weight problems since elementary school, being an overweight child and having it transfer into adulthood. I had a brief period of time where I was able to lose 80 pounds during my senior year of high school and into my freshman year of college, but unfortunately as many who battle with weight issues will attest to, keeping the weight off is hard work.
With the recent birth of my son, I have been continuously attempting weight loss plans that I have been unable to commit to, either from lack of true dedication, time required, or a whole slew of other issues. The reality is that I have to motivate myself in order for any plan to truly work. So here I am, opening myself up to the 148apps world.
I’ll be using 4 main types of apps during this process. The 4 categories of apps include: Calorie Counter/Food Journal Apps, Exercise/Fitness Apps, Healthy Eating Home/Out Apps, and Weight Loss Progress Apps.
Depending on the scope of the apps reviewed, one app may occupy several categories at a time.
During this process, I’ll be trying to review one app a week. Based on the performance of the app, it may replace a “core” app in my weight loss plan, become an addition to current apps I am using, or not fit anywhere that would truly benefit my plan.
In the spirit of full disclosure, it’s my intention to also be actively utilizing other resources to further my weight loss goals. My first resource will be weight watchers, and it’s my intention to take a look at the weight watchers app once I get started there.
So now for the uncomfortable part, the disclosure of current weight and goals. As of today I weigh 328 pounds. Given my height of 5 feet 11.5 inches and my larger frame, my ideal goal is around 180 pounds. As fate would have it, that’s exactly 148 pounds. I wish I could say that was manipulated in some way, but it is not.
Goals are subject to change based on the direction of professionals and my overall health. I’ll be visiting a doctor once this really starts moving to ensure that my weight loss plan isn’t putting myself at risk, and given my lack of experience with weight watchers, I can’t say what they are going to try and put my end number at.
At the end of the 26 week program, the 148apps editorial team will review the progress of this article and the availability of weight loss apps, and the scope of this article may change. I look forward to the journey with the readership at 148Apps, and welcome suggestions for apps or just general tips and advice.
I encourage anyone who has benefited from the app store’s health and fitness apps to share their story as well, in the comments section below!
Did you know that May is National Bike Month in the USA? If the weather’s anything like it is here in the UK, it’s perfect biking weather too.
But how do you track your cycling workout? Use iMapMyRIDE of course! The app uses your iPhone’s GPS to track your average pace and speed in order to log and analyze how you’re doing. Plus there’s an interactive map feature so you can keep track of your routes as well as your friends.
It’s easy to set up and use with a couple of simple taps stopping and starting the timer, plus it automatically uploads the data to your iMapMyRIDE account. As is increasingly customary with such apps, you can also set it to automatically let people know via Twitter and Facebook how you’re doing.
The standard iMapMyRIDE is a free download that’s ad supported or you can download the $4.99 version and have the added benefit of iPod integration, geo tagging photo functionality and no more ads.
And don’t forget to cycle plenty in May! Apps like this are sure to motivate you.
I am eager to let readers know about Oceanhouse Media’s annual app sale in honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday from Wednesday, February 25 through Monday, March 9. During this time, five of their best-selling Seuss stories will be on sale for $0.99 each, and there will be discounts for other classic Dr. Seuss titles as […]
Joe Dever’s Lone Wolf Complete is now available. It’s a combination of all the previous releases in the series where you get all four acts (Blood on the Snow, Forest Hunt, The Shianti Halls, and Dawn over V’taag) of the gamebook saga for one price. Relive the story of Kai Lord of Sommerlund as he […]