fitness

Fitness 101: Living Healthier & More Active with Moov Now, Lose It! and The Fitbit Scale

With a quick glance around Starbucks I notice a Microsoft Fitness Band 2, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Flex and an Apple Watch; just yesterday I bumped into a Garmin Viviosmart and when I went to the gym later in the day I strapped a Moov Now to my ankle for a quick jog on the treadmill and 7-minute workout.

Fitness trackers have not only become an everyday accessory in our daily wardrobe but an extension of our body and part of our daily routine. But, with all these wearable devices tracking steps, stairs, heart rate and active minutes are they making any real difference in our health? Are they helping us obtain a more active and healthy lifestyle? After we consistently reach our 10,000 steps a day and 300 calorie burn a day, how do we keep them from becoming mundane and routine, possibly undoing the good habits we just invested months building. It then might be time to get-in-the-zone with a wearable that will rise to your more active lifestyle like the $79.95, multi-sport wearable coach, Moov Now, that analyzes the device data while you are working out to provide live coaching during your run, 7-Minute workout, cardio-boxing, swim or bike ride.

Unlike the Fitbit, you most likely will only wear the Fusion Red, Aqua Blue, Blizzard White or Stealth Black Moov Now during an active workout. Although you could wear it all the time, the real value of this wearable is during the workout since it doesn’t automatically sync with your phone through out the day nor does it currently display step tracking. However, as of this posting there is a tweet floating around with a link to a Moov Now beta program testing its upcoming leaderboard and redesigned daily activity and sleep tracking. This upcoming release may change how often you decide to wear the device. Until then, once you strap it onto your wrist or ankle you’re ready to be live-coached through a great app-provided workout including running, walking, swimming, kick-boxing or even a 7-Minute workout.

Choosing the right fitness device is only the beginning of your journey into a healthier lifestyle, and with your commitment to being more active, you will start to notice cravings for protein rich foods, sugar rushes and the urge to buy a shaker bottle. During this time it also helps to use an app like Lose It! –don’t be fooled by the name, it’s a great app for people also wanting to gain or maintain weight– to track your daily calories, exercise, nutrition, as well as a Wi-Fi scale like Fitbit’s Aria so you won’t have to remember to weigh-in.

Lose It! is the best food database next to rival My Fitness Pal (MFP). The biggest differences between the two rival apps are in user-interface and speed. The Lose It! database is just as comprehensive as MFP but faster, and Lose It’s diary log is more graphically represented with food icons. If you log a banana, there is a small icon of the banana. If you log a beer there is an icon of pilsner glass. You get the idea. At first I didn’t like the Skeuomorphic style, but after a few weeks of using Lose It! I have come to appreciate the quick-glance recognition of foods and the easy to read “My Day” view with circle graphs for calories, nutrients, steps and challenges.

Putting all this tech together may seem a little overwhelming at first, but keep reading this series and you’ll learn how to use each of the tools mentioned like a champ. We will take a much closer look at the Moov Now and Lose It! app and share with you how we’ve used fitness wareables and apps to accomplish our weight and health goals.

Up Next: Lets Moov! Now
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Where To Find Tech News for IoT, Wareables, Smartphones and #yourlifeintech

The Internet is a big place and finding tech news online about #yourlifeintech isn’t hard but finding good, interesting, news sources is another story.

Maybe you want to read more about IoT, or perhaps you’re more interested wareables than Internet security or you’re just interested in how technology is tangling itself throughout culture or just looking for the latest news in the war on encryption.

Now it’s your turn to share! Below is a list of online news sources that we used to discover news, reviews and articles for the #yourlifeintech weekly digest. Each morning take a quick browse through the headlines and if you discover something fun, interesting or absolutely amazing share the link with us on Twitter @binarybound or post it to the binarybound facebook page.

#yourlifeintech /news, articles

#yourlifeintech /reviews

#yourlifeintech /art, music, fiction

Oh, and here are some of Today’s Headlines

*If you’re a content publisher and would you like us to consider your site for #yourlifeintech then please send an email to /editor/at/binarybound/com/ with the URL.

Writers Wanted: Explore Your Geek And Write About #yourlifeintech

if you like  #homeautomation  then join the @binarybound team & about how you use modern  DM us on twitter @binarybound for more info about all the perks! or drop us an email at editor /a/t/ binarybound /c/o/m or complete the form below.

The eSim, 5G and Playboy Trades Nipples for Good Design #yourlifeintech week 8

Well Hell hath finally froze over with playboy trading nipples for good design as the publication pivots itself away from nude photographs for the first time in their 60 year history. Although, I wouldn’t expect to see the new SFW March issue of Playboy landing in your dentists waiting room anytime to soon, but now we can all honestly say that we read it for the “articles” and “art”. Meanwhile, Sport Illustrated is innovating the swim suit edition with Google-style VR goggles. Poor Twitter is still catching up and trying to be the cool kid again by adding video-sharing to direct messages, but it seems like all the cool kids are using Instagram. Is Twitter looking to take the same yard-sale road as Yahoo and setting itself up for a possible sale? or fly into a “public benefit corporation” like Kickstarter did last year?

Then we have Nissan’s self-parking chairs and Apple’s fix and apology for Error 53.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines from Week 8 (Feb14-Feb21), 2016.

Yahoo takes a step towards possible sale. I bet someone somewhere is thinking what I am thinking and Yahooo! should have bought Google way back in the summer of 2002.
Source: NY Times

2 Comcast outage hit cable and internet service across U.S.  The outage affected communities including the San Francisco Bay Area; much of the East Coast from Philadelphia to Boston; parts of Florida, and Washington, D.C..
Source: Engadget

3 Samsung Galaxy 6, S6 Edge will get Android Marshmallow. This is great because for many Android customers the version of the OS installed on their phone when they buy it is the only version of Android they will ever see unless they upgrade their phone.
Source: CNet

4 A $7 smartphone is launching in India. Ringing Bells has not revealed too many details about Freedom 251, but is likely to be 3G-enabled. Sure, it’s not LTE, but would you sacrifice some speed and performance for a phone that won’t cost you $500, or $25 a month for 24 months (AT&T)?
Source: Mashable

5 Tim Cook gains support in fighting court order to unlock iPhone from Google CEO, Facebook and John MaAfee says he can hack it in 3 weeks or will eat his shoe on live TV.
Source: Wired/Mashable/Arstechnica

WaterField Designs is an innovative SF designer & manufacturer of bags & cases for the tech-savvy who want to stylishly & responsibly transport their gear. Connect with us and find that perfect bag or case! [advertisement]

6 Virgin Galactic unveils new Virgin Galactic VSS Unity and Recommits to Space Tourism. Tickets to space are on pre-sale for around $250,000.
Source: FastCompany

7 Samsung Gear S2 debuts the eSim. The specifications for eSIM were just approved by GSMA, allowing them to be used in devices like smartwatches, tablets, and fitness trackers. This is exciting stuff because soon we may finally be able to be tether-free from our phones.
Source: Slashgear

AT&T starting to test ultraspeedy 5G in Austin, Texas which  would mean a more responsive network that could let a doctor remotely perform delicate surgery with robotic hands. That sounds cool and all, but I don’t think I ever want to hear a surgeon say “can you hear me now?” to their assistant.
Source: CNet

9 Hoverboards may be seized or recalled due to fire risk; Amazon offers full refund
Source: USA Today

10 Alibaba buys 33 million shares of Groupon via a Groupon: Buy $11 million shares and get 33 million – LOL – in all seriousness people seemed to like this. Groupon’s stock opened 35% higher the next morning.
Source: CNBC

WaterField Designs is an innovative SF designer & manufacturer of bags & cases for the tech-savvy who want to stylishly & responsibly transport their gear. Connect with us and find that perfect bag or case! [advertisement]

Our favorite reviews for week 8

1 Withings Activite review
http://www.wareable.com/withings/withings-activite-steel-review

2 Waterfield Designs Staad Attache review
Source: the-gadgeteer

3 Five common photo lenses & when to use them

5 Common Photo Lenses & When To Use Them

Our upcoming reviews &articles

1 Making fitness wearables and food tracking work for you
2 Skinomi® TechSkin screen protector for Apple Watch
3 Playboy March SWF Issue (maybe it will have some #yourlifeintech articles)

IRS hacked, Moore’s Law Is Dead and Google shuts-down Picasa #yourlifeintech week 7

Twitter’s iconic little blue bird flew itself all over last week announcing a change to their timeline that has left everyones feathers a little ruffled. Twitter announced that will be displaying timeline content by relevancy, departing from its chronological roots, which as their active user base shrinks in Q4 may have not been the wisest decision.

Instagram FINALLY supports multiple user login, kickstarter reached their 100,000 project milestone, Runkeeper jogged into the arms of Asics, Google’s AI software can now be legally considered the “driver” of a car and plenty of new rumors about Apple’s iPhone 7 as well as the release date of Samsung’s S7 announced.

And, India banned Facebook Basics.

Here is a quick glance-summary of a few top headlines and our favorite reviews from Week 7 (Feb07-Feb14), 2016.

1 Obama’s new cybersecurity plan sticks to the basics
Keep your operating system and apps up to date, two-factor authentication and please, please use some common sense when surfing the Internet and opening e-mailed attachments from people you don’t know. And, maybe hire a professional.
Source: Wired

2 Donate Your Old USB Drives to Fight North Korean Brainwashing
One of my favorite stories this week. Instead of tossing your old USB flash drives into that never-seen-again junk drawer, consider sending your chunk of cheap flash memory into North Korea, and it becomes a powerful, even subversive object—one that a new activist project wants use to help chip away at the intellectual control of the hermit kingdom’s fascist government.
Source: Wired

3 More signs Verizon is reportedly looking to buy Yahoo! and Time Warner buys MySpace
Back in the early days of the Internet these two dinosaurs ruled the territory, but maybe now it’s time to let evolution take its course.
Source: USA Today/Engadget

4 The RIAA now counts audio visual streaming numbers towards artists total album sales and still gets it all wrong, but are you really surprised?
Source: Wired

5 IRS website attack nets 101,000 e-filing taxpayers credentials.
Maybe they should have piloted President Obama’s Cybersecurity Plan? LOL
Source: Arstechnica

Need a case for your iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus, LG or Apple Watch? Spigen: Sleek, simple, and smart accessories for your mobile device. Connect with us for new products, special events, and fun giveaways! [advertisement]

6 GMail now warns you if your freinds aren’t using secure email
With more and more net-security stories taking shape these last fews weeks, with the IRS being hacked, Mac OS X Sparkle hijacking and hackers exploiting power-grids through air conditioning units, maybe using secure email isn’t that bad of an idea or inconvenience.
Source: Arstechnica

7 Thousands of Mac OS X apps vulnerable to hijacking
You don’t hear the words Mac, hijacking and vulnerability in one sentence all too often, but this exploit is actually a scary one for Mac users and fixes may be slow coming since it requires all developers using Sparkle to update their apps and there isn’t anything Sparkle can do universally.
Source: Arstechnica

8 Einstein theory of general relativity confirmed as LIGO detects gravitational wave from black hole merger
Yes, space, gravity, or something like that has waves just like the ocean, but I will let the die-hard Big Bang Theory fans explain it all.
Source: Forbes

9 Moore’s law is dead or nearing to very close to it’s end
Yep, another one of those brainy news stories that rippled through the tech world that I am going to let the brainy people explain; something about circuits doubling every year on computer chips.
Source: Arstechnica/Fast Company

10 Apple owned 2/3 of Smartwatch market in 2015
Source: TechCrunch

11 Google plans to shutdown Picasa Spring 2016
Source: The Verge

Need a case for your iPhone, Galaxy, Nexus, LG or Apple Watch? Spigen: Sleek, simple, and smart accessories for your mobile device. Connect with us for new products, special events, and fun giveaways! [advertisement]

Our favorite reviews for week 7
1 Killing the password with wearables
http://www.wareable.com/wearable-tech/kill-the-password-pin-2290

2 MiPow Playbulb Sphere Lights The Night…Anywhere
http://geardiary.com/2016/02/12/mipow-playbulb-sphere-lights-the-night-anywhere/

3 Double the storage of your macbook
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2016/02/13/tardisk-can-double-the-storage-of-your-macbook-in-5-minutes/

4 Booq Cobra Brief
http://geardiary.com/2016/02/14/booqs-cobra-brief-is-a-traveling-professionals-best-friend/

Our upcoming reviews &articles
1 Moov Now, your AI personal trainer
2 Lose It!
3 Making fitness wearables work for you

#yourlifeintech Week 5 Microsoft Open Sources Cortana and The X-Files Return

Week 5 of 2106 (Jan24-Jan30) could have ended a little more upbeat for the tech world. It was full of earning results that didn’t meet expectations, most of Twitter’s executive leadership jumping ship like it was the Titanic, Mark Zuckerberg leap frogging the Koch brothers for 6th most riches man in the world, and financial analysts predictions that frankly don’t look very optimistic for the coming year in mobile tech.

Apple and Amazon both reported lower earnings than a year previous. Apple announced the slowest growth in the iPhone since its inception, despite having a strong quarter. Samsung for once agreed with Apple that sales in smartphones will see a decline as the demand for lower price phones increases and mobile providers change how contracts work, passing more of the phone cost onto the consumer through monthly leasing and/or payments.

Then there was a whole of buzz on Artificial Intelligence.

1 Apple’s leaked iPhone Mini
(Source: Forbes) Rumor has it Apple is creating a “budget iphone” by bringing back the 4 inch screen. It will look the iPhone 4 but with rounded corners. More info in this Forbes article.

2 Brave web browser banishing ads
(Source: Mashable) Elegantly removes ads and blocks third-party data tracking, but it’s still very early in development and is lacking many features. An app to keep your eye on though.

3 Twitter Senior Leadership Jumping Ship
(Source: Wired) With the return of Jack Dorsey, much of the executive leadership over at Twitter has jumped shipped and Dorsey wasted no time finding replacements, naming Leslie Berland as Chief Marketing Officer.

4 The Return of the X-Files
(Source: Wired) Mulder and Scully are back in a Fox 6-part miniseries of the cult-show that made us believers.

5 Microsoft Open Sources Cortana
(Source: Wired) Probably the most surprising news is Microsoft open sourced its digital assistant Cortana.

6 Apple and Samsung being Debbie Downers about tech in 2016
(Source: FastCompany) These two rivals who are usually punching each other in court have actually came to agreement that 2016 is going to bring slower smartphone sales.

7 First pieces of smart clothing tackle body temperature
(Source: Arstechnica) Your socks can now tell you if you’re sweating and help moderate body temperature?

8 Apple Ends free iTunes Radio service
(Source: Engadget)

9 Nasa Rover celebrates 12 years on Mars, despite it’s 90-day expected life-span
(Source: FastCompany)

10 “Internet of Things” security is hilariously broken and getting worse
(Source: Arstechnica)

Our Favorite Reviews for Week 5

1 Bellroy Wallet
http://the-gadgeteer.com/2016/01/24/bellboy-micro-sleeve-wallet-review/

2 Beginner’s guide to Pebble Health
http://www.wareable.com/Pebble/beginners-guide-pebble-health

Our Upcoming Reviews

1 Forest
Grow trees while you focus your time.

2 HomeBrite Smart LED bulbs
Control a few of your bedroom lights from your phone. No hub necessary.

3 Moov Now
More than a fitness tracking gadget, Moov Now also coaches you to reach your fitness goals.

First 48 Hours with Apple Watch

Crime investigators say that the first 48 hours are the most critical if you’re going to catch a killer. The Apple Watch is certainly no killer in the world of smart watches but the first 48 hours for most tech is where first impressions are formed and ultimately the do-or-die decision to return an item or not is made by consumers.

So for me, is the Apple Watch a do or a die gadget? Admittedly I am late to this party, but have chosen to make a late appearance for a reason. I didn’t like WatchOS1 that much. I felt it was extremely limiting, much like the first iPhone when it was released back in 2007, which I would have never bought on my own. Even still, WatchOS2 feels like a sheltered child with an over protective parent, Apple, whom needs to trust its developer community a little more and let the WatchOS grow wings and fly into the digital horizon of greatness.

IMG_4347 IMG_4364

A good example of trusting developers more and letting the OS spread its wings a little wider is allowing them to release custom watch faces. Simple, right? But, yeah, Mickey Mouse is cool with the second-tapping foot and all, but I would love to have a face with my favorite baseball team, the Red Sox, with the second hand like a bat swinging around the watch face. Fun, right? Or, maybe allow developers to develop stand-alone “complications” (this is what Apple calls those little widgets like, Date, Activity, Timer, Weather that are on the watch faces) that aren’t required to be part of another iOS app, such as an alternate battery-levels icon. The current one looks too similar to the Activity “complication” but as a user, I’m stuck with what mom (Apple) gives me.

The app marketplace has grown quite a bit with existing app developers adding WatchOS support, but I feel the adoption has been slow and limited. Some of my favorite apps apps outside of the standard Apple apps (like the Activity and Music apps as shown below in last screen-shots), for WatchOS include: Yelp, Shazam, My Fitness Pal, Wunderlist, and, yeah, that’s about it.

IMG_4346 IMG_4345 IMG_4365

IMG_4367 IMG_4342 IMG_4368

What I like

  1. Watch faces and the ability to customize with available “complications”.
  2. Music control of Apple Music and ability to sync playlists when not connected with iPhone.
  3. Activity and Workout app. The Activity app has a great user experience. The Outdoor app has lot of potential including more exercises as well as analysis of live data for real-time AI coaching. I know Apple typically leaves this type of development up to third-party developers, but right now they could really run away with the game against other teams like Fitbit and Moov.
  4. Maps navigation via watch face so you that you don’t always have to be glancing at your phone while driving. Turn-by-turn voice guidance is still provided with Siri through the iPhone.
  5. Apple Pay done right. They implemented it so you your phone is not required to use Apple Pay. This is great for those times you take a run, leaving your phone at home, and stop to buy a Gatorade at 7-11.
  6. Siri, at times, works with the right voice command, such as, “Set a reminder to take out trash when I get home” will set a reminder in the Reminders app and notify of you via your iPhone GPS when you arrive home. Other commands that are useful are: “How long until I get to home or to work”, “Add bread to shopping list”, or “what is the weather like in …”

What I don’t like

  1. The price. $349 for the 38mm Sport is a lot of money for the current tech it offers.
    2. No built-in Wi-Fi. This would help it situations where your iPhone and Watch are separated. It would allow you send texts via iMessage, as well as maybe even  place calls via Wi-Fi calling (AT&T). Update: Wi-Fi is available if your iPhone has previously connected to the network and the network is not public (e.g., Starbucks) or on a 5Ghz band. The phone icon on the “Connected” glance (swipe up and left from watch face) will become a cloud when connected to Wi-Fi.
  2. While separating out Apple Pay and Wallet, Passbook is also a separate app. This is most noticeable when you arrive at Starbucks. Double-pressing the side button only shows the current bank or credit cards in your “wallet” excluding other passport passes.
  3. No GPS. For me, this is a biggie. At the lowest price point of $349 I expected this. It would allow me to be completely iPhone free on a run or bike ride.

A few tips

  1. To return to the last app you used double-press the digital crown.
  2. To quickly access Apple Pay double-press the side-button.
  3. To take a screen-shot, press the side-button and then the digital crown. Your screen-shot will automatically be saved to your photo app on your iPhone.
  4. Press and hold the side-button to power-off the Watch, enable power-reserve or lock the device.
  5. Send your heartbeat to other Apple Watch users by clicking the side-button, select your friend, tap the Digital-Touch icon (center icon) and the lightly press two fingers on the display. Your heartbeat will show up on your friend’s watch until you lift your fingers.

Despite my quick-criticisms, my first 48 hours with the Apple Watch has been a fun, a new user experience that I don’t regret. However, I am thankful that I had the opportunity to trade-in my old iPhone 5 for a $200 Apple credit and that I only paid $228 out-of-pocket, which is still a lot of money for a device that honestly only mirrors my iPhone 6.

Product Source:
Purchased from Apple store, 42mm, Sport, $399.

Website:
http://www.apple.com

Order at Amazon and save!
$295 (38mm) – $354 (42mm) Sport Edition

Fitbit Blaze fashions to be a star

Last week at CES 2016 in Las Vegas, Fitbit, the world’s leader in personal activity tracking, announced their latest device, the Fitbit Blaze, a fashionable fitness watch that has been amusingly labeled as a smartwatch. According to New York Times, the announcement made Fitbits stock fall 18% on Tuesday, January 5, 2016 stating “investors [are] worried about its ability to compete with Apple and other makers of wearable technology”. This may be true if Fitbit was actually trying to compete with the Apple Watch functionally instead of fashionably.

Over the past year more fashionable fitness wearables by Withings with the Activiaté and recently announced e-ink based band, Go, as well a  Fossil’s Q Series have opened the eyes to consumers that fitness trackers don’t have to look like rubber bracelets anymore. A quick search on Etsy returns pages of handmade braclets for the fitbit flex. Even the 2012 kickstarter Pebble Watch is jumping into the fitness world too, recently introducing the “Pebble Health” platform for three of its watches.

fitbit-blaze-13211-1452015431-VwOb-column-width-inline

An assortment of FitbIt Blaze devices (source: Fitbit)

Yes, the Blaze also includes “smart” features like basic notifications and alerts but can you use it to respond to phone calls or texts? No. Can you ask it for directions to grandmas house? no. Can you call grandma? no. Can you check out at a store using a mobile payment system? no. Does it have custom apps? sort of. It provides on-screen workouts with FitStar. But, FitStar requires an additional $39.99 a month subscription.

What the Blaze does have in common with other wearable products like the Apple watch, Pebble, or Samsung Gear is being a “health and fitness companion”. According to Fortune (December 2015) Fitbit dominates the fitness segment of wearable technology, owning 22.2% marketshare, retaining its lead over Apple, as well as other companies like Garmin, Withings, Basis, Under Armour (now owner of the popular MyFitnessPal app), Nike and even Microsoft and Google Fit. So, if I could tell Fitbits investors one thing, it would be that Apple (as well as Samsung, Google band Pebble) are trying to compete more against the Fitbit Health Platform than Fitbit is trying to compete with the Apple Watch or Apple Health. Relax; the Blaze is no Apple Watch.

In an article by Paul Lamkin in Forbes Tech, Lamkin describes the Blaze as an “evolution of the popular Fitbit Charge HR“. I disagree, the Blaze looks like nothing more than a fashionably repackaged Surge at a better price. In a side by side comparison, the only differences between the Surge and Blaze are price, the Blaze is $50 less; intergrated GPS, the Surge includes this but the Blaze tethers your phone GPS; and design.

Being a Flex and Charge HR user myself, I was hoping to also see fashionable alternatives to those devices as well, or an altogether new device similar to the Blaze but with GPS as well as a built in audio player with Bluetooth and maybe even LTE data so you can finally leave your phone where it belongs: in the locker room.

10 Days With The Jaybird Reign Activity Tracker

When I walked out of Best Buy after purchasing the Jaybird Reign I had big expectations for this sleek looking silicone band; available in black and white. Wooed by its design and fresh activity tracker thinking I was ready to join team Reign and go beyond simply counting my steps and calories burned. I was pumped to run, swim and bike alongside my new personal and wearable coach.
(more…)