Last weekend I got an iPhone 5S, upgrading from an iPhone 5.
While most people scoff at Apple doing “S” upgrades, I have to say I am really impressed at everything Apple packed into the phone.
In one year, Apple made big improvements to the camera, added a new, faster chip, created a fingerprint scanner, and added an “M7 coprocessor,” which tracks motion.
The fingerprint scanner has worked well for me so far, and it’s by far the most fun new feature. It’s just a neat, gee-whiz piece of technology. It’s seriously amazing that it works.
But, the M7 coprocessor is my favourite thing about the iPhone 5S. It tracks, and stores your movement in the phone. “M7 knows when you’re walking, running, or even driving,” says Apple’s website.
This makes the iPhone 5S a fantastic fitness gadget. It also eliminates the need for a wearable devices like the Nike FuelBand, or FitBit Force.
Right before I got the iPhone 5S, I had been wearing a Nike FuelBand. I liked that it tracked my activity and motivated me to get off my butt and move around. But, I hated how it felt on my wrist. It was bulky and uncomfortable.
With the iPhone, I don’t need the FuelBand. I have Nike Move+, which tracks activity just like a FuelBand.
But even better than Nike Move+ is Pedometer++, a super simple application that tracks steps.
Every single person who owns an iPhone 5S should download Pedometer++. It’s free. If you like it, and you want to be generous, you can “tip” the developer $US0.99, $US2.99, or $US5.99 through an in-app payment.
Pedometer tracks how many steps you take based on data from the M7. The app displays your steps for the day as a constantly updating badge on the outside of the app. The inside of the app displays your steps in a bar chart.
The developer who made it, Chris Davis, said in a blog post, “This app has generated more guilt than anything else I’ve ever created. I am constantly hearing from people who say that they open the app and are shocked at how little they actually move in a day. I know for myself it wasn’t until I actually measured it that I realised how sedentary my life was. It is sobering to see that you only took 2,000 steps in a day and realise just how unhealthy that likely is.”
It’s true! I use a standing desk, and commute to New York City every day. I thought for sure that I was moving around a bunch. It turns out that in an average day, I wasn’t hitting 10,00o steps on my own. The Pedometer app is pushing me to move around a little bit more, which should be better for my health in the long run.
The iPhone 5S is a great device, but Pedometer, a super simple app really unlocks its potential. If you have a 5S, you owe it to yourself to download it.