‘Moves’ for iPhone – Taking a deeper look

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For several days now, I’ve had my hands on Moves. (And feet, and car, and I could have had a bike on it, too). So, let’s jump right in and take a look at arguably one of the most useful, and interesting, free lifestyle-based apps.As soon as I’d installed the app, it was extremely easy to get started. These days, it feels like every app wants you to have an account to make the experience “easier” and more “intuitive”. Going on the assumption that this app keeps and logs your data, I expected to be touted to make an account for this app too. Not so. Just start walking. I delved in to settings almost immediately to see what else the app had to offer.Moves gives you a handful of nifty features – for the fitness fanatics to the calorie counters. Moves has you covered. In order to set up the calories feature, you’ll be asked a few simple questions about your height, gender and weight. Once you wrap your head around unit conversion, you’ll be good to go. The “metric units” toggle dictates which units you’ll get.The notifications feature is brilliant. It conveniently picks a moment towards the end of your day to give you a summary of what you’ve done, even on your lock screen. It shows up in your notification centre too.

Due to the GPS-powered nature of the app, it made it possible for the app to know the places you are frequently, and you can name these whatever you please. There are a few suggestions; home, work and school. This app is great at showing you how much of your life is wasted at work. The downside of GPS is that the location services are running constantly, a point I’ll get to later.

Design
The design of the app is beautiful. There are some elements of the interface that make it enjoyable monitoring your day-to-day activity. For example, the bubbles that appear on the day’s splash screen actually expand the more you walk, cycle or drive. This makes it easy to see which mode of exercise you use more, and the colours for each bubble are different for each form of transport. Tapping the bubble will change the information to the distance travelled, calories burned, the time spent doing it and so on. The distance travelled is not entirely accurate, however, but they do address this in the FAQ’s in the settings pane.

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By pressing the label of the day at the top of the screen, you are greeted with a timeline of your data. While the concept of this timeline has potential, I feel the screen real estate is wasted. Perhaps showing the data on a graph or adapting the main storyline layout would be more intuitive. Simply swiping left to right to go back over previous days quickly replaced the use of the timeline.

And what would a tracking app be without a built-in map? Moves has one of those too. Tapping your storyline shows you your trail on a map, and appropriately labels the place depending on what you called it. (Again; work, home etc). While this serves as an adequate visual overview, it is more of a novelty feature.

Performance
Moves says in its app-store description that the developer makes every effort to minimise battery consumption. While this is evident – as my phone surprisingly didn’t die – there is still a considerable amount of battery usage. The more you move, the more it uses. The more you walk, the more it dies. How’s that for an odd karma? Either way, your phone should easily make it through the day with it tracking in the background.

Privacy
Moves stores all of your data on its own secure server. You can request the deletion of your info by an email but it stores your frequent places, and basically everything else you’ll see on-screen. A quick glance at their privacy policy will set your stalker-radar at bay – no third parties are getting hold of your information without your consent. As aforementioned, it cuts out the middle-man of making an account which, personally, makes the app so easy to use.

To wrap things up, this app is exceptional at most of the features that it has to offer you. All with an even more unbelievable free-of-charge price tag attached to it. Whether it’s curiosity or a fitness goal that takes you to the app, you’ll definitely gain something from it. I can assure you, it won’t be weight.

Overall rating; 7/10
App Store Link

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About Author

19. South Devon, England. Going on to study a diploma in Systems Support! Avid Technology fan.

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