The increase in the growing interests about health has made smartphone developers to greatly invest their time in developing mobile fitness apps that hopefully can stand against fitness watch. Obviously, fitness watch can measure heart rate that is not possible with a smartphone, but features like pedometer or distances traveled are already in place thanks to GPS supports over 3G/4G/LTE network. As someone who personally utilize Nike+ Running with my iPhone, mobile fitness apps are the hot issues right now if you haven’t heard already.
Apple and Samsung Both Know and Emphasize Heavily into Fitness
When you see major companies – as opposed to just developers – push for certain issues, you know that those certain issues are critically important that they will be significant in shaping how we use technology. Apple has been discussing their new iWatch, which can potentially add cool features like measurement of heart rate into a small compact computer. Similarly, when Samsung Galaxy S4 was released just this March, one of major software updates involved S Health, which can serve as a pedometer and may do more with connections to other fitness devices through Bluetooth connections. Whether it is Apple or Samsung, one thing is clear: this is a field that top companies are carefully evaluating.
Always With You – Mobile Fitness Apps
I remember few instances when I forgot to have the fitness watch with me when I went to jog or run. When you have to bring a car key, cell phone, and the wallet, adding the fitness watch can be easily forgotten, especially if you do not wear the watch for other services besides exercising. On the other hand, mobile fitness apps are always with you – many people carry their phones for exercising, so no matter what you are doing, you are pretty much guaranteed that mobile fitness apps will be available to use.
In addition, as in the case of S Health, mobile fitness apps can work with other nutrition or calorie recording app to not only measure how much you exercise, but link your food to your workout – a key to being successful in diet program. This expansion is not available for fitness watch, so this can be a huge plus if you are already in the diet program or consider exercising to lose weight.
Battery Problem Can Be a Major Issue
Because fitness watch is still a watch, its battery lifespan is very long compared to that of mobile smartphone. Especially if you are running internet on the background and connected to GPS – which you must do – then battery will decrease somewhat quickly depending on the app and the phone. Since people tend to use smartphones more than just the storage place for mobile fitness apps, this issue surrounding the battery life can pose a problem to users who depend on smartphones a lot.
This isn’t the end of the problem though. Along with the battery problem, mobile fitness apps depend on GPS connection, so while fitness watch can work pretty much anywhere, mobile fitness apps may result in false reading if the signal is poor. Unstable connections combined with battery life issue can be detrimental to some people’s hope of fully depending on the mobile fitness apps, so it is certainly something to consider.
Why Not Just Use Both?
To me, this is the recommended solution for people to do when it comes to fitness watch and mobile fitness apps. Fitness watch does not really have a problem with the way it works; it was only challenged by the growing popularity of smartphones. Still, I feel that it will take sometime for smartphones to handle mobile fitness apps that can completely replace the fitness watch, so until that day is arrived, it is best to use both tools to meet your needs. It is worth noting that mobile fitness apps will certainly become better as more and more people use. Therefore, the actual timeline as to when mobile fitness apps can fully make fitness watch obsolete remains to be seen, but that period may not be that far away from now.