Apps: Healthcare & Fitness
This past week, the Illness Tracker App has become my best friend. (Winkpass Creations, $0.99)
I don't have to remember when I gave the kids their medicine or what their fever was. While at the doctor's office, I just opened the app and everything was right there.
If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.
- New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
- Updates are not included in the New Releases
This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.
The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems. It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page. That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.
I've always loved the sound of thunderstorms, and now I have some great ones on my iPhone. A company called Naturespace has recorded 65 thunderstorms from around the U.S. and put them into the Thundergod app. They use stereo effectively to track the thunder across the sky so that you feel like you're actually in a thunderstorm. There's a sleep timer so that you can fall asleep to these relaxing sounds. The app isn't cheap, at $9.99, but the quality of recording is excellent.
Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.
In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps. Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately. Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.
On one hand, more choices are a good thing. But I have some concerns.
ICE (In Case of Emergency) lets you store all your pertinent medical and contact info on your iPhone and easily access it. The app also allows you to take a screen shot of an information summary and places it in your photo library. You can then e-mail it to a healthcare professional if necessary, or use the photo as the wallpaper on your iPhone. If, heaven forbid, someone found you unconsciousness and turned on your iPhone, they’d have your medical summary in front of them.
WeightWatchers Mobile App is everything a mobile app should be. I am currently on WeightWatchers and use the WeightWatcher’s e-tools. With this mobile app, I can now do everything I did on the Web site, on my iPhone.
When you first open the program (after you’ve registered your account), you will see a screen that shows your daily and weekly points remaining. From there, you can go to your favorites, recently added or featured recipes.
I get up at 5 a.m. for work, and typically do not return home until 6 p.m. That makes for a long day—one that leaves little time for exercise. So, I was pretty excited to try Workout of the Day, which helps you integrate a quick but intense workout into your daily schedule. The program uses 16 different exercises to create 365 unique daily workouts. None of these require weights or other expensive equipment. The workouts are around 10 minutes each, so they’re easy to fit into the day. Most involve multiple rounds of lunges, pull-ups, and other exercises. It is a great exercise solution if you’re pressed for time.
There are 75,000 apps in the app store and counting. And if you or someone in your family is expecting a blessed event — the arrival of a baby — Adrienne Carlson has identified 50 apps that are relevant, from fertility logs, due date calculators, and baby name databases, to health, prenatal care and delivery. Her article, titled 50 Useful iPhone Applications for Your Pregnancy, even has a selection of baby-related games.
I've long been into healthy living. And it's done well by me. So I was pleased to see iVeda recently released, since it's a handy app for helping you integrate into your life my favorite system of alternative healthcare: Ayurveda. What I like about Ayurveda is that it does away with the notion of "one size fits all." Instead, this system that originated in ancient India says that there are different body types and that the way to get healthy and stay healthy varies according to one's body type. Me, I'm a "vata" body type — underweight, uncomfortable in cold weather, light sleeper.