Category: Health & Fitness

Track Your Exercise and Diet With The MSN Health & Fitness App and a SensorCore Enabled Lumia

If you follow me on Twitter or know me personally, you know that I’m a big user of Fitbit and MyFitnessPal.  In 2009 I weighed in at just under 300lbs while today I’m a healthy 195lbs and I credit my Fitbit (One and now a Flex) as well as MyFitnessPal as part of my success in losing the weight and keeping it off.  That said, there are some out there who do not necessarily want to have a wearable device to track their activities let alone have another app they have to go to so they can log their food and caloric intake.

With the introduction of the Lumia 1520, Nokia introduced SensorCore, a sensor and software application built into certain Lumia devices that will allow you to track activities such as walking and running.  Couple that with the free MSN Health & Fitness app for Windows Phone, you now have a way to keep track of your steps, runs, diet, and calories burned all in one app and you don’t have to wear any other devices other than your Lumia in your pocket – which is where it always is anyway, right?  Setting up your Lumia to use SensorCore is easy and it automatically configures MSN Health & Fitness so you can get to tracking things straight away.

Runtastic and Runtastic Pro for Windows Phone Gets A Big Updates

The official Runtastic (Free) and Runtastic Pro ($4.99) for Windows Phone apps have received a healthy update today, bringing several new features to help you better track your activities.  While most of the updates are aimed at the Pro version of the app, there are still plenty of new updates for those who have the free app and it is well worth the update.  The new update, version for those keeping score at home, are both available now in the Windows Phone Store.

Runtastic – Free – Download Now

Runtastic Pro – $4.99 – Download Now

Fitbit for Windows Gets Minor Update With Big Sync Improvements

The Fitbit for Windows Modern app has received a small but important update today that fixes a lot of sync issues users were facing with the fitness tracker software.  The update, version 1.5.17 (12619) for those keeping score at home, specifically addresses synchronization setup and improved tracker syncing.  The update is important as syncing with your Windows 8.1 PC or tablet is done via a USB dongle on Fitibits.  It works but it hasn’t been to this point 100% reliable.  That seems, based on my testing, to be resolved.

Fitbit for Windows – Free – Download Now

Fitbit for Windows Phone Gets Surge Centric Updates

Fitbit has released another update to the Fitbit for Windows Phone app, the 4th month in a row that the app has been updated.  The update, version for those keeping score at home, is mainly focused on improvements for the new Fitbit Charge HR and Surge trackers but there also other changes that all users of the app will appreciate.  Perhaps the most important of those general updates is the shrinking of the app down from 26MB in size to 18MB.  That may not sound like much but it adds up if you have a limited amount of phone storage left on your Windows Phone.

Fitbit for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Runtastic for Windows Phone Sees A Major Update

The popular Runtastic app for Windows Phone has seen a major update this morning bringing an improved user experience along with a lot of new features.  The update, version for those keeping score at home, is available now and many of the updates are focused on the Pro version of the app (which also saw the same updates).  Runtastic is free while Runtastic Pro is $4.99.

Runtastic for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Runtastic Pro for Windows Phone – $4.99 – Download Now

Fitbit for Windows Phone Gets Updated for Surge Support

The Fitbit for Windows Phone app received an update yesterday that brings support for the newest Fitbit tracker, the Surge, along with some visual improvements and performance enhancements.  The update is available now and it does require that your device be running Lumia Cyan to work properly and do the background synchronization between the tracker and your Windows Phone.

Fitbit for Windows Phone – Free – Download Now

Fitbit for Windows 8.1 Updated With New Sync Functionality

A few weeks ago Fitbit updated their Windows Phone app and at the time indicated that a new and improved Windows 8.1 version was in the works.  That update has now been released and it is impressive.  Fitbit for Windows 8.1 is to a large extent a complete overhaul of the app’s user experience but equally as important, it finally brings proper background syncing of your Fitbit to your PC.

Fitbit for Windows 8.1 – Free – Download Now

Is Fitbit Betting on Windows Phone over iOS?

Today was a busy day for San Francisco based Fitbit.  The company announced three new fitness activity trackers – the Charge, Charge HR and Surge – all of which will be their next generation of activity trackers.  All three look really impressive and will offer different levels of tracking based on your needs as a user and all three have multiple days of activity between charges which, particularly in the case of the Smartwatch-esque Surge, is important.

Along with this was the announcement from Fitbit and Microsoft of the new Windows Phone app which I highlighted earlier in a post.  That update brings a lot of improvements and enhancements, particularly around SensorCore and Cortana support.  It is the first one of those that is interesting in light of the recent decisions that Fitbit has made around iOS.  It also makes me think that Fitbit is making a bet that Windows Phone, as a platform, is going to take off.

Let me lay a little bit of foundation for those who haven’t kept up with the state of affairs in iOS from Apple.  With the release of iOS 8, Apple introduced Health Kit, an aggregation app if you will that allows you to pull information from the M7/8 motion processor built into the iPhone 5s/6/6 Plus.  It also allows for integration of information from 3rd party apps such as MyFitnessPal and Jawbone’s Up.  It’s this last part that is interesting as Fitbit stated multiple times in their user forums that they have no plans to integrate into Health Kit.  Why is that interesting?  Because during the keynote introducing Health Kit, Fitbit was the first shown.  It seemed, by association, that Fitbit would be tied to Health Kit.  In fact, the link to the user forums above were updated on October 8th with additional confirmation Health Kit integration, for now, won’t be happening.

So that makes the integration with Windows Phone and SensorCore very interesting because it effectively is saying no to iOS and yes to Windows Phone. 

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