on exercise and mobile apps [Tue, 22 Mar 2011 16:27:50 +0000]
I recently got an Android device after having resisted smartphones for a while.
The main reason I chose to upgrade from a "dumb" phone was I wanted a faster, non-PC based way of quickly checking Facebook and email. Having a smartphone lets me do that and avoid needing to get to a computer. It's also nice to be able to check sports scores while I'm on the road or in a library, etc.
Like with other tech, I think it's really easy to get carried away with "vanity" apps - stuff that's just "cool" but not really useful. For example, I don't need an app to help me know how many calories are in what I'm eating. If I need to ask, then maybe I shouldn't be eating it ...
One useful app I do have is Endomondo [http://www.endomondo.com/]. I don't use it to the full effect, I just use it to figure out how long a walking route is so I can estimate the calories I'd burn walking that route. It also lets me know what my walking pace is.
And I don't know if it or some other app can do this, but I'd ideally like to have an app that will alert me every minute or so if I'm walking at a pace less than about 4 miles per hour. That would really help make my treks more workout-oriented.
Anyway, I might just try to write a little app like that myself using PhoneGap [http://www.phonegap.com/], which I heard about a few years ago before I had any real interest in smartphones. I guess I'd mainly need the Geolocation [http://docs.phonegap.com/phonegap_geolocation_geolocation.md.html] and Media [http://docs.phonegap.com/phonegap_media_media.md.html] (or Notification [http://docs.phonegap.com/phonegap_notification_notification.md.html#Notification]) elements, the first to calculate my rate and the second to playback a sound or vibrate if I'm walking too slowly.
Anyway, just thinking out loud.