Who Is Fooling Who Here?
This week I started looking into what the App Store has to offer, regarding free step counter apps. Before you jump to the comment section to let me know we have Actifit on the Hive blockchain, I know we have Actifit, but I wanted something different as the previously mentioned app is pretty sensitive, picking up every movement that is not step related, pumping the steps compared to other apps.
I want a step counter that does not use a map (or has hide the map option and other private details) and can be trusted to work in the background, counting steps and that's all.
When it comes to selecting one, I like to look at the ratings, even though I know there may be manipulation in order to get a suitable overall ranking.
Based on rating, after a short while I decided to try out this app. It was a random app as there were a few with this kind of rating, so I looked at the interface screenshots at the app stores and decided to give it a try.
After downloading and giving the necessary information, I put my phone in my pocket and continued my day. After half an hour (spent indoor) it was time to check the app to see how many steps I had and to my surprise the step counter showed 0, I mean a big ZERO!
Seeing a big zero did not make me happy but on the other hand I though maybe the app is only picking up movement that really looks like walking (proper walking), so I started to go round and round in the house, so I can have some continuous movement. Suddenly the counter started to move and I was happy to have found an app that doesn't pick up unnecessary movements, giving room to cheating.
Then the next time I checked the counter I got this notification 😳🤦♀ Needless to say it was like a bucket of cold water being thrown on my head.
We live in the digital era, which means most of us have some kind of smart device, or in some cases, several. (Smartphone, smartwatch, smart this, smart that and pretty soon very smart gadgets will have everything in one place.) So at the moment if you don't have your phone with you, you can track your steps using your watch or wristband and sync it with the app on your phone later.
If you don't have a smartwatch or wristband and you forgot to carry your phone, then you can admit to yourself that you're stupid and try to pay more attention next time as without a watch/wristband or phone, there's no way you know how many steps you've made during the day. Correct me if I'm wrong.
So tell me honestly, why is this app allowing the user to edit steps manually?
Who Is Fooling Who Here?
The offer of free apps is abundant, if I don't like this one, there are plenty others to choose from, so it is not a big deal.
The big deal is what these permissions can do to individuals on a psychological level.
We usually use a step counter to see how many steps we are able to make in a certain period of time, which obviously has an equivalent in burnt calories. Most of us want to stay active and some of us wants to lose weight.
Keeping customers happy is the key to success they say and it is true. Seeing a big number on your step counter can make you happy but can also backfire if you believe everything without thinking.
The biggest problem with those wanting to lose weight is not being truthful to themselves and trying to cut some corners here and there. We do this unintentionally sometimes, or fully intentionally, when others don't see it. Needless to say, we're the only ones being fooled here.
Knowing you really did those steps can help you get a clear picture. The app letting you cheat is again something that will turn against you.
You can obviously blame the app, but at the end of the day the responsibility is always yours.
Tracking And Privacy
Back in the day when I was jogging on a regular bases, there was an app called Endomondo, a very good one I may say. In 2020 the app was sold to MyFitnessPal and now you have a separate app for different activities instead of having one for all.
I liked Endomondo a lot, because you were able to track your pace as well, plus analyze your performance broken down to kilometers, which allowed you to rethink your strategy, dose your energy differently next time and see where things went wrong and why.
The only thing I did not like was that your friends in the app were able to see your rout, your map and the time of your training. Privacy is important, safety as well, so hiding the map and the details of your training session is highly recommended these days.
If you know a trustworthy app that has a few cool features, don't hold back, let me know in a comment. I'm going to look and test some more to see if I can find a good one. Wish me luck. I hope to find a good one soon as wasting time is not fun.