Anytime there's a big version jump, there's almost always something pretty big to be found. The Google app just leapt from v5.14 to v6.0, but those big new features don't seem to be showing up quite yet. That doesn't mean there isn't still something to see. A teardown shows that there are at least a few things to look out for, either now or in the future. This version appears to be rolling out through the beta channel, so if you want to check it out without signing up to the beta, or if it hasn't rolled out to you yet, there's a download link at the bottom.
Runtastic knows that you'll be sitting on your ass for hours during Google I/O, watching the conference and gorging on all the news, so it decided to release a new app to... taunt you? Or motivate you to get back in shape once I/O is over? Whatever the purpose, Leg Workout Trainer is now available on the Play Store.
Leg Workout Trainer joins the previously released Butt Trainer in bringing a series of muscle-focused (or group of muscles-focused) exercises to your phone in video form, with step-by-step instructions and photos. It has predefined workouts (7-minute, Pilates, and more) and three levels of difficulty, but also allows you to customize the training to target a specific problem area in your lower body.
Considering the sheer number of users that RunKeeper has, there must be a considerable crossover between people who love the app and people who want it to conform to Android's visual design style. For however many of those people that there are, today is a good day: the company announced a comprehensive Material Design overhaul for version 5.5.3. It's in the Play Store right now - no need to wait on a rollout.
Old on the left, new on the right.
Runkeeper was kind enough to compare some of the juicier changes to the app with the old version (a move very much appreciated by lazy tech bloggers!).
Android Wear devices come with accelerometers, gyroscopes, and heart rate monitors so that when wearers do active things, the devices can at least attempt to track what's going on. Jump Rope Wear Counter is an Android Wear app that tries to count your jumps while jumping rope, display how many calories you've burned, and sync the information to Google Fit. For the most part, it works.
There isn't really much to Jump Rope Wear Counter, but after trying it out for a bit, I can confirm that it's mostly accurate. It maintained a margin of error of only a few jumps.
Sometimes developers strike (figurative) gold. They send an app submission just when you're thinking that you need to find an app that does the exact same thing, and it's Presidents Day so your plate is otherwise empty and you can try it out. Such is the case with Chrono List. But let's back up.
For a few days now, I have been thinking how silly it is that I have to keep staring at my treadmill's timer to figure out when to switch speeds during my runs. See, some days I go for a gradual speed increase over 5' intervals, and other days I do a HIIT of 1' intense runs and 2' walks. I can't exactly lose [my]self in themusic, or have myself a good time if my eyes are rooted to the clock the entire run.
Are you willing to exercise to get in shape? I see some of you nodding your heads, but others look like they need more motivation. What if missiles were flying towards you? What if the fate of the world depended on you throwing just five more punches or hanging in there long enough for three more of your best push-ups? If that's the kind of incentive you need to start burning those calories, then developer Six to Start has the app for you.
7-Minute Superhero Workout gives users the kind of heart-pumping, jeopardy-based stimulation we've seen in previous releases Zombies, Run! and The Walk.
We've all seen it happen. A great technology, service, or platform comes out, but without a solid base of users and apps, it fails to gain traction. Google wants to see the Fit API work out, and developers have been called upon to help make that happen. If you know how to write an Android app, and you've got a great idea for something that will get people off the couch and into the gym, you're invited to join the Google Fit Developer Challenge. There are tons of great prizes, and a select few apps will receive some pretty serious promotional attention.
After reports of skin rashes pushed Fitbit to recall its Force activity tracker at the beginning of this year, the company is now ready to bring the product's replacement to market. It's called the Charge, and it's joined by two other fitness bracelets packing more features and a higher cost.
The Charge comes with largely the same look and capabilities as the Force it replaces, providing the ability to track steps, follow sleep patterns, count floors climbed, see calories burned, and know who's calling. That's not to say that things are entirely the same. The Charge can track sleep automatically, which is a significant improvement over initiating the process manually (assuming it's reliable).
The premise behind Zombies, Run! is pretty simple - there are some zombies, and you're probably not going to want them to catch you. Fire up the app, stick some earbuds into your ear, and run. No, run! You typically don't spend too much time looking at your phone while using this app, but (wait, why did you stop moving, run!) the new update to version 3.0 will make sure the app looks holorific the next time you do.
Developers Six to Start know users don't have all that much time to look at the app while they're running, so it's included a new wave of something other than zombies.
For a lot of people, running is boring, which is a major impedance to getting the exercise that many of us sorely need. There have already been some interesting mixes of fiction/gameplay and workouts with apps like Zombies, Run, but Runtastic is getting into the same area for people who might not enjoy being chased by undead monsters living in their headphones. The new feature is called Story Running. Generic promotional video ahoy!
It works like a mix between an audiobook, a guided tour, and workout. You start your Story Running session by choosing between one of four tracks: an exploration of Rio De Janeiro, a tribal adventure, a daring escape from Alcatraz, or...