Thursday, December 23, 2010

iTrakMe 2.0

Yesterday iTunes released iTrakMe 2.0.  This is great news for Helium Apps considering iTunes started their week long holiday today. And YOU don't have to wait an additional week to try it out.  Originally planned to be a 1.1 version (to fix some problems with background operation) enough new features have been added to qualify it for a major version. 

And its still free with a $2.99 upgrade path for the full featured version.

iTrakMe 2.0 now works correctly with iOS 4 and its very cool background tasking. Woo hoo! In other words you can start iTrakMe, start using some other feature on your phone, and it continues to properly receive GPS data in the background. Bring iTrakMe to the front shows you up to-the-second readings. Fixing that problem was the original motivation for 1.1.

Several new features were added qualifying it as a "major release". Probably the most significant change and improvement has been to use the ACSM's Caloric calculating equations for walking, running, and steps. The American College of Sports Medicine is a professional society focused on sports medicine and exercise science. iTrakMe calculates the Calories you burn using these equations.  Interestingly, iTrakMe uses these equations in a novel way by calculating (and displaying) the values in real-time while conventional use is focused on average use (for example, "6.2 feet per second for 15 minutes").

In further support of the ACSM, iTrakMe now includes an "ACSM Metabolic Calculator" .  You can calculate the number of Calories burned when you enter speed, minutes, grade, and weight. There are acutally 3 calculators one each for walking, running, and stairs.

Another major feature has been the addition of a "compass view". With this view is turned on iTrakMe rotates its map to align with your direction, that is, with the direction you are heading.  This is a fun feature but some find it a more intuitive way to use the app. 

There have been numerous minor improvements such as a stream-lined menu system, an improved Start/Stop system, as well as an better way to specify the activity (walk, run, mtn bike, road bike, or car).  Check it out!

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