Friday, January 7, 2011

Count Me In!, a new iPhone app

Helium Apps LLC released their latest iPhone app to the App Store this week. This is a simple-to-use and accurate *real* Calorie counter.  Most Calorie counters deal with diet and food, spreadsheet-like; this app measures Calories you burn during your outdoor exercising, or workout.  Perhaps its more accurate to call it a Calorie meter as it measures the Calories you burn. And fun to use.

Using the iPhone's built-in GPS receiver, Count Me In! tracks your position, calculates your current speed and then determines how many Calories you burn walking, jogging, or biking, It even does a pretty good job of stairs. Setup is easy, simply enter your weight.  Using your weight is important to get an accurate reading of the Calories burned.

The app maintains a  daily accumulator so you can track how many Calories you burn over the full day.

Its design goal has been "simple to use" and is intended for someone who wants an accurate Calorie count without having to "fuss with it". It has achieved this using a very simple user interface: mostly a map of your route, a single Start/Stop button, and a large visual of Calories burned. A stop watch type of app. It works particularly well for iPhone 4's (and newer) as it works great "in the background" so you can focus on things.

While simplicity has been its mantra, some bells and whistles have been added to enhance the "user experience", if you so choose.  One is a "details view" which will provide you more information about your exercise and lets you use a toggle button to see your time, distance, speed, elevation as well as Calories burned.  This details view also shows the breakdown of the Calories into their horizontal, vertical, and "resting" components.  This will, for example, tell you how many Calories you burned walking up "that hill", or those stairs.

Another feature, and one of my favorites is the compass view.  When turned on the compass view will rotate the map (and your route) in the same direction that you are heading.  So you can point the iPhone in the direction you're heading and see (on the map) where you're going.

Those are the main features but there are others. For instance, its accuracy comes from using the American College of Sports and Medicine (ACSM) metabolic eqations.  These are equations fitness trainer use to determine a workout regime for someone who want to, say, loss X number of Calories.
"Count Me In!" can be used to measure those Calories burned.

Want to check it out in the App Store? Click here.