Under Armor Record – Disappointing iPhone Application

iPhone Applications

I continue to look for interesting and useful new iPhone applications – ones I can use on  my mountain bike and keep track of rides and stats.  Over the last 3 years I have reviewed a whole bunch of apps and have found them overall usually relatively useful.  The list of the ones I have reviewed is long – Argus, Bike Brain, MapMyRideRuntastic Mountain Bike Pro, and a bunch of other ones.

Every so often I have come across some that are buggy and tend to be a disappointment.

My latest review is of the Under Armor Record – I thought since it is developed by a very popular and well adopted in the exercise circles brand – Under Armor – it will be well put together.  The application comes with tons of accolades from the company itself – it is promising and with a lot of features.  

Under Armor Application Dashboard

Application Dashboard

The front screen is a dashboard with a running feed of all your activity, which Record collects from your iPhone’s internal motion tracker.  You can also get sensors from main suppliers and interface to the app.  If you are so inclined you can also challenge friends, check on your friends’ progress, and track also food, sleep, and calories burned.  

This is all fine, but the application REALLY DOES POORLY on tracking your bike sessions.

You can see in the follow on screens a summary that makes you wonder – who designed the application that way.  Here is what happened – the result of which you see on the next application screens.  Earlier this weekend I went on a bike ride and used the Under Armor Record and in parallel ran the Runtastic Mountain Bike Pro, and Strava.  The results did not bode well for Record.  Why?  Well see below

Under Armor Record

History of sessions

Under Armor Summary

Session Summary

Check the time duration and the calories burned…!

This is “amazing” – I did 23 hours on the bike….NOT!

Well, turns out I did attempt to stop the application as I completed the bike ride.  As I did with both Runtastic and Strava.  But Record decided to keep on going.  And kept on going until the next day (today) when I was getting ready for my next bike ride.  I thought that behavior was a fluke.  So I just started a new session.   I biked for 1-hour 15 minutes…and then when I came home I tried to stop the application…. Well, I wish the programmer who wrote the app could see it.  I kept trying to stop – I kept getting the screen with Application Session Paused — with the option to slide the screen button to Finish it.  I did over 10 times – each time the Application just exited – i.e. CRASHED!   Every time I tried to get back in – Record went back to the same screen – with the request to Pause and then Slide to Finish – and the same repeated over and over again.   

Then I took the drastic action – I deleted the Application!   That is it – Under Armor Record was gone.  The app worked OK for tracking elliptical trainer workout, and walks but as far as the biking is concerned the assessment it TWO THUMBS down!

Thumbs Down

 

Apple Watch – 3+ Months Use Readout

Apple-Watch TestingWell I have been using my Apple Watch since early June.  I was very eager to get the watch – why, you would say..? Because it promised some nifty ways to encourage you to exercise and measure your achievements.

so I started the quest – run, bicycle, lift weights, run on the Elyptical trainer…and in the process I also used secondary instruments to measure the time, distance, calories spent.

I used apps on my iPhone which I mount on my mountain bike.  In the process I have used many different apps – you can find the postings on those on this blog.  Also used the computer part of the Elyptical trainer….

the results have been rather unsatisfactory – with respect to the Apple Watch…not a good sight.

Here are the reasons for my dissatisfaction:

  1. measured mountain bike session – well the watch app does not discern mountain bike from road bike…. The result, completely different results – 1 hour on the mountain bike is 800+ calories but according to the Apple Watch 500-600….
  2. running on the Elyptical trainer results in a closer measurements but still disconnected
  3. i did weights – for about 5 minutes of lifting – the Apple watch registered 1 calories spent…!  Really !?!?
  4. etc

i believe you get my drift… Very surprising that 3rd parties have developed apps for iPhone which are pretty accurate, while Apple’s own for the Watch are not that great…!

I hear new software is coming for the Watch – hope these updates will bring positive changes …!

 

Bike+ and Runtastic Pro Mountain Bike

Today I went on a bike ride with the purpose of both getting back on the trails as well as reviewing a couple of biking applications for IOS / iPhone.   The two applications are Bike+ and Runtastic Pro Mountain Bike;   The second one – Runtastic – has been on my phone and in use for about a year now.  About a year or so ago I reviewed the Free version and now in this posting I will give you a view of the paid for PRO version.

Before we get to that one, lets first take a summary view of the Bike+ app.  I just downloaded it about a week ago, and today decided to give it a try.  It came with a lot of promises – apparently Bike+ was developed by bike pros and is supposed to address many of the needs of the biking enthusiast.

Biking applications Biking statistics application Bike+ Biking Application

The application offers quite a few capabilities among which are the ability to give you real time assessment of the climbing conditions you are experiencing as well as the usual speed, distance, time duration;   Also interestingly, the application allows you to enter tags for hazards you may encounter on the trail / road and via the application share with other users.  The application allows also integration with the Pebble Smart Watch – but NO Apple Watch integration that I know of (or being planned).

Bike+ biking statistics Bike+ biking statistics Bike+ biking statistics

Now about the negatives that I observed:  (1) the Grade reading and update should be happening more frequently hence with higher precision.  I noticed that I was climbing for several minutes before the field on the front panel updated.  You tend to miss some of the real time feedback – may be the software captures it and it is just that you do not see the real situation;  I am guessing this could be addressed easily by way of doing more frequent reads of the GPS by the application code; (2) By default the front panel / screen is not locked in and as a result only 5 minutes into my ride the screen was turned off – I had to manually turn the screen on – after the ride I found the option in the Settings allowing me to lock the screen in display mode – but that should have been the default state rather than auto turn off.   So not big issues – I will give it another try or two to experience it fully;

Now about Runtastic PRO Mountain Bike:

I bought the PRO version more than a year ago.  It is actually a very useful little program.

Rungtastic PRO Mountain bikin Runtastic biking application Runtastic PRO Mountain Biking software

Runtastic allows you to view a whole bunch of statistics as well – and be able to measure the distance, calories burnt, time on the track, speed, elevation climbed, etc.  All in all a fairly useful set of statistics for amateur biking enthusiasts like me.

IMG_4821 Runtastic PRO biking application Runtastic PRO biking application

In terms of some deficiencies – about the only one I have experienced is when I bike with my iPhone 6 Plus and the phone is mounted on my bike via a case that aligns it in a landscape view on the screen. Unfortunately, Runtastic Pro does not re-orient itself in landscape mode – it remains in portrait and as a result tough to read.

All in all, I will test the Bike+ a bit longer and see which one I like better – Runtastic PRO or Bike+

Enjoy your rides!