Helsinki-based Moves, the activity tracking app that works like a modern interpretation of a pedometer, has now launched on Android. For those of you who haven't checked it out, it works sort of like RunKeeper, or other run tracking apps, but works quietly in the background, following you to work, lunch, and on trips. The app is smart enough to pick up walking, running, cycling, public transportation, and so on, giving you a breakdown of how much you moved each day. If you grab lunch somewhere, it recognizes you're at a location, and lets you tag the place using Foursquare's API.
As they launch their Android app, they count 2.5 million downloads.
“We believe Moves is the most popular activity tracker available as we’re tracking over two billion steps every day,” said Sampo Karjalainen, Designer & CEO, Moves. “It is very difficult to beat the price and convenience of having the activity tracker in your phone. You simply download the app and leave it to track your daily movements. There’s no need to buy, charge, carry and sync one more device.”
I've had mixed feelings about the app in the past, as I used my phone pretty regularly, and for a while there Moves became the scapegoat for me to blame my iPhone's already awful battery performance. So while I found it cool, I deleted it off my phone for a while. This was sort of short sighted complaint as battery and processors become much more efficient - think the advances in the iPhone 5s that promise much better battery life.
My impression really changed when talking to a U.S. based VC about what startups they were excited about in the region. Moves was the first to come up for a few reasons, and got me to install it back again. For them (who didn't use their phone as much as I did) they pointed to how the battery drain really wasn't bad on their phone, and on top of the day-to-day tracking, they liked the platform approach Moves is taking. After gathering this data, third parties are going to be able to build upon it and provide a lot of innovation and insights into our lives. At the moment Moves looks like it is experimenting with this,
Life Tracking is moving much more mainstream, away from the nerdy Quantified Self folks and Excel spreadsheets, and more stream less to people's day-to-day lives. Think Espoo's Beddit, for example. It's life tracking your sleep without any real friction to users.
So Android users, check it out and embrace the battery drain. You'll appreciate the maps and check-in tagging later. This past summer I traveled all around the region with my sister, and it's fun looking back on everywhere we went, as it brings back much more concrete memories about places and what we did. That's only one use-case, and it will be interesting to see what pops up in the future.