Fjuul, as you might remember from the last time we covered them, is the app that basically shows how well you've performed in your daily physical activities in terms of casual movement, stuff like walking or cleaning the house which when summed up totals up to 80% of your life spent while awake.
As we've seen through the recent Facebook acquisition of Moves, another Helsinki based health app which tracks daily movements through the user's locations, it seems the mobile health-themed tracking applications are on the rise, which only adds to the reasons why other health apps need to keep up to date.
Since their initial launch, Fjuul became #1 in the paid health & fitness category in Finland. However, according to Fjuul CEO & Founder Sascha Wischek, the app had certainly not reached its final form, so with the backing of well known Finnish VC Vision +, the Fjuul team took a dive into the backend infrastructure development in order to bring a grown up version of Fjuul into the world.
The new version was launched on the first of May, or Vappu as we Finns call it, and apart from staying closely faithful to the original version’s simplicity of use and minimal GPS connectivity, which is among the number one reasons for battery drainage, the new Fjuul seems to be more street credible and, most importantly, more engaging than before.
First, if we take a look at the visual transformation of the app, we can gladly conclude that the app is sleek and clean. Much like the earlier version, Fjuul’s UI is as simple as it gets, though it’s worth noting that colour-wise the app is now more straightforward (which is less confusing to the eye, though a bit more aggressive).
Visual change is always important sure, but even more valuable, especially for users, is new or upgraded content, and better yet, content which is relevant to the app and hence, the user him/herself.
The backend development was mostly done to empower the social aspect of the application. Since people tend to be somewhat competitive, Fjuul infuses group interaction by allowing users to get inspired by their peer's results. For example, a group could set a friendly competition on who’s the first to get 1000 Fjuul points.
However, the apps target group is more tilted towards down-to-earth health enthusiasts rather than hardened fitness practitioners, which is why Wischek felt like it was important not to turn the app into a bossy drill sergeant that, even if indirectly, tells you what you need to do through numbers.
Fjuul circles around this imperative tendency by using Fjuul points, points which are based on Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET), a system that includes other casual movements on top of steps, forms of movement which equally burn calories, just like exercise does, though perhaps in a more long-term sense. This leads to the app being less of an activity which you have to specifically dedicate yourself to and instead it turns your entire day into one big exercise which you can improve bit by bit, on your own pace and conscious.
As for functionality, Wischek told us the developers dedicated quite some time to clean, optimize and reduce idle time of their code, resulting in a more tidied up application that - plainly put - runs more smoothly.
With users in the tens of thousands, the new Fjuul is already on the top of the charts of health apps in Germany, which isn't bad for an app that has no freemium version out yet (note the suggestive “yet”). Additionally they've become the Apple featured Best New App in 46 countries.
The company has a funding history of around half a million dollars and further market invasion (android version more specifically) will require more than that, but for now, the second version is out and will remain the point of focus for a while.