After the success of Nike’s various fitness apps on Android and iOS, it was only a matter of time before another sports apparel giant such as Reebok ventured into the space.
Reebok Fitness is both a calendar and fitness app, combining original workout routines with a unique schedule centered around when and how you want to work out.
Upon launching the app, users will be asked to create a new program. It has to be between 6 and 12 weeks long, and contain at least two disciplines from the following list; walking, running, dance, yoga and training.
Those parameters immediately make the app feel a little restrictive. I’m quite a keen runner, but don’t really fancy forcing myself to do a bit of dance or yoga every week. Similarly, I like to improve over a long period of time, so the 12 week wall is a bit of a nuisance.
Once you’ve chosen the parameters for your workout, the app automatically generates a schedule for the weeks ahead. You’ll need to create an account to access the rest of the app, but it’s a fairly simple and painless process to complete.
Reebok Fitness has a clean interface adopting some of the design elements used by other calendar apps such as Fantastical. The next seven days are listed from top to bottom and use small circular icons to illustrate when you’ll be exercising.
By hitting the ‘Edit’ button in the top left-hand corner, it’s possible to discard and rearrange activities using a long-press on the various sections.
When it’s time to get up and do something, users need to tap on the corresponding arrow on the right hand side of the screen. There’s a quick overview of the workout, explaining what you’ll be doing and how long it should take, as well as the option to look at a quick demo.
For running, this involved a more detailed description of how I should be pacing myself, including tips on breathing and rest periods. There were no videos or interactive tutorials, save for a generic cover photo at the top, which felt like a bit of a missed opportunity. The official website boasts “videos and demos from world-class fitness experts,” but perhaps these are only available for specific disciplines.
As soon as you hit ‘Done’, it will ask if you’ve completed the workout as described. It’s quite a jarring experience and highlights the shortcomings of the app as a whole; Reebok Fitness isn’t a tool for measuring your performance, such as Nike+ Running, Runtastic or the like, only a prompt for reminding you when it’s time to exercise.
Provided you hit the large tick icon, you’ll be asked how you felt during the workout and given the option to share your progress via Twitter, Facebook or email.
A tap at the top right-hand corner of the screen reveals a sidebar with a few extra features to sweeten the experience. The ‘Achievements’ section offers a few overarching metrics, such as your completion rate for your current schedule, as well as your longest workout streak. It’s a little basic compared to the trophies system in the Nike+ apps, but is a nice addition all the same.
There’s also a basic timer for keeping track of your current activity, and the usual stab at monetization via a store finder and online shop.
The store finder is pretty ropy because of some poor Bing Maps integration, which lack detail and are incredibly difficult to navigate.The online store, meanwhile, is just a shortcut for the full browser experience. Both fail to make a lasting impression and will most likely be forgotten after the first misplaced tap.
Reebok Fitness is a great way to create customized workout programs based on the sports and activities you want to try or already love. Creating a schedule is quick and easy, with just the right amount of flexibility to keep you engaged.
The app is a pretty shallow experience otherwise. The absence of any form of body tracking means that there’s no analysis of your performance, or any kind of overriding score based on your combined exercise.
As a result, Reebok Fitness is a strange experience that makes for a robust fitness calendar, but not a lot else.
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Image Credit: JOEL ESTAY/AFP/Getty Images
View original post here: Reebok Fitness arrives on iOS and Android with customizable workout programs, pro tips and more
Following the unveiling of its revamped News Feed on Thursday, Facebook on Friday announced new ways for developers to leverage Open Graph actions in their “lifestyle” apps. The company classifies four types of content under this term: fitness, books, movies, and TV, all of which have received new verbs.
Facebook has been promoting alternatives to its popular Like action for months (it even lets developers add their own custom actions), but at the same time it is rolling out new “official” actions slowly in order to cut down on redundancy and promote new categories in its News Feed. Additional actions give developers the ability to leverage more and more types of activities that people want to share, or at least that’s Facebook’s hope.
The nine new verbs added today are as follows (all relevant documentation links included):
For the average Facebook user, these additional verbs simply mean more apps of the lifestyle type will appear in their News Feed as the social network will promote them more. This is assuming that your friends use said apps, which assumes that developers leverage these verbs in these apps. In the end, it all comes down to Facebook’s ecosystem and what it can convince developers to use.
Just two months ago, Facebook launched Flexible Sentences, a feature which lets developers customize the syntax of stories that lack context and/or read awkwardly in the original sentence structure. Now developers have also received more verbs to work with in the first place; sometimes you can’t get very far if you can’t swap the verb for a more accurate one.
Yet this time, it’s clear that Facebook has timed the new verbs with the News Feed announcement this week. The company naturally wants to ensure stories that appear on the main homepage of the social network are as relevant as possible, and this is the first of many steps we’ll see in the next few weeks to ensure it.
Here’s the company’s pitch to app developers:
Following yesterday’s news, we’ve created beautiful News Feed stories on mobile and web to showcase these actions. We want people who use your apps to be excited about how their stories are presented in News Feed – whether they’re sharing a major life moment, like their first marathon, or something smaller, like finishing a book they were reading.
In fact, Facebook worked with lifestyle app developers to tailor the new actions and News Feed stories to meet common use cases, claiming “early data shows that average likes per story have increased by more than 2x.” We’ll see where things are in a few months. Speaking of which, Facebook says apps that previously used custom actions for any of the above nine verbs will have to move to the official ones by July 10, 2013.
See also – A deep dive into Facebook’s News Feed redesign: Success, and only a few party fouls and Facebook’s new News Feed starts rolling out on the Web today, iOS in a few weeks and Android thereafter
Image credit: Karl Zobel
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As Facebook is working to build partnerships with big media companies, the company sees a huge opportunity for growth in the sharing and discovery of movies, books and fitness tools on its platform. At the D: Dive Into Media conference today, Facebook VP of Partnerships Dan Rose said the company expects the next wave of its app ecosystem to be driven by those media categories.
When Facebook first launched its app ecosystem, gaming was the first category to really hit it big on the social network, thanks to developers like Zynga. Now, gaming is still a huge business, with Facebook paying out billions of dollars to game developers.
According to Rose, the next wave of media adoption came from news organizations, thanks to the launch of the “Like” button. Suddenly, users were sharing tons of news stories and articles in their news feeds. That was followed by music, with the growth of applications like Spotify building on the Facebook platform. “Music is such a social experience everywhere,” Rose said. Facebook simply made music discovery easier, by letting users know what their friends were listening to at scale.
But now that those categories have been conquered, Rose says that the next round of content discovery apps on Facebook will probably be movies, books and fitness applications.
On the movie and video side, Netflix is finally able to make its social-sharing feature available after a lobbying effort to change the Video Privacy Protection Act. With a new bill effectively nullifying that legislation, we’ll see a lot more mentions of the types of movies and TV shows our friends are watching showing up in people’s news feeds.
Rose said that the company wants to enable partners to use the data that users share about the content that they like, and enabling those developers to provide better recommendations. That will help drive traffic back to services like Netflix. And by enabling users to share what they’re watching back to Facebook, the service creates a virtual cycle of connecting audiences with new types of content.
He said books are another interesting category. “When you read a book, you’re investing 5-10 hours of your time,” he said. “We want to make sure that’s a good use of our time.” Using social recommendations through apps like GoodReads is a good way to find out what books one should actually invest their time reading.
And finally, fitness apps and sharing around those apps will also be big on Facebook, Rose expects. That’s driven by an increasingly mobile group of users and apps connected with Facebook, enabling users to share details about the routes that they run, exercises they do and other details.
How are those New Year’s resolutions to work out more holding up? Not so well? Not at all? Yeah, us too.
So we figured that it’s a good time to check back in with GAIN Fitness, the startup that aims to bring workouts from personal trainers right to your iPhone or iPad. GAIN Fitness just issued some nice updates and launched a new “trainer marketplace” that will bring a new trainer to GAIN each month.
GAIN has a really cool business model of being a platform, not just an app. GAIN shares its revenues with the personal trainers who create workouts — just like iTunes shares album proceeds with artists. It’s a win/win/win proposition in many ways: Trainers can distribute their work well beyond where they’re locally based, tailored workout experiences much more accessible to the general public, and, of course, GAIN makes money itself.
We stopped by GAIN’s San Francisco headquarters recently to talk with CEO Nick Gammell and get a hands-on look at the new trainer marketplace. You can watch it all in the video embedded above.