App review: Gyroscope
There are plenty of apps and gadgets to track your activities and monitor your health, but only Gyroscope brings them all together for the best overview of you.
From the health apps built into most smartphones to wearables like the Apple Watch and Fitbit’s devices, there are myriad ways to track how much you’re walking, running, biking or sleeping. But what’s long been lacking is a way to collate all of that data and turn it into a single, easy to understand overview of where you stand right now, and what you ought to be doing to make yourself even better. Gyroscope wants to be that digital glue that brings your life data together.
Start with social
Though there’s only an iPhone app for now, one of the best ways to get started with Gyroscope is to head over to its website and login with you Facebook details. From there you’ll be prompted to let it connect to other apps and services you already use. These include Fitbit, Moves, Strava, Runkeeper, Foursquare, Rescue Time, Google Health and Instagram.
Using the information Gyroscope gleans from those apps, Gyroscope will begin giving you daily updates on the previous day. Obviously, the amount of info it can give you, and how accurate and useful it is, will depend on how many other apps you’ve connected, and how good the data in those is.
So, how do you know if you’re doing okay or should be spending less time at your desk (thanks Rescue Time) and more time on the road (why’ve you got to rat me out like that Fitbit?). For a start, at the top of Gyroscope you’ll get a counter that displays what it estimates your age is. At first, it’s pretty scary. Ours came out at over 100 years old!
Age is just a number
Over the following days, our Gyroscope age began to steadily drop closer to our actual age. And a few days after that we found ourselves trying to work out a little more, just to bring that number down… which is pretty much the point of quantifying your life. Without the data at hand showing you where you’re falling short, it’s tough to stay motivated to behave better and improve.
If you have an iPhone you can also add Apple’s HeathKit data to Gyroscope, and every day you’ll get a summary of the previous day’s activity (or lack thereof). You can also decide how much or how little information to share with other users, whether they’re friends or strangers. As with other life-quantifying services, the idea appears to be that we make better choices when we think someone else is watching.
We’ve certainly found this approach incredibly effective with Fitbit’s challenges. If your friends have done 10 000 steps on Saturday and you’ve been binge watching series on the couch, it’s pretty good incentive to go for an evening run or make a plan that’ll get you out of the house and racking up the steps on Sunday. Thankfully, there’s no obligation to share your Gyroscope information, though. If you’re a lone wolf or a private sort you can make sure only you see it. Phew!
Bit, if you’re a more gregarious sort, the app lets you create and share daily or weekly reports for free. The pro-version, meanwhile, allows you to track data over months, collate it and, yes, share it if you’re so inclined. Whether you’re looking to get more productive during your time online, get out and sweat a little more, or simply get a holistic look at your general wellbeing, Gyroscope is definitely worth a look.
Download it for iOS.
Please note: While the app may be free to download, the data required to do so is not. You can buy data bundles from Vodacom Online ».