1. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Just wanted to note that my wife installed the Health App on her phone today (Android version), so we could try out the Band-less option. Not too much to report so far, other than the account set-up process:

    - After logging in, the app asked if we had a Band
    - We selected the "nope" option and it asked for permission to use the phone's "sensors" to detect steps
    - The "Home" screen looks like a stripped-down version of the normal one, with tiles for Steps and Calories
    - Not too much under options, other than the choice to stop using the phone's sensors

    EDIT: correction... it looks like all the standard tiles are on the Home screen, but most are grayed out -- when you tap ones like Run or Sleep it taunts you with a "wanna buy the Band NOW???" offer.

    I'll try to remember and post back after a few days to report if it's picking up activity in a meaningful way. It's clearly designed for people who don't have the Band, and even kind of has a bit of up-selling to tempt you toward one, e.g., I seem to remember a link for tracking sleep, which the app notes requires a...drum roll please....BAND! I'll also report back on how her Health Dashboard differs (if at all) from the rest of us.

    -Matt
    Last edited by gadgetrants; 04-28-2015 at 09:17 PM.
    ven07 and Nate Silver like this.
    04-28-2015 04:31 PM
  2. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Well a few hours and one 30-minute walk later, and I'm disappointed to report that my wife's phone is showing 0 steps. It's also showing 314 calories, but since no steps have registered, I'm not sure how the calories were estimated -- maybe a generic value based on her height and weight?

    I know it isn't a native problem with the phone (Moto X) as I can hold it in hand and walk around, and the step counter in Google Fit increments. Perhaps the Health App is having problems with accessing the step counter API?

    EDIT: OK, just installed and tried 2 pedometer apps on her phone and both picked up my steps without a hitch. I wonder what's up with the Health App?

    ​-Matt
    Last edited by gadgetrants; 04-28-2015 at 10:43 PM.
    04-28-2015 10:00 PM
  3. defante's Avatar
    The calories are probably just from living. Many BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculators online. Its based on height, weight, age, and sex.
    04-28-2015 10:10 PM
  4. gadgetrants's Avatar
    The calories are probably just from living. Many BMR (basal metabolic rate) calculators online. Its based on height, weight, age, and sex.
    I think you're right - just did a quick calculation and came up with an hourly BMR for her of 53 calories -- eyeballing her chart it looks like the Health App is giving her around 60/hour. Actually, I just noticed the multiplier for the Harris-Benedict equation is 1.2*BMR for "sedentary", which almost perfectly matches.

    -Matt
    defante likes this.
    04-28-2015 10:25 PM
  5. gadgetrants's Avatar
    Spoke at length last night with a Microsoft support person (nice guy!). He got someone's LG G3 to register steps -- we're wondering if the first gen Moto X is just not spiffy enough. He passed the issue up to the next level and will contact me next week. Sounds like it may not work in the end for the wife. However, there's one small ray of hope:

    Microsoft's Health app won't need a tracker to get your fitness data

    The company has revealed that its mobile Health app will soon get step counts and calorie burns from the sensors built into your phone -- you won't need a Band (or any wearable tracker, for that matter) to put fitness data in Microsoft's cloud. The update is due for Android, iOS and Windows Phone in the "coming weeks."
    Perhaps they released the updated app (which allows users to run it without connecting a Band) but still need to revise it? That doesn't explain why it already works on the G3, but yeah...

    -Matt
    04-30-2015 08:45 AM
  6. gadgetrants's Avatar
    It's been a week and it's time for an update!

    For several days, no steps were showing up on my wife's Moto X. However, automagically, the step counter began to register in the middle of Sunday, and since then it seems to be working. However, sadly, it doesn't look like the calorie estimates are on par with the step count. In particular, the Health app is showing about 1300-1400 calories burned daily, which if correct would mean my wife should be ballooning at a crazy rate (I'm guessing her daily calorie intake is ~2300 calories).

    I'm pleased that the Dashboard is reporting an estimate for calorie burn every hour 24/7, including while she's sleeping which is quite cute. But it seems that when she's not briskly walking, that value estimated is the adjusted BMR that I mentioned above (probably an underestimate). And when she is walking, the burn rate still looks a bit low. And that's with her correct height, age, weight, and sex in the system.

    So at this point the verdict is: seems that using the Health app without a band is an OK way to count steps, but it's not so reliable for estimating calories burned. Guess I may need to actually buy her a real activity tracker!

    ​-Matt
    ChadWilliams23 likes this.
    05-06-2015 10:55 PM
  7. illyc's Avatar
    i used the health app for a few days WITH a MS band but decided the band isn't worth it. now the health app won't function/track runs/etc. it says to sync it to a band? what?
    11-21-2015 09:00 PM

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