RunKeeper's new Breeze app goes beyond workouts to count daily steps via Apple's M7 chip in iPhone 5

Posted:
in iPhone edited April 2014
RunKeeper on Thursday launched Breeze, its new step tracking app that harnesses the abilities of the M7 chip found in Apple's iPhone 5s. AppleInsider was given an early hands-on with Breeze, and found it's a great way to track activity from the rest of the day, when you're not out for a run.




RunKeeper is best known for its eponymous iOS application, which offers advanced data for runners. But the Boston-based company is now expanding its portfolio with Thursday's launch of Breeze, which it bills as far more advanced than a traditional pedometer.

Leveraging the power of the M7 chip, which constantly tracks motion in the background of the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers what RunKeeper calls "personal coaching" in the form of notifications and updates throughout the day. By presenting "subtle yet persuasive suggestions," Breeze is designed to get users moving, get them in shape, and help them lose weight.

Breeze is said to track context around the user's behavior, delivering notifications on long walks and highlighting specific points in the day where users are at their best. The next morning, Breeze offers a summary of the previous day's activities, and users can quickly view their past stats.




We've had the opportunity to test a pre-release version of Breeze on our iPhone 5s for a few days, and we found it to be a unique addition to the existing fitness tracking landscape. The notifications were indeed helpful, and dynamic goals were set for each day based on our past levels of activity.

That said, Breeze is a little too encouraging at the moment. We went on a jog using an iPhone 5s on our arm, which was running the preexisting RunKeeper app. All the while, Breeze was still checking our stats in the background.

As we ran, the RunKeeper app displayed current time and pace on our Pebble watch. But the iPhone 5s on our arm and the Pebble on our wrist kept kept buzzing and displaying notifications from Breeze --the step-tracking app was excited that we were finally getting our step count up for the day.




It would be nice if Breeze could understand to pipe down during a run. And this feature may in fact be in the works, as the developers have promised that integration between Breeze and RunKeeper is coming.

While step tracking is accurate based our tests, mapping data in Breeze is off. In one day of tracking, the app correctly showed our 1,000-step walk to the store, but did not recognize or map our actual longest activity of the day, when we were out for a two-mile run.

Other than those issues, we like Breeze. When you're simply working and sitting at a desk during the day, the notifications can serve as a nice reminder to get moving, or as encouragement to keep going when you're on a walk.




We're also excited to see where RunKeeper takes Breeze in the future, as we see potential for more with custom goals and achievements.

RunKeeper has said it's planning more device support for Breeze, as the application is currently exclusive to the iPhone 5s, Apple's only handset with the M7 motion detector. The company has also promised that a more personalized experience in on the way, with features and notifications that will be more helpful and specific to the user's life.

Breeze is now available as a free download on the iOS App Store as a 30-megabyte download.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 14
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member

    How does it affect battery life?

  • Reply 2 of 14
    nhughesnhughes Posts: 767editor
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

     

    How does it affect battery life?


    RunKeeper says it doesn't have any effect on battery life because Breeze uses the M7 coprocessor, which is already tracking motion in the background regardless. We didn't notice any significant reduction in battery life in our few days of testing.

  • Reply 3 of 14
    j2fusionj2fusion Posts: 139member

    None...

     

    I've had this app that uses the M7 chip for quite a while and it has had zero impact on battery life.

     

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/pedometer++/id712286167?mt=8

     

    J2

  • Reply 4 of 14
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,278member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

     

    How does it affect battery life?


    Why are people always worried about "will it affect battery"? It's a freaking smartdevice. I have everything full blast and have no care in the world for the battery. I want to use everything how it's supposed to work. Power use the device. 

  • Reply 5 of 14
    512ke512ke Posts: 782member

    Counting steps is addictive, useful, and fun.  There should be more graphic games around health functions for the A7.

  • Reply 6 of 14
    Since this app is "Free" and the article says it tracks context I'm just wondering where they'll be going with all this contextual data?

    If I pig out at Mickey D's on burgers & fries is it gonna sell that (contextual) info to my to my health insurance provider?

    Or worse???
  • Reply 7 of 14
    bonobobbonobob Posts: 309member

    Quote:



    While step tracking is accurate based our tests, mapping data in Breeze is off. In one day of tracking, the app correctly showed our 1,000-step walk to the store, but did not recognize or map our actual longest activity of the day, when we were out for a two-mile run.


    The Runkeeper app has this same problem when attempting to pull data from the M7.  It will note short walks/runs but often will ignore a 2 hour session.  Very annoying.  It's not quite as bad as when the app first was updated to use the M7, but it's still a major problem.  It appears Breeze uses the same bad code.

  • Reply 8 of 14
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    sirlance99 wrote: »
    Why are people always worried about "will it affect battery"? It's a freaking smartdevice. I have everything full blast and have no care in the world for the battery. I want to use everything how it's supposed to work. Power use the device. 

    Because it's a freaking smartphone is why people care about battery life. Everyone cares about using everything but they also want to be able to use everything before the device dies on them.

    If battery life isn't something we should consider then why do vendors and reviews post the battery life of different usage types?
  • Reply 9 of 14
    disturbiadisturbia Posts: 563member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by calfoto View Post



    Since this app is "Free" and the article says it tracks context I'm just wondering where they'll be going with all this contextual data?



    If I pig out at Mickey D's on burgers & fries is it gonna sell that (contextual) info to my to my health insurance provider?



    Or worse???

    For now .... it's free and no Ads.

     

    Once they get enough users, like its older brother, all sort of yearly, monthly, daily, hourly and secondly subscriptions will be at your service! ;)

  • Reply 10 of 14
    I use this simple app that causes zero battery drain:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/load-steps-pedometer-step/id832824907?mt=8

    Breeze has a nicer UI but 30MB download for a pedometer I'd be worried it has too much bloat
  • Reply 11 of 14
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Leveraging the power of the M7 chip, which constantly tracks motion in the background of the iPhone 5s, Breeze offers ...

    M7 is only on the 5s, no? Then how come you can use it on an iPod touch or iPad? Or iPhone older than the 7th gen?
    Compatibility: Requires iOS 7.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. This app is optimized for iPhone 5.

    edit: nevermind: first customer reviewer also thought so:
    Compatibility

    by Nondoor
    I have no problem with the app (it works fine on an iPhone 5S), but the compatibility requirements are misleading. "Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch" is the claim, but I just tried to open it on an iPad and got the message "Breeze only works on the iPhone 5S…" I got the same message on an iPhone 4S.
  • Reply 12 of 14
    bulk001bulk001 Posts: 654member

    I have not used Runkeeper's Breeze app but their regular running app was like having my own personal stalker all day long. Was just too creepy to have some company tracking my every more (you have to give it the ability to run in the background or it won't work) when I forgot to close it after a run and see it track all my movements. I pay my taxes to have the NSA do that already! :) 

  • Reply 13 of 14
    macbook promacbook pro Posts: 1,605member
    RunKeeper on Thursday launched Breeze, its new step tracking app that harnesses the abilities of the M7 chip found in Apple's iPhone 5s.

    RunKeeper is <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/runkeeper-gps-track-running/id300235330?mt=8">best known</a> for its eponymous iOS application, which offers advanced data for runners. But the Boston-based company is now expanding its portfolio with <a href="http://appleinsider.com/l/?link=https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/breeze-activity-step-tracking/id826697005">Thursday's launch of Breeze</a>, which it bills as far more advanced than a traditional pedometer.

    Isn't the company name actually FitnessKeeper, Inc.?
  • Reply 14 of 14
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    Isn't the company name actually FitnessKeeper, Inc.?

    "Accuracy isn't always used in the articles here"
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