RunKeeper is a great app, and I've been using it for years to capture my walks during those times that I'm actually getting off my butt and exercising. I've found that I'm much more apt to really get moving if I can just track the number of steps I take every day and try to reach or exceed a goal. Today RunKeeper is shipping a free iPhone 5s-only app called Breeze to track all of the steps you take during a day.
I had an opportunity to use Breeze for a few days prior to its release, and wanted to compare it to other methods of capturing step information. For that purpose, I formerly used a Fitibt Force -- until it was recalled -- and then started using the Moves ($2.99) app. For iPhone 5s owners, Moves can take advantage of the M7 motion coprocessor built into the top-of-the-line smartphone to capture your steps without needing to use GPS information.
In that respect, Breeze is quite similar to Moves. RunKeeper notes that their self-named app is focused on workouts, while Breeze is designed to capture the rest of your day and motivate you to move more.
I'm a crappy dancer, so I won't be following in the footsteps of the star of that video. But I do enjoy seeing just how many -- or how few -- steps I take every day. Like Moves, Breeze is a background app that is constantly running. RunKeeper decided to make Breeze specific to the iPhone 5s and future phones that use the M7 coprocessor to keep it from being too much of a drain on your iPhone's battery.
The app has a clean interface that's a snap to figure out. The first time you launch Breeze on your iPhone, it pulls your activity data for the past seven days from the M7 and then creates a daily movement goal for you -- automatically.
Breeze gives you reminders throughout the day, nudging you to get out and walk more when you have time to get those steps in before heading to bed. Every morning, the app provides a recap of your steps the previous day, hopefully providing an incentive for you to move a bit more each day.
Whenever you pull up a completed day, you're greeted with a beautiful photograph in the background. The RunKeeper folks have really made Breeze an app you'll be glad to look at. One other nice touch -- the app assigns you a "spirit animal" based on your activity level. Me? I'm a regimented lion that is active in midday, moves in short bursts, and is mostly active on the weekend.
I found the little notifications delivered during the day to be a surprisingly good motivator to get me up from behind the desk and at least moving around the house. Compared to Moves, I think Breeze will make better use of the iPhone's battery as it doesn't use Location Services to determine where you're doing your walks -- it just knows that you're moving.
The app is already quite impressive, but the RunKeeper team promises that they'll provide integration with the RunKeeper app so all of your activity is captured -- workouts and normal movement.