Monday, 20 February 2012

Heart Rate iPhone app review

Here I am again with a review of another great app. This time is Heart Rate app by Azumio.

I am doing sports regularly and sometimes I want to know what is my heart rate. This app makes use of iPhone hardware like no other: using the built-in camera and flash, it detects the variations of the color of the skin on your fingertip and manages to detect the changes due to blood being pumped. That way, after some seconds, it can detect your heart beat. It is really amazing and I have to say that quite accurate (although it is not the same as a medical device, of course).

In order to measure your heart rate, you just place your index finger in the iPhone back camera and let the app do the rest. You do not need to press too much the camera, just place the finger on it. The app then starts to detect your heart beat. It takes some seconds until it gets an accurate value. Once the value is calculated, it will show you a summary screen with a scale comparing your actual heart beat with the average of people your age. From this summary screen you can then share your heart rate in Facebook, Twitter, add a note or tag, or just store it. The value can be stored to check later on and also to compare with previous values.

Settings are quite simple. You can have a sound indicating the heart rate (like a hospital machine), prevent the screen lock while running the app, enable analytics and autostop after 15 seconds (to avoid battery drain). You have also to specify if you are male or female and your age in order to have a base to calculate your resting heart rate and maximum heart rate. You can set these values also manually if you wish.

The app also comes bundled with a nice tutorial on how it works and how to use it (Help tab) and also a brief explanation about the different heart rate zones (HR Zones tab).

In the Timeline section you can check your previously recorded hear rate values. If you turn your iPhone horizontally, you can see a nice chart with the heart rate values. However, in order to use it you will need to register into their server. In the server, other apps from Azumio (like Stress Check or Stress Doctor) can write info, so you can then check it all combined.

What I like:

  • Accuracy
  • Simplicity
  • Nice interface

What I don’t like

  • Having to open an account into their servers to access the chart view

All and all, this app uses the iPhone hardware amazingly to do a useful task. If you want to have a look at this incredible app, go and buy it at the AppStore. It is just 0.99$, 0.79€.


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