iHeartrate in Review – iheart exercise!

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If you are into performance (and I know you are), iHeartrate may be your calorie cutter, your tummy trimmer, your paunch pruner. It may well be. It tracks personal statistics such as target heart rate, BMI, age (don’t let this one out), weight, and height to estimate an optimal heart rate for your exercise routines (or in my case, typing drills).

Fortunately, learning its interface doesn’t require accreditation; just setup one of four profiles with your particulars (listed above), and get ready to burn the fat, baby! Before you get too far though (and if you don’t understand either imperial or metric), you can switch things up in the settings menu, or follow the pretty informative tutorial.

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iHeartrate’s purpose is to track how many calories you have lost in a workout session, or to suss out just how rigorously you can type. My resting heart rate after a cup of hot coco evidently is ~48. The same tremulous mass of muscle and sinews jumps to ~120 after doing sprints.

Where this app gets tricky is with accuracy. It doesn’t judge heart rate with any sophisticated external hardware. It doesn’t judge heart rate when you press your thumb really hard into the capacitive touch screen, and it won’t judge heart rate using the accelerometer or mic. No. You must tap each beat into the big heart at the centre of the screen. Simple, yes. Accurate, no. You see, there are several problems. Firstly, you have to be somewhat coordinated. My gaming skills (or lack thereof) dictate that any app will have a learning curve. Actually, whilst exercising, tapping out my heart rate is a breeze. But, iHeartrate also depends on your resting heart rate to suss out the number of calories burned and optimal exercise routine. In that vein (pun!), it may become a difficult app to use for some folks.

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Those like me who have a very faint pulse when resting will find it almost impossible to get an accurate reading. Firstly, you have to find the right spot, breathe shallowly, and remain still – of course, those things will effect the reading. But, I honestly cannot find my heart rate from my neck, wrist, or chest. I have to curl myself up into yoga angles so that some artery forces against my lower ribs. Then, scrunched up like a hairy banana in between the sofa and wall, I can measure my heart rate with some accuracy. But then, both hands aren’t free to tap it out. If you are normal, it shouldn’t be too difficult to get a somewhat difficult reading, but remember that iHeartrate’s number will only be an approximation.

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in the heat of a workout... tapped too fast!

To do it correctly, iHeartrate measures how long it takes for you to tap out 10 beats and uses some complex algorithm to translate that to a bpm reading. iHeartrate not only keeps track of how many calories you have burned, but what state of exercise you are in: Warmup, Fat Loss, Aerobic, Anaerobic, V02 MAX. It also has a chronograph to track the length of your workout.

So, if you tend to bring your iDevice with you to your sweaty workouts, iHeartrate is a good app. Depending on your own coordination, it keeps a pretty accurate tab of your workout, heart rate, and burned calories. What it won’t do is workout for you. It also isn’t an easy app to use for those with timid hearts. Considering that it isn’t made to be clinically accurate, Endloop systems have programmed a fair piece of software, but in the end, it is punching a little above its weight and reach.

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App Summary
Title:iHeartrateDeveloper:Endloop Systems Inc.
Reviewed Ver:1.54Min OS Req:2.2.1
Price:$2.99App Size:0.9 MB
  • Easy to navigate
  • Good functionality
  • Good estimation of calorie burn
  • Tap implementation is too dependent on inaccurate methods of input

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