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About Graham Bower

Graham BowerGraham Bower is a fitness fanatic and app developer. He's the co-creator of Reps & Sets, a gym logging app for iPhone. Graham is obsessed with Apple, weight lifting, running and the New England Patriots. Follow Graham on Twitter and Instagram.

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10 rules for classy apps – a developer manifesto

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Believe it or not, there are still some apps that do no evil.

If you ever dig into the privacy policies of app developers, be prepared for a shock. This is where they confess their sins: invading your privacy, selling your data, and pestering you with popups and unwanted ads.

As the App Store becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, many developers struggle to make a profit. Some turn their attention to alternative sources of revenue and the quality of their apps suffer as a result.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are the 10 rules for developers to keep things “classy.”

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For developers, WWDC means more work but not necessarily more profit

As the dust settles on another WWDC, indie devs assess the impact

There are winners and losers at the epicenter of change.

The Worldwide Developers Conference brings new opportunities and new threats for indie developers. If you’re lucky, Apple introduces an API that could enhance your app. If you’re unlucky, Apple launches a new feature that renders your app obsolete.

One thing is certain: Whatever Apple announces at the annual conference will mean a lot more work for indie developers just to stay in the game. And since developers can’t charge for updates on the App Store, most of that work will go unrewarded.

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The fitness apps that gave me six-pack abs

iMuscle's anatomical models look a bit leaner than I had in mind.

iMuscle’s anatomical models look a bit leaner than I had in mind.

I saw my six pack for the first time at the age of 40. Prior to that, my abs had been hidden behind a thick layer of fat that I’d built up over years of living a sedentary geek lifestyle. The only exercise I got was racing to be first in line at the Apple Store for a product launch.

Then one day, a doctor told me I had cancer and my whole world changed. There’s nothing like a brush with death to make you take your health more seriously. Suddenly, I wanted to get fit, but true to my geek heritage, I would do it using my iPhone. Abs? There must be an app for that.

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From dad bod to six pack: Essential gear for bulking up

Some of the best fitness gadgets don’t fit on your wrist.

Some of the best fitness gadgets don’t fit on your wrist.

After a brush with cancer prompted me to take my health more seriously, I began using run trackers to start my journey from dad bod to six pack.

At first, running was the only exercise I did. It helped me lose my love handles, but I ended up looking too skinny. I decided it was time to put on some muscle. While Apple Watch and other wearables are great for running, they’re not much help when it comes to bulking up. As I soon discovered, some of the best fitness gadgets don’t fit on your wrist.

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How gadgets helped me go from dad bod to six pack

Fitness gadgets saved my life. Sort of.

Fitness gadgets saved my life. Sort of.

I used to live the classic geek lifestyle, forever hunched over a MacBook, munching on comfort food. Until one day cancer forced me to take my health more seriously.

Now I run marathons and lift weights for fun. But the geek is still strong in me. From GPS watches to bioelectrical impedance analyzers, I’ve used pretty much every kind of fitness gadget.

Here’s the story of how fitness gear helped me get in shape for the first time in my life and swap my middle-aged dad bod for a six pack.

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What does ‘fitness’ mean and why does it matter?

Apple Watch's Activity app

What exactly are fitness trackers tracking?

Many people say they want to get fit, but what does this actually mean? Fit for what?

The websites of leading fitness trackers, like Apple Watch, Fitbit, Microsoft Band and Jawbone Up don’t shed much light on this question. They talk a lot about the things that their devices measure, and even suggest changes in how we go about our day, but they rarely explain why this matters or what the actual benefits are.

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Designing for Android: an iOS developer’s perspective

Photo: Diarmuid Miklós/Flickr

A one-size-fits-all hybrid design for Android and iOS apps is not the best of both worlds. Photo: Diarmuid Miklós/Flickr

As an iOS developer, I’m frequently asked, “When are you going to do an Android version?” Like it is just a matter of time.

But the truth is, we’ll probably never support Android. While there are sound business rationales for this, my motives are rooted in design philosophy.

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The trouble with Apple Watch’s fitness tracker

Your "other" workout had better be cardio. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Your “other” workout had better be cardio. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple’s approach to fitness is all about cardio and burning calories.

That’s great if you’re into running or cycling. But for other kinds of exercise, like bodybuilding or yoga, it’s not relevant at all. And if you want to lose weight, cutting the calories you eat is usually more important than burning calories through exercise.

So why does Apple Watch focus exclusively on cardio, and what does this means for people using one to get in shape?

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How to turn great iOS app ideas into something real

Time to find a great programmer.

Time to find a great programmer. Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

My friends, family and even complete strangers are constantly asking me how to get their million-dollar app idea in the App Store.

This is always a shocker for me because, after countless hours of hard work over the past two years, my app is barely breaking even.

But I can offer one solid piece of advice for anybody hoping to turn a clever idea into a world-beating app: Find yourself an amazing developer and hold on tight.

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Is Nike and Apple’s relationship on the rocks?

Where to next for Nike+ runners? Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Where to next for Nike+ runners? Photo: Graham Bower/Cult of Mac

Apple’s new Activity and Fitness apps for Apple Watch might signal the end of the company’s long partnership with Nike.

So what does this mean for the millions of us who were introduced to Nike+ by Apple in 2006 and have been logging our runs this way ever since? Are we about to get caught in a Kramer vs. Kramer-style tug of love?

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