(You're reading all posts by Graham Bower)

About Graham Bower

Graham BowerGraham Bower is a designer and a fitness geek. An Apple-obsessive for over 25 years, Graham's first Mac was a Power Macintosh 6100. He's the co-creator of Reps & Sets, a gym logging app for iPhone. Follow Graham on Twitter and Instagram.

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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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How App Store reviews can help indie developers

The NASAViz Universal app. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC

Five-star reviews are great, but there’s another type of App Store review that’s truly stellar. Photo: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/Flicker CC

Customer reviews on the App Store are good for business. It’s not just that good reviews can improve your app’s ranking. Reviews have also helped me build a better app.

But with all the fake reviews and haters out there, it’s sometimes hard to see the wood from the trees. The trick is to know exactly which reviews to pay attention to — and the secret is all in your stars.

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Can Apple Watch really help you get fit?

 Will Apple Watch help you get off the couch? Photo: Apple

Will Apple Watch transform you from couch potato to fitness freak? Photo: Apple

With Apple Watch about to become a reality, recent reports have questioned the benefits of fitness trackers, highlighting their inaccuracy and even claiming they make you fat.

So can wearables like Apple Watch really help you get fit? From my experience, what’s in your heart is more important than what’s on your wrist — but gadgets still have a role to play.

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How App Store optimization can harm indie developers

iOS App Store.

Critical errors can do real damage as you try to rise to the top of the App Store.

I followed the advice of an App Store optimization expert last year in an attempt to promote my iPhone app. Big mistake. It felt wrong at the time, and it did more harm than good. Now I’ve learned to trust my gut instincts instead.

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Gold fever makes Apple Watch devs chase the dream

Ladies and gentlemen, the 18-karat gold Apple Watch Edition, which is an aspiration, price-anchor, according to Reddit. Credit: Apple

Are Apple Watch apps an 18-karat opportunity for indie developers? Photo: Apple

With high development costs and uncertain prospects, now is a risky time to build Apple Watch apps. But like many other indie developers, I’m working on one anyway.

The Apple Watch gold rush is about more than money.

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Survival of the fittest: Apple Watch versus fitness trackers

Will Apple Watch win the fitness-tracking race? Photo: Nathan Rupert/Flickr CC

Will Apple Watch win the fitness-tracking race? Photo: Nathan Rupert/Flickr CC

Apple Watch is entering the race to become the leader in wearable tech. And dedicated fitness trackers like the Nike+ FuelBand, Fitbit and Jawbone Up may struggle to keep up with Cupertino’s pace.

Few people remember the MP3 players that iPod left in its wake. Smartphones overtaken by iPhone shared a similar dismal fate. Could fitness wearables be next on the endangered list?

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