The official Zwift launch took place simultaneously in all three Rapha Cycle Clubs locations: San Francisco (pictured here), London and New York. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
New bicycling game Zwift cruises along at the crossroads where video game nerds, bike fanatics and the land of the long winter come together. Launched in beta today, Zwift lets you compete with friends in a massively multiplayer cycling game designed to turn indoor rides into something more exciting.
The basic premise is this: You pick your avatar, pick your whip, pick your kit, pick your route and then pedal with/against your friends, no matter where they are in the country. You watch the action on the virtual terrain on a computer (most any reasonably modern desktop or notebook will do).
How does a wearables company survive being Sherlocked? Jawbone has some ideas.
In the business world, Apple entering your product category is a little bit like a tsunami crashing into a home aquarium. What had previously seemed like a nice, small and self-contained ecosystem suddenly runs the risk of being obliterated by a giant wave-maker.
When Tim Cook announced the Apple Watch at Apple’s recent media event, the crowd went wild. But exciting as it was for consumers, it represents a seismic shift for the currently $330 million wearable tech industry.
Devices that can serve up smartphone notifications, track fitness goals and even advise us on health matters have the potential to be huge — but they’re not yet. That’s about to change, according to Juniper Research, which forecasts that wearable devices like smartwatches could hit sales of $19 billion by 2018.
What happens to Apple’s marketplace rivals as this sea change takes place? Cult of Mac did some digging to find out how companies like Jawbone and Fitbit plan to survive Apple’s smartwatch revolution.
A bug in HealthKit caused Apple to pull several fitness apps from its App Store Wednesday morning, just as the company was rolling out its long-awaited iOS 8 update.
Apple said the problem could keep apps compatible with HealthKit, a key component of iOS 8 that facilitates sharing of data among health and fitness apps and hardware, out of the store for weeks. “We’re working quickly to have the bug fixed in a software update and have HealthKit apps available by the end of the month,” Apple said in a statement to Cult of Mac.
Brian Mueller, developer of Carrot Fit, said Apple called and emailed him to say his fitness app had been removed from the App Store due to a last-minute problem with HealthKit. His app, and several others including My Fitness Pal and WebMD for iPhone, are currently unavailable for download.
“The rep couldn’t clarify what was wrong,” Mueller told Cult of Mac in an email, “though users of the app who had already downloaded the update were able to use the HealthKit features without any issue.”
San Francisco designer Anand Sharma shares endless private details about his life on his April Zero website. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
Anand Sharma has eaten 17 burritos in the last 141 days. An avid runner and rock climber, the San Francisco-based designer has visited parks seven times this month. He weighed 153.9 pounds and was at 18.4% bodyfat after his 5.5-mile run yesterday. He burned 688 calories during that run.
He gets around a lot, too: On July 15, he flew from Hong Kong to Changi, Singapore. Then he grabbed a bite at the Kampong Glam Cafe. He also spent 94 minutes in a car and 70 minutes on the Lomprayah high-speed ferry that day. During his long day of travel, his heart rate hit a high of 94 and a low of 66 (averaging a slightly higher than usual 79). He didn’t share any photos on Instagram, but he pushed 25 commits to code-sharing site Github.
Sharma, who was 24.382007813 years old as of this writing, is already the most transparent human being on Earth, and he’s just getting started. Fully embracing the data-hungry demands of the quantified-self movement as well as the constant spotlight of social media, he routinely shares every little detail about his life, from his travels and meals to his vital signs and work, on the slickly designed April Zero website he launched last month. Now he wants to invite you to his way of life. He’s working on a new app that will make it easy for anyone to have their own version of April Zero.
Cult of Mac talked with Sharma about April Zero, the benefits of living in public, and the possibilities of Apple’s long-rumored health-centric wearable.
The Orange Chef’s Claire McClendon, left, and Amy Wu lead lunch prep at the company’s San Francisco offices. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — James Armstrong might be one of the few iOS engineers who loses weight while on a coding bender.
Armstrong is lead developer at The Orange Chef Co., the company behind a smart kitchen scale called Prep Pad. It weighs your food and, based on the nutritional profile you set, gives you a more accurate idea of how much you should eat. While working on a companion iPad app called Countertop, Armstrong beta tested his meals and realized how super-sized they were. So he cut the portions and shed 30 pounds.
“I had to buy new clothes twice,” he says.”I bought a bunch of clothes, then I had to buy ‘em again — it’s made that much difference.”
New trends show health-related apps are changing how patients experience healthcare.
Health related iOS apps are proliferating quickly in the App Store. While the most popular health related apps tend to be focused on diet, exercise, and stress relief, there are some other fast growing trends that show how the iPhone and iPad transforming the healthcare experience for consumers.
According to MobiHealthNews, which provides an annual assessment of the market for mobile apps related to medicine, health, and fitness, three new trends are emerging that could significantly reshape our experience of healthcare.