Mobile Phones today with Accelerometer sensor can work as a Pedometer or Step Counter for counting the number of steps you take while walking, running or step aerobics. In this blog I will discuss how to use Pedometer in Google Pixel & Pixel XL.
Since Google Pixel & Pixel XL both have the sensors required for the Pedometer to work but does not contain a good app to access it.So we will be reviewing some of the best pedometer app for Google Pixel & Pixel XL.
Benefits of Pedometer or Pedometer Apps:
Using a Pedometer helps in keeping track of the steps you take while doing aerobics, running, walking, steps exercise.While starting any fitness activity, You set some goals and would like to monitor it. E.g. If you have to prepare for a marathon which is 2 months away, You make a schedule of running every morning. Now you run everyday and follow the same or different path. Sometimes you feel very tired and reduce the distance or sometimes you increase the distance, But you do not have track of whether your stamina or performance is increasing or not. If you do your activity using the Pedometer, It will capture the details like distance covered each day, Steps taken and duration. You can review your performance after days and weeks to check whether it is improving or not.
Pedometer FAQ’s :
How accurate is the Pedometer Count:
It is close to the actual count but need to be started and stopped at right time.e.g. If you start the app before starting your jogging and end it after you complete it, then the count will be near to the actual count. But if you start the app, and talk on phone or play some game on it, then chances are that this activity will increase the step count.One obvious question is that can these applications record all the steps taken by a person with the app on the phone in a day? The answer is, It can provide a rough idea of it but not accurate numbers. Some of the tasks like picking up the phone ,putting it down, sliding it , holding it for clicking picture etc. may also increase the step count.
Where you need to keep your phone:
It does not matter where you keep it and you should keep it at a place where you are comfortable for free body movement. You can keep it in pocket,in jacket, hold it in hand or keep it in purse. As long as it is directly or indirectly attached to your body during motion it will give the number of steps. Also it does not matter whether you keep your phone straight or upside down.
Does it use GPS:
These applications work without GPS also, So we can assume that it does not need GPS for step counting. But if the application has other features like showing the map of the track you followed while jogging, then GPS will be required.
Affect on Battery:
Pedometer apps do consume battery a lot as it continuously use the Phone sensors.Newer versions of Apps consume lesser battery.Google claims that latest Android accelerometer sensor works on low power mode and consume less battery.
How it works?:
These applications work with the phones which have the Accelerometer sensor built in it. While running, this application will monitor the change in accelerometer and based on it will conclude if the step is taken. It can provide the information about the angle at which you are holding the device, direction , speed at which it is moved and the gravity. Accelerometer provides the values whenever they are changed along with the Time at which the event occurred. Application stores these values in the database and look for a pattern.
An accelerometer will provide three values x-axis value, y-axis value and z-axis value. As the person starts taking the first step, x-axis value will increase at a rate depending upon the force at which the person starts to move, y-axis which will tell the relative change in the height of the device along with the force will show an increase in value as while taking the step person will rise from the ground and then it will decrease till the step touches the ground. Based on this kind of pattern match, Step event is detected. Same kind of concept is used in wave to answer feature provided in phones.
Review of Pedometer Apps:
Here is the review of popular apps available for Smartphone:-
The Moves app has a pleasant user interface with easy to use menus. The setup takes no time at all. The app can differentiate between your runs, walks and cycling and gives not only steps but duration also. Moves also minimizes battery drain and is optimal for users who want a simplistic pedometer. The app tracks your routes, recognizes daily landmarks and presents your daily movements in a beautiful time line.
Walk With Map My Walk
This app can help you track almost any physical activity like running, cycling, aerobics, rock climbing, hiking, spinning, roller skating and many more. The app also boasts of features like calculating pace, GPS tracking, calorie counting, real time stats and many more.
Another excellent pedometer app is the Runtastic Pedometer. This app too provides all basic features coupled with speed calculation and integration with all popular social media websites. You can share your daily walking regime with friends for motivation and competition too.
The app challenges you to walk 10,000 steps every day; you’ll soon find yourself taking the stairs rather than the elevator to reach your daily goals.
Accupedo is an accurate pedometer app that monitors your daily walking on the home screen of your phone. Intelligent 3D motion recognition algorithms are embedded to track only walking patterns by filtering and ejecting out non walking activities. The app maintains daily charts and logs for you to review your walking history.
The Accupedo pedometer is intelligent as it starts counting steps only after 10 consecutive steps have been detected. It does not require GPS all the time to calculate steps. Widgets and charts have a wonderful UI.
A battery friendly pedometer that impressed us with its simplistic design. Noom Walk is easy, elegant and surprisingly accurate. Since noom does not need GPS, it is extremely power efficient. The app allows you to encourage friends and family, share your stats and feel motivated with High 5’s. The app works 24×7 so that you never miss a single step.
Endomodo Sports Tracker PRO
Track your steps, your heart beat and your workout duration with this all-in-one fitness application. The app provides audio feedback and encouragement in real time from friends. You can share your training details, motivate people and get challenged too. It has a very clear and intuitive display for your workout stats, as well as a constantly updating display of all of the other users who are currently out for their own workouts. It’s like Twitter, but for jogging.
As well the option of sporting activities that you can chose from when embarking is stunning. Everything from the standard Walking, Running and Cycling, all the way to Pilates and Star Climbing to Yoga and Martial Arts. Plug in the time you spent on the activity and it will generate for you an approximate value for the calories you’ve spent.
Availability: Pro version available on Google Play Store.
Nike, of course is related to running and sports. The Nike+ Running app lets you view detailed breakdowns of each of your runs in the app and on NikePlus.com. Enable live audio cheers when you broadcast that you’re starting a run to your friends on Facebook and show off your route with their new map sharing experience. This app is targeted for serious runners with fixed fitness goals.
People often leave their fitness and running goals due to sheer monotony of their routines. ‘Zombie, Run!’ is an app that seeks to prevent just this from happening.
Imagine running away from a zombie apocalypse to safety while mapping your route. The app immerses you in its audio-visual thrill and forces you to run with adrenaline pumping throughout your body. The monstrous sounds of the zombie appear closer when you slow down your speed. It is an extremely fun way to ensure you run and run FAST.
# Tricks of Pedometer System
How to Check Sensitivity or Accuracy of Pedometer Apps: One simple test is to open the app on the phone, start the session using the button on the app. Start tapping on the app using your finger and you would see number of steps and distance will increase rapidly. The app which shows lesser number of steps when tapping is less sensitive. I did the same test on the above three apps and the winner was Runtastic Pedometer followed by Noom Walk and Pedometer 2.0
Don’t want to carry phone for counting steps: If you don’t feel comfortable carrying phone because of its weight,size or not fitting comfortably in your pockets, Try the Pedometer devices which are available in the market. These devices are small and lightweight. They provide good accuracy level and are quite handy. Some of them come with fashionable bracelet style.