Up for review today is an app, MotionX: Sleep for the iPhone.
Disclaimer: The MotionX: Sleep app was provided to Gadgetell (for free) ahead of the general release so we could play around and form some opinions to share.
We recently mentioned the release of the MotionX Sleep app and in that post we noted that the big features include helping you be more active, sleeping better and waking up feeling refreshed. And well, as mentioned in the title — this app makes me rather glad that I did not spend my money on a Jawbone UP fitness bracelet. In short, the MotionX Sleep app brings many of the same features and does so with hardware that you already have and perhaps more important — for a much more palatable price, $4.99 (or $0.99 for a limited time).
Anyway, I have been using the MotionX Sleep app for about a week now and can say that it has performed rather well. Granted, it requires you to have your iPhone on your person nearly 24/7, but hey, we are geeks and many probably already do that anyway. For me, since using MotionX Sleep, my iPhone is either next to me on my desk, in my hand, in my pocket or under my pillow.
Anyway, when launching the app you are taken to the ‘home’ screen which offers a quick look at the main features — Daily Steps, Sleep, Timed Walks and the Almanac. You also have quick and easy access to the settings where you can adjust and customize based on your personal needs and goals.
Beginning with the Almanac, this one is simple. It tells you details such as the day of the year and the week of the year along with the daily times for the Sunrise and Sunset as well as the Moonrise and Moonset.
Moving from here and we have the Timed Walks, though I will admit that as a distance runner, this one remained unused in favor of my current run tracking program of Runkeeper. That being said, the Timed Walks feature will record goodies such as the amount of steps, average cadence, distance and calories burned. It also has a coaching feature which will give timed audio feedback on things such as steps taken, current time and calories.
The Steps feature is simple, as long as you have your iPhone with you — it will record your daily amount of steps. Think pedometer, or product wise, Fitbit. Diving in further here and we see goodies such as a 7-day average for a bigger picture. There is also daily goodies such as the amount of Active Time, Idle Time, Aerobic Steps, all Steps, calories burned and your daily goal. In regards to the goal, you have the ability to set the amount of steps you want/hope to take per day and then a reading to let you know how close (in percentage) you are to reaching your goal.
Another nice feature, and also one of my favorites, here is the Idle Time reminder. This will allow you to set an “Active Alert” which will cause you to be alerted after sitting for so long. The timer can be set in 10 minute intervals beginning at 10 minutes and going up to 190 minutes. I choose 40 minutes. You can also set the time period for these reminders. I set mine as 4am to 2pm as that is when I am generally sitting and working.
The Sleep feature. This comes as a sleep tracker and also a Smart Sleep Cycle Alarm. Simply put, this will track how you sleep during the night showing goodies such as your Awake Time, Light Sleep time and Deep Sleep time. It also shows other goodies such as how long it takes you to fall asleep and based on your goal of how much sleep, it calculates your Sleep Efficiency. The sleep settings work when wearing your iPhone in an armband and also when placed under your pillow. Not wanting to use an armband, mine goes under the pillow and it seems to work rather well. Last up for sleep, the Smart Sleep Cycle Alarm, this will wake you up in a period of light sleep, which is said to have you rise feeling better. You set your alarm for the time you need to wake up and the alarm will wake you sometime in a 30 minute window prior to that time. I will say that in my experience, it works. Personally I am not sure how, but it does — and even when it wakes me at 3:30 as opposed to the 4:00 that I need I still feel better (as compared to waking up with a regular alarm).
Otherwise, the one other item I will mention is battery life. I would not say that the app used more than I would have expected, but remember this, by using MotionX Sleep — you are using your iPhone quiet a bit and that will have some extra drop in battery.
The bottom line
What can I say, the MotionX Sleep app saved me about a $100. I would recommend this app to anyone and everyone that has an iPhone and is interested in tracking this kind of data.