Get healthy with some help from your S Health app. Just grab your Samsung smartphone and go. This app, already installed on smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S®6, as well as wearables like the Samsung Gear™ S, not only tracks your activity, it can monitor your heart rate, track your calories and even help ensure you’re getting a good night’s sleep.
Getting Close and Personal
What’s good for a 21-year-old professional athlete won’t necessarily be right for a 50-year-old office manager. This is why S Health prompts you for personal information when you first launch the app, like your gender, age, weight and height, as well as your normal activity level. All of this customized information is saved to your profile and generates an estimate of your body mass index, or BMI. If your weight or activity level changes, you can update your profile by tapping the More Options icon in the upper-right corner, selecting Settings and then tapping Profile.
Tracking Your Workouts
The Exercise section of S Health doesn’t just track your movements; it provides a wealth of information about your workout history and can even encourage you along the way. To get started, tap Exercise in the S Health app and select your workout style—running, walking, cycling or hiking. Tap Set Workout Goal to choose from a distance goal, time goal or calories burned. Select Basic Workout if you just want to exercise without a specific goal. By default, the Audio Guide is already turned on, so you can hear your progress, such as your pace and distance, without checking your phone. Listen to your favorite music within the app, or have another music app play in the background. If you find something inspiring along a new route, you can take a photo from the S Health screen.
Measuring Your Heart Rate
S Health can calculate your heart rate with just a touch. Launch the S Health app and tap the Heart Rateicon at the bottom. The app prompts you to place your finger on the heart rate sensor, which is located below the camera and beside the flash on the back of select Galaxy phones. To get an accurate reading, sit down before you start, and stay as still as possible. Place your finger firmly, without squeezing it, on the sensor. After just a few seconds, S Health displays your heart rate. The more often you track your heart rate through each day, the more data S Health has to work with. Tap the triangle-shaped icon at the bottom of the screen after recording your heart rate to see your heart rate over hourly, daily or monthly intervals. If you want to see specific times, such as after your workouts, or if you feel some readings were incorrect, you can select or delete these entries.
Including Casual Activity
Good health doesn’t stop when you get home from the gym. That’s why S Health is designed to stay with you all day, measuring every step you take with its built-in pedometer. Just tap the Pedometer icon in the app when you get up each morning, and it will track your movements until you go to bed. There’s no need to wear a special device either—just put the phone in your pocket and it can estimate how many steps you take as well as your speed to give you an accurate count of your steps and the calories burned. You can also set a daily goal and track your progress throughout the day to give you that extra motivation you might need to skip the elevator on the way home.
Monitoring Your Sleep Habits
The internal gyroscope inside Samsung’s wearable tech devices, like the Samsung Gear S, is capable of detecting any kind of movement, including each time you move in your sleep. Before you go to bed, put on your Gear S and connect it to your smartphone. From the Apps screen, tap S Health and select Sleep. The first time you use this feature, you are asked to read some information about measuring sleep data. Tap OKand then Record Sleep. In the morning, tap I’m Awake. To see your sleep, access the Sleep utility again and swipe the screen upwards. To review your sleep patterns for the last 30 days, open the S Health app on your smartphone. Keep in mind that when S Health is monitoring your sleep, it uses blocking you to prevent you from being awakened by notifications.
Say goodbye to counting calories. Just select Food Tracker in the S Health app, select your meal and S Health calculates the calories for you. For example, if you grabbed a slice of pizza for lunch or as a snack, select Lunch or Other and enter Pizza. After you specify what kind of pizza and the portion you had, S Health automatically adds these calories to your day’s consumption. If you forgot to add something, add it at any time by changing the date and time to when you had the meal. S Health also gives you the option to add custom meals and add notes. You can also take a photo of your favorite meal, so that the next time you have it, you can quickly select it from the photo gallery.
Mobile applications 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 it works and review of couple of apps on Android and Iphone.
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.
How accurate is the 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 Android 4.4 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.
Android Kit Kat 4.4 Step Detector and Step Counter(Developers Only Information): Android has introduced the low power step detector feature in the platform itself. Developers can use this feature and don’t have to write own code/algorithm for step detection. Apart from this a Step Counter is also introduced by the Android in Kit-Kat which will maintain the count of steps taken after the sensor is registered for listening of step events. Here are some key steps for implementation for using the Step detector
1:Extend the activity to implement SensorEventListener(). 2:Extend the activity to implement SensorEventListener(). 3:Get the Sensor Manager using getSystemService() 4:Check for the availability of Sensor and get the sensor using getDefaultSensor() functionality of Sensor Manager specifying the Sensor type 5: Register for the listener using the registerListener() functionality of Sensor Manager and providing the frequency at which you need the event notification. 6:Implement the logic for displaying or using the Step event in onSensorChanged() function called by the system.Check for the time-stamp for duplicate events.
Review of Pedometer Apps: Here is the review of popular apps available for Smartphone:-
- Runtastic Pedometer: This is probably the best app available and works quite well. It captures relatively accurate step counts,have a great user interface and captures the summary of your activities well.
- Noom Walk Pedometer: The only advantage of this app is that it use less battery as compared to other apps. But it does not have the lot of rich features like measuring distance, Speed and duration and detailed summary for checking your performance. As per the App developer, It can be turned on for a complete day and will affect only 2% of battery. I have not used it for whole day, But it is good for those who want to keep the pedometer on whole day without much impact on the battery. Accuracy of this app is not as good as Runtastic Pedometer.
- Pedometer 2.0: This app has good interface like Runtastic Pedometer. It does capture distance and time.Pedometer 2.0 is quite sensitive and was increasing the Step count even with a slight movement of phone after the activity was finished and it also asked to specify whether the activity is walking or running manually whereas Runtastic Pedometer did not ask for the same.
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.