Wearable Tech World Feature Article
March 19, 2013

Samsung Galaxy S4 Comes with a Health App, Built-in Pedometer

Spring officially begins on March 20, which means you have a few days to shed those winter pounds and perfect your beach body. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. It’s called S Health, and it comes standard on the new Samsung Galaxy S4 phone.

The latest version of S Health, which actually debuted with the Galaxy S3, works with an ecosystem of devices to keep you up-to-date with your bodily status. For example, the app works with the S4’s built-in pedometer to track the number of steps you burn every day.

You can also wear the S Band, which is similar to the Fitbit or the Nike Fuelband, to track stats like calories burned while you are exercising. If you don’t want to carry your S4 with you while you run, then you can simply wear your S Band and sync your data with your phone when you get back.

Samsung has also produced a scale that will send your body weight to your phone via Bluetooth. The heart rate monitor makes sure that your vitals stay on track throughout the day. S Health collects all of your data from these devices and produces reports that you can review.

According to a 2011 Pew Internet Research survey, 10 percent of smartphone owners download fitness apps to try to track their health. Last year, a group of researchers from Brigham Young University tested 127 health and fitness apps and rated them on their ability to get users to actually change their health-related behaviors.

The best app in the study, called Sport & Fitness Excellence, got 28 out of 100. The problem with these apps, say researchers, is that they don’t incorporate solid behavior change skills like accountability, social networking, motivation and behavior tracking.

Brian Wang, a marketer for the fitness app Fitocracy, argues that developers don’t have time to review literature before putting together an app. “Based on my past ten years of experience, the common thread to success is a sense of community and strong social bonds. Without fail it works. We didn't need a controlled study to tell us that.”

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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