StepsApp review: A gorgeous way to visualize Apple Health data

Don't have an Apple Watch? You can use this app as a pedometer.

stepsapp main screen

This ain’t no Apple Health dashboard. StepsApp provides a more beautiful way to view your step count activity for the last week.

The iPhone, Apple Watch, and HealthKit have been an amazing combination over the last year or so, helping me shed nearly 40 pounds by counting calories and encouraging frequent activity. But the built-in Health app lacks Apple’s usual visual flair, so I’ve been searching for a more attractive way to view my progress.

Get in step

StepsApp (free on the iTunes Store) not only receives high marks for elegance and beauty, it’s also a great pedometer for those who don’t have an Apple Watch. Whether walking, running, or hiking, StepsApp automatically tracks steps even when the app is closed, using nothing more than the iPhone 5s or newer in your pocket. (iPhone 5c and earlier models lack the required motion sensor hardware.)

Unlike Apple’s generic Dashboard, StepsApp features a large circle displaying how close you are to reaching the day’s goal. While you wait for data to populate, an animated stick figure walks in place, a nice visual flourish. For average users, a goal of 10,000 steps per day is recommended, but you can set it lower or higher as well as switch between miles and kilometers.

stepsapp day view

In Day view, users can slide a finger across the bottom graph to scroll through each hour’s progress.

By tapping the circle on an iPhone 6 or newer, StepsApp also displays the number of floors climbed. Swiping across the screen jumps between days, but you can also slide a finger across the bottom graph to do the same in week view, or scroll through hours in day view. StepsApp only displays data for the last seven days, although to be fair that’s enough for most users.

Get connected

As with most modern health-centric software, StepsApp is no island unto itself. Thanks to Apple Health support, StepsApp can send its data to other connected apps, as well as receive the same, including activity recorded on supported devices.

Naturally, there’s also an Apple Watch app for displaying the current day’s progress, although it doesn’t currently support Glances. A Notification Center Today widget rounds out the package, which also displays the day’s distance and calories burned.

stepsapp settings

For a modest in-app upgrade fee, StepsApp Pro adds a splash of color, along with more accurate step counts based on physical type.

Speaking of calories, a US$3 in-app purchase to StepsApp Pro keeps track of what you’ve burned each day, and provides more precise step counts that factor in sex, body size, weight, and age. There’s also six color schemes to personalize the display, along with a setting to adjust step length; the automatic default method worked well for me, however.

Bottom line

StepsApp is a beautiful, well-crafted app that does a far better job at visualizing Health data than Apple’s built-in software.

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J.R. Bookwalter

Macworld.com
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