You can do a lot with your Windows Phone. From making a phone call to checking your email to watching videos or playing games, our Windows Phones have a ton of potential. February is fitness month here at Mobile Nations and we focus on the health and fitness capabilities of our smartphones.
The strength of our Windows Phone with regards to fitness rest with apps. Our weakness likely lies with the lack of direct compatibility with fitness accessories.
We have apps to track our exercises routines, that track our calories, and those that even help us rest. Windows Phone apps as HealthVault, Calorie Tracker, MyFitnessPal, and Runtastic all are great apps to help us along as we strive to maintain our health and fitness. We also use our Windows Phone to map our running routes, listen to tunes while exercising and collect stats on our distance based exercises. So it's not such a stretch to see our Windows Phone being a vital component to our fitness routine.
But when it comes to compatibility with popular fitness devices such as the Fitbit Tracker, Nike Fuelband, Sports Watch or even Jawbone UP we come up short. These gadgets come in handy to monitor our activity from measuring steps taken to calories burned to monitoring our sleep patterns. They are devices that compliment and extend the software component.
While we have seen little movement on the exercise accessories, I have to tip my hat to Fitbit though. While there isn't an "official" Fitbit app, the company has made available the API for un-official apps such as the Fitbit Companion and DotNetNuzzi Fitbit Activity Tracker.
Still, with an official Windows 8 Fitbit app available it shouldn't be too hard for an official Fitbit Windows Phone app to see the light of day.
Nike on the other hand shouldn't have any reason not to develop a Fuelband app for Windows Phones. Nike has a presence with Microsoft with the Nike+ Kinect Training Xbox game and a companion app for their Fuelband shouldn't be a stretch. Instead, just like Jawbone, they are focusing entirely on iOS support. Then again, the Fuelband isn't compatible with the Xbox software so maybe it's not such a natural fit after all for Nike.
The presence of third party apps and compatibility with other Windows Phone fitness apps such as Microsoft's HealthVault gave the Fitbit the nod when the Windows Phone Central staff began looking for a fitness accessory for our Windows Phone. We liked the convenience the Nike Fuelband has but combined with fantastic battery life and the presence of third party Windows Phone apps, the Fitbit was the natural fit. Just as we've seen a growth in fitness and health oriented apps for our Windows Phone, hopefully we will see companies take note and begin releasing official apps or products that embrace our Windows Phones.
So if you could see one fitness accessory come to Windows Phone, what would it be? An official app for what's already out there or something entirely new? Personally, I'd like to see Fitbit offer an official Windows Phone app that (and I don't know if this is possible) can sync directly with our Windows Phone. Even if syncing isn't possible, to have an official app where you can have full access to your Fitbit account while on the go would be really nice.
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George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.