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iPhone App Review: FitClick Diet & Workout Tracker

iPhone App Review: FitClick Diet & Workout Tracker

July 16th, 2010 by

At the ripe old age of none-of-your-business, I finally decided to join a gym and get in shape. I half-heartedly poked around the app store looking for something to track my diet & exercise routine, but it wasn’t until I recently came across FitClick Diet & Workout Tracker that it seemed the promise of an all-in-one fitness app may have been realized.

Features

Ouch, went a little over on calories there.

FitClick offers not only the usual essentials: calorie tracking, workout routines (including calories burned), and syncing with a website (in this case FitClick.com). The app also offers several other handy features that put it in a class all its own:

  • Count calories eaten and burned.
  • Exercise routine tracking with over 800 exercises.
  • Nutrient tracking for a database of 110,000+ foods (including food chains and store brands).
  • Detailed exercise instructions including videos.
  • Real-time syncing and access to FitClick.com.
  • Intuitive interface, simple design.

Pros

When you first start FitClick you are presented the option to sign in to an existing FitClick.com account or to create a new one. Creating a new one takes you over mobile Safari, where an iPhone-optimized site leads you through the usual steps, then plants you back in the app once you’re done. This obviously only happens when you first launch the app, it remembers your login info thereafter.

I downloaded and installed the app while I was actually at my gym, and had no problems using it for the first time. It is simply designed and easy to use: the buttons are finger-sized and obviously labelled, and it’s clear what options you have available to you on each screen. You simply tap to access the diet screen or the exercise screen, and from those screens you dive deeper down the rabbit hole in order to enter food or exercises.

Just a cardio day on Wednesday, no weights.

Those activities are simple as well: adding a food is as simple as searching the huge database and tapping on the item you want. You can change the quantities before adding it to that day’s diet list, fmor which point that food’s calories get added to your daily intake total.

Adding an exercise is similar: you search the database for the activity then include how many minutes or reps you completed, and it calculates the calories burned and subtracts that from your daily caloric intake allowance.

I found the app very fast and easy to use, even though it is stopping frequently for data access (searching the database, returning results, adding the food or exercise to the list and syncing in real-time). I was also impressed with the depth and accuracy of the app’s database (well, I guess it’s the website’s database). I managed to find the exact Trader Joe’s Blueberry Cereal bar that I had for a snack that morning.

Through the website you can also gain access to over 7,000 custom diet plans, 10,000 custom workout routines, 11,000 recipes, create grocery lists from your meal plans, and much more.

Cons

So THAT'S how you do one-legged dumbell calf raises!

The app is easy to use and has a great database backing it up, but it has its share of bugs and design ideosynchrasies:

  • It does need a data connection, or it’s totally useless. You can’t even view your past data or add new data to be synced later on, which is a bizarre choice in my opinion.
  • The app has basically no reports or ability to export info from within. You must access your account at FitClick.com in order to do anything more complex as tap backwards through days and manually view each day’s data.
  • It could use a favorite foods and favorite exercises list within the app (there is on accessible on the website). I do the same routine everyday at the gym, and having to search for the same 7 exercises each day gets annoying and time-consuming. There is no reason to have to do that.
  • If something you ate isn’t in the database, you’re stuck with something of a similar caloric value (for instance, I couldn’t find Trader Joe’s yogurt brands). Not a big deal if you know how many calories your food contains, however…
  • If you can’t find the food and don’t know the calories (taqueria burrito, anyone?), you’re kind of totally stuck. You can create a new food on the website but only by filling in blanks on the nutrition value (for instance, from a store nutrition label). I actually went through my favorite burrito from a local place and added each item one-by-one (lettuce, tomato, sour cream, salsa, beans, rice, cheese, carnitas, tortilla) in order to get my dinner calorie count. It seemed fairly accurate but it was very time-consuming.
  • I found a bug where I could not change the quantity on items that were measured in cups or partial cups. I noticed first on walnuts, and it seemed to carry over to any item I tried that was measured in terms of cups. Weird bug, just means if you eat 1/2 cup of walnuts you need to enter the defaul 1/4 cup value twice in the list.
  • Last weird design choice: the platform standard swipe-to-delete does not work within the app: you must tap an item, be taken to the item’s screen, then tap delete.

Overall

I like FitClick and will keep using it for my workouts and general meal tracking, but would like to see some of those bugs fixed and the ability to customize the database from within the app included in a future update. Even the simple ability to save my a-la-carte “burrito” that I built into a custom “meal” would be greatly appreciated, since I will be using that at least once a week.

Overall it’s a good buy thanks to its ease of use and volumes of information and videos within the app, as well as its impressive resources available through the website.

  • Lois Ross

    I agree I have a lot of favorite food meals i use and they are not available on app. is it not possible to transfer what i have in main menu of meals and favorites that seems like it should be possible, everything else seems to transfer weigh, current meal etc. this to me is very important, it means i have to go on site with computer first then use app on ipad. hope you can fix this soon.

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