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Cinch Android wear app review

I was looking through a list of Android wear apps on Android Center and stumbled on this one and gave it a try. I have to say I am thoroughly impressed. You can look at what third parties are doing with Android and Android Wear and they show gaps in the current offerings. Clear ones. I took a number of steps backwards when I went from a Samsung Gear 2 Neo (non Android wear) to a Samsung Gear Live (Android wear) smartwatch. You would think Android wear would start by looking at what is in the market place and improve on that. Sadly, as obvious a starting point as that is, they sure do not seem to have. Same can be said about the woefully inadequate Google Fit. On my Samsung Gear Live smartwatch there is a heart rate monitor. It can cleverly be used as by apps like Endomondo, and Google Fit can be used to call up your heart rate when you want it. But, what is missing is something that would sample and record your heart rate throughout the day. Interestingly the Moto 360 does this, but the Samsung Gear Live does not. Now this app, Cinch is not designed only for this purpose. It is also intended to help you loose weight. Something which happily is not my focus. But none the less let us have a look at what it can do. I will ignore the weight side of the app, just because it is not something I would use. I recently reviewed a Fitbit Charge HR which allowed you to monitor your heart rate continuously throughout the day. A neat idea, but I can live with periodic readings, for close to free on a device I already have, my Samsung Gear live. So first up you need to go into settings and setup your data age/sex/weight etc as well as how often you want your heart rate sampled:
Screenshot_2015-02-19-14-30-01
Once done the app will sit in the background and just sample, record and (if setup) send the heart rate data onto Google Fit backend! And you get a nice graph of your heart rate throughout the day, and even some stats, min/max/avg during the hour you select. The Charge HR didn’t even do that! Of course how good the data is depends on how often you are sampling your heart rate.
Screenshot_2015-02-20-11-29-43

Why this is not part of Google Fit is beyond me. A high school student could have written a better app than Google Fit in an afternoon.

Cinch also gives you some nice data converting the step counter from Fit into calories. Another sorely missing feature from Google Fit.
Screenshot_2015-02-19-14-31-02
They even separate basal calories from the calories burned from the steps you have taken! Something even Fitbit don’t do.

You can also start Cinch on your Android wear app to track an individual work out.

Update: A recent update has now added a new feature to remind you when you have been inactive. A feature sadly missing from Android wear (as well as missing from Fitbits). The feature is not customizable and I don’t know what the threshold is for the feature but it is there now. And enabled by default. It gives you one notification and then not again. So not a perfect implementation but a terrific add and it plugs yet another Google gap! Well done!

Screenshot_2015-04-02-13-35-35 Screenshot_2015-04-02-13-42-22

All in all an excellent bridge for the functions missing in Google Fit!

I contacted the author who informed me:
“I have big plans for Cinch. This is just the beginning.

Regarding the costs: Cinch is free to use for two weeks without any limitation. After two weeks, you’ll be prompted to purchase Cinch for a one-time cost of $1.99.”

Well done Ryan!

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February 20, 2015 - Posted by | Android, Android Wear (Smartwatch)

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